The Business Challenge
The IT infrastructure at Sandd contains hundreds of Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). When Martijn Roetgerink joined Sandd as Lead Systems Engineer, he knew one of his first priorities was to improve VM protection and management.
The IT team was taking file-based backups of VMs with Symantec Backup Exec. When they needed to analyze software patches or updates, team members spent hours copying files from production VMs to a test environment. Furthermore, the team relied on native monitoring tools in Windows and Linux and had no reporting capabilities.
“I knew Veeam would let us get the most from the virtualized environment, and old-fashioned backup was the first thing I wanted to change,” Roetgerink said. “I told my colleagues that Veeam would let us backup and restore a whole VM in the fastest way possible and that we could replicate whole VMs to our test environment rather than copying files manually. That’s all they needed to hear.”
The Veeam Solution
Sandd’s IT team implemented Veeam Backup Management Suite™—a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution designed specifically for virtualization that provides Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere backup, replication, monitoring and reporting.
Veeam Backup Management Suite has two components: Veeam Backup & Replication™ for fast, flexible and reliable image-based backup and recovery of VMs and Veeam ONE™ for real-time monitoring and alerting, capacity planning, documentation and management reporting.
“We evaluated other products, but nothing compares to Veeam,” Roetgerink said.
With Veeam Backup & Replication, Sandd’s IT team backs up VMs 93% faster than before (in one hour rather than 15 hours). Faster backup enables the team to backup whole systems daily. Before Veeam, the team only backed up the most important files each day, not the entire VM, because the backup process took too long. With built-in deduplication and compression, Veeam backup files require 50% less storage.
Full VM restore is much faster with Veeam too. The IT team used to spend hours rebuilding a VM and then restoring its files. With Veeam, recovering a whole VM takes minutes.
“ Instant VM Recovery is one of the greatest features in Veeam,” Roetgerink said. “We’ve tested it and know it works well. We’ve also tested Explorer™ for Exchange and plan to use it.”
Instant VM Recovery lets the IT team restart a failed VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage. The VM can then be migrated to production storage in the background, while users continue working. Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange gives the team instant visibility into Exchange backups, enabling fast recovery of individual items such as emails, notes and contacts.
Another way Sandd’s IT team saves time is with VM replication.
“Veeam replication is awesome,” Roetgerink said. “Before Veeam, the team spent three to four hours copying files by hand from a production VM to our test environment. Image-based replication with Veeam takes minutes.”
Roetgerink and his colleagues also depend on Veeam ONE, the other component of Veeam Backup Management Suite, for its complete monitoring, performance analysis, alerting and reporting capabilities. Veeam ONE helps them identify and respond to incidents more quickly than before.
“We think of Veeam ONE as a trigger that helps us keep our virtual environment healthy by providing information about all kinds of problems that could appear,” Roetgerink said. “If we had to rely on native performance monitoring tools, it would be quite difficult to get all the correct information needed for our Hyper-V environment. Veeam ONE does it all for us. For example, as soon as Veeam detects high CPU usage, we receive an email, alerting us to see which VM is consuming more resources than expected.”
Veeam offers companies like Sandd real-time monitoring and virtual infrastructure analysis with visibility down to individual VMs. Monitoring dashboards offer intuitive single-click drill-down to object details, performance data and knowledge base articles, putting all the information administrators need within easy reach. Predefined reports and automated reporting help administrators optimize resource configuration and usage.
VM backups are 93% faster and require 50% less storage
With Veeam, Sandd’s IT team backs up VMs in one hour rather than 15 hours with the previous backup tool. Veeam backups require 50% less storage than before, saving the company money.
VM replication helps the IT team build test environments quickly
The IT team uses Veeam to replicate whole production VMs to its test environment in minutes rather than copying files manually, which took three to four hours per 100-gigabyte VM.
Monitoring and reporting enable proactive management
Veeam provides 24x7 real-time monitoring with at-a-glance and detailed views of health, performance and workload in Sandd’s Hyper-V environment. Veeam also provides capabilities for resource optimization and capacity planning, documentation of the virtual environment, and automated and on-demand reporting to help Sandd improve the performance and availability of its Hyper-V environment.