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Veeam Takes the Stage in Physical to Virtual Transformation

With Veeam, we have peace of mind. You just set it and forget it.
John Chase
Group IT Manager
Pinewood Studios Group

The Business Challenge

Ten years ago, IT was not an integral part of daily business at The Pinewood Studios Group. However, with the advent of virtualisation, IT became a vital supporting role for the company’s core business of providing production facilities for the TV and film industry.

When the IT team decided to make the move from physical servers to virtual machines (VMs), it reached out to Codestone, a leading provider of IT solutions in the United Kingdom. Codestone migrated the company’s applications and data from 14 physical servers to three VMware vSphere hosts running 30 Windows VMs. Ninety percent of the IT infrastructure is now virtualised and applications include software that organizes studio bookings and email that connects 250 employees worldwide.

“Our goal was to create a virtualised environment that incorporates a strategy of high availability and disaster recovery (DR),” said John Chase, Group IT Manager at The Pinewood Studios Group. “When it was time to choose a backup solution, we knew we needed something built for virtualisation. We had three requirements: easy to use, low maintenance and the ability to replicate. Codestone recommended Veeam, and it turned out to be the perfect fit.”

The Veeam Solution

The Pinewood Studios Group deployed Veeam Essentials—a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution for data protection and virtualisation management in VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Veeam Essentials bundles Veeam Backup & Replication for fast and reliable backup and recovery of VMs and Veeam ONE for real-time monitoring and alerting, capacity planning, documentation and management reporting. Veeam Essentials can be purchased in two-socket bundles for environments with two, four or six sockets.

“Veeam Backup & Replication works brilliantly,” Chase said. “We backup our VMs in onethird the time it took to backup our physical servers, and we’re able to recover items like Microsoft Exchange mailboxes so much quicker than before.”

Shortly after Veeam was deployed, the company’s chief executive officer asked the IT team to restore his mailbox. Chase used a Veeam capability called U-AIR (Universal Application- Item Recovery) to recover the mailbox in a very short time. U-AIR lets IT administrators restore individual objects from any virtualised application in minutes without agents, additional backups or software tools.

Another way the team can restore mailboxes (and emails, notes and contacts) is with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which provides instant visibility into Exchange backups for easy item recovery.

“Before Veeam, restoring an Exchange mailbox could take the whole day,” Chase said.

“Now it takes minutes. Veeam is a huge timesaver for us.” When the IT team backed up its physical servers to tape, a team member from each of the company’s three datacentres spent approximately five hours each week overseeing the backup-to-tape process, as well as retrieving and reviewing tapes when an item needed to be recovered.

“We’re saving at least 15 hours each week with Veeam because of fast backup and recovery,” Chase said. “And, I don’t wonder if backups actually work like I did before we virtualised. With Veeam, we have peace of mind. You just set it and forget it.” SureBackup is the reason Chase and his colleagues have peace of mind—it lets them verify the recoverability of every backup. Veeam automatically tests backups by running them in an isolated Virtual Lab that Veeam sets up and manages.

Now that the IT team has mastered Veeam Backup & Replication, it will begin to use the second component of Veeam Essentials. Veeam ONE integrates with Veeam Backup & Replication to deliver advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for backup. Veeam ONE has additional capabilities to help IT professionals ensure the performance and availability of the entire virtual environment, such as resource monitoring and more than 200 pre-built alarms with thresholds based on best practices and years of experience.

The Results

Backup and recovery are fast and reliable
Companies like The Pinewood Studios Group that move from a physical environment to a virtual one need modern data protection that is built for virtualisation. Veeam Essentials is a powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solution that helps organisations realize the full potential of their investments in virtualisation. It provides 2-in-1: backup and replication, fast and easy-to-use recovery, and 24x7 real-time monitoring and reporting.

Verified recoverability of backups provides peace of mind
Chase said the biggest benefit to using Veeam Backup & Replication is peace of mind. “With Veeam, I know our backups are working, and I know they can provide the applications and data we need in case of emergency,” he said. “We have stage facilities all over the world, and it’s important our users have what they need, when they need it.”

Monitoring and reporting make virtualisation management easier
The IT team is learning how Veeam ONE delivers the performance and availability management capabilities that matter to IT administrations, such as real-time monitoring, documentation and management reporting, capacity planning and business categorization.


The Pinewood Studios Group is a multinational studio company headquartered in Iver Heath, England. More than 1,500 production companies have used the facilities and services provided by The Pinewood Studios Group to produce TV shows and films such as Skyfall, Snow White and the Huntsman, Anna Karenina and Dark Shadows.


A new VMware vSphere environment needed a backup solution built for virtualisation


  • Backup and recovery are fast and reliable
  • Verified recoverability of backups provides peace of mind
  • Monitoring and reporting make virtualisation management easier