Fundaments got its start from Oxilion, a well-known hosting company serving nearly 10,000 consumers and small businesses. When SMBs and enterprises began to approach Oxilion for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), it recognised a business opportunity.
Oxilion decided the best way to serve this market was to establish a separate company specialising in cloud solutions. Oxilion already had datacentres throughout the Netherlands from which it could deliver robust cloud services.
Before the new company (Fundaments) began, its founders enhanced Oxilion’s hosting architecture. First they performed a Cisco 10Gbps network upgrade and deployed Cisco UCS. The founders felt the UCS compute server offered the best blade chassis and integration with their core network. For storage they chose HP StoreVirtual because it offered a scale-out setup, enabling them to add servers to clusters for more storage and computing capacity. HP StoreVirtual also enables them to offer several tiers of storage, and it integrates well with Cisco and VMware. They’d later find that HP and Cisco also integrate well with their data protection solution.
Next the founders looked for a powerful backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution to protect clients’ virtual machines (VMs) running in Fundaments’ cloud infrastructure, as well as VMs running in clients’ own on-premise datacentres. The timing was right to explore data protection options because several clients with multiple VMs were considering a move from their current backup strategies to a VM-based backup strategy. Everyone wanted all of the intelligence inherent in a data protection solution built specifically for virtualisation.
Fundaments had additional requirements. The solution had to be easy for clients to learn, deploy and use because some clients would use Veeam themselves in their on-premise datacentres. In this scenario, Fundaments would serve as a Veeam reseller and as a Veeam Cloud Provider. Clients would use Fundaments’ cloud infrastructure to store backups offsite, maintain replicas offsite and have a place to run VMs if they lost their own datacentres.
The solution also had to be agentless. That’s because clients set up and manage their own VMs in the Fundaments cloud, while Fundaments manages the underlying infrastructure (including data protection). Backup agents would have required Fundaments to coordinate agent installs and updates with clients, which would have increased overhead and been inconsistent with Fundaments’ approach to IaaS.
“Our goal was to provide cloud services that were ideal for the enterprise market, as well as for SMBs and hosting providers,” said Larik-Jan Verschuren, Chief Technical Officer at Fundaments. “The data protection solution had to be intuitive for customers and flexible for us because we anticipated backing up thousands of VMs.”
Fundaments partnered with Veeam Software and deployed Veeam Backup & Replication™ to protect its clients’ VMs in Fundaments’ cloud infrastructure, as well as in clients’ own datacentres:
- Fundaments backs up VMs that clients run in its cloud infrastructure. In addition to backing up or replicating VMs to Fundaments’ datacentres, clients have the option of backing up or replicating VMs to their own on-premise private clouds as well. “Some clients choose this option because having a copy of their hosted VMs in their own datacentres gives them peace of mind,” said Verschuren.
- Fundaments backs up VMs that clients run on-premise in their own private clouds. Clients can write backups and replicas to Fundaments’ cloud infrastructure using the built-in capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication.
“Veeam Backup & Replication met our requirements, beginning with agentless usability, which translates into low overhead,” Verschuren said. “We don’t have to worry about coordinating agent installations or upgrades with clients.
“Another requirement was ease-of-use. Veeam is self-explanatory; we don’t have to go onsite with clients during installation. We do a remote how-to session and walk them through an example of a backup plan, saving us time and money. Our clients like Veeam because it’s intuitive, and they like our cloud services because they’re not complicated, giving us a competitive edge over cloud providers that don’t simplify processes.”
Verschuren said several features in Veeam are helpful to Fundaments’ clients, such as fast recovery of Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint items, recovery from storage snapshots, and backup copy jobs. The latter is beneficial to clients who use Fundaments’ cloud infrastructure as a backup repository because they can set specific backup and retention policies to meet their individual requirements.
“It’s great having a single data protection solution for all cloud scenarios,” Verschuren said. “Another great thing for us is Veeam’s technical support. As we were setting up Fundaments, the support offered was invaluable. We hadn’t become a Veeam Cloud Provider yet and we hadn’t made a single purchase, but the support was solid from the start. That was a real eye-opener for us. It gave us a glimpse into what lay ahead.”
Integrated technology in hosting architecture delivers reliable, cost-effective
By combining Veeam Backup & Replication with VMware, Cisco UCS and HP StoreVirtual, Fundaments built a powerful architecture that delivers complete cloud solutions. Veeam is Cisco Compatible, VMware Ready and received the HP AllianceOne Partner of the Year Award for Converged Storage in 2013.
Agent-free, intuitive and easy-to-use data protection solution streamlines
operations for customers and for Fundaments
Veeam Backup & Replication is agent-free, which translates into low overhead for Fundaments. It’s also intuitive and easy to use. Most customers install Veeam without Fundaments going to the customer’s site. “All it takes is a short click-through lesson during a remote session, and Veeam is up and running,” Verschuren said.
Powerful recovery capabilities maximise return on customers’ investments in
From item recovery in Microsoft Exchange to backup copy jobs, Veeam offers features that simplify data protection for Fundaments’ clients. “Veeam helps us complete the cloud solution for our clients,” Verschuren said. “It’s not only about the infrastructure. Data protection is just as important.”