The Business Challenge
While guests enjoy downtime on Viking Line cruises, the IT staff focuses on
uptime. Several critical systems must be available 24x7x365 such as point-of-sale,
reservations, email and the website.
Availability became an issue when the legacy backup tool produced one failed
backup after another. Another problem was backup and recovery speed. The legacy
tool required agents in each virtual machine (VM) to be backed up and recovered,
which slowed down both processes. Slow backup prevented Viking Line from
backing up all VMs within its backup window, so the IT staff had to alternate VMs for
backup, resulting in few recovery points. The IT staff struggled to meet recovery time
and point objectives (RTPO™).
The legacy backup tool also failed to communicate with the management layer of
VMware vSphere, leading to VMware snapshots being left behind after the backup
job completed. The IT staff certainly didn’t want a VMware snapshot file to grow so
large that it filled a logical unit number (LUN).
Viking Line contacted ITaito, an IT infrastructure and service provider, for help.
Niklas Boström, owner of ITaito, said he knew exactly what availability solution to
recommend to Viking Line—Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“Viking Line had three requirements,” Boström said. “Reliability, efficiency and native
tape support. Veeam meets each of those needs and offers so much more.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup and Replication provides Viking Line with the uptime and availability
required by a 24x7x365 business. With Veeam, Viking Line meets RTPO through fast
recovery time and frequent backup that provides multiple recovery points.
One of the IT staff’s favorite Veeam features is Instant VM Recovery® because it lets
backup engineers restart a failed VM from a regular backup in minutes. Instant VM
Recovery saved the day for Viking Line when a backup engineer discovered corrupt
files on a Linux VM. He restored the VM in fewer than 10 minutes.
“This was one of the VMs that didn’t get backed up weekly with the legacy tool
because it wasn’t as critical as other VMs,” said Anders Johansson, Manager of Server
and Internal Systems at Viking Line. “If we had tried to recover the VM with the legacy
tool—prior to Veeam—recovery would have been a very long process, and we
would have had few recovery points to choose from. We’re fortunate this situation
happened after Veeam had been deployed. Backup is faster with Veeam, so we back
up more VMs more often, giving us more recovery points.”
Viking Line also uses Veeam to migrate VMs among production storage in case
vMotion isn´t available, such as when new hardware is being installed on a ship.
Before Veeam, migrating VMs resulted in hours of downtime. Now downtime is only
as long as one or two reboots.
“We just right-click a running VM and choose ‘Quick Migration’—it’s that easy,”
Johansson said. “That’s another thing we like about Veeam. Even if you’re not a
backup expert, Veeam is so easy to learn and use.”
Another recovery feature that Viking Line uses is Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft
Exchange. It provides instant visibility into Exchange backups so the IT staff can
quickly recover individual items such as emails.
“Every time you restore a lost object with Veeam it saves your day,” Johansson said.
Viking Line relies on one more Veeam feature. Native tape support lets the IT staff
copy Windows files and VM backups to tape automatically, making long-term
In the future, IT staff members plan to use two additional Veeam features. With
SureBackup®, they can verify the recoverability of backups in an isolated environment
called a Virtual Lab. With On-Demand Sandbox™, they can test software updates
in the Virtual Lab, troubleshoot issues and train colleagues with no impact on
Fast, dependable backup enables more VMs to be backed up more often
Before Veeam Backup & Replication was deployed at Viking Line, backup was
slow and prone to failure. Backup with Veeam is so fast that more VMs are
backed up more often, which produces multiple recovery points. Backup with
Veeam is so dependable that the IT staff no longer spends 15 to 30 minutes each
day troubleshooting failed backups, saving more than 60 hours each year.
Reliable recovery features restore whole VM, files and items
Using Instant VM Recovery, Viking Line restores a VM in minutes by starting
the VM from a compressed and deduplicated backup file. Veeam Explorer for
Microsoft Exchange provides fast granular recovery. Both features minimise
disruption to users and downtime in production.
Copying backups to tape supports long-term retention policy
When Viking Line compared Veeam Backup & Replication to two other backup
tools, two things were clear: Veeam was easier to use and was the only
availability solution to offer native tape support. Veeam helps the IT staff meet
compliance requirements and archiving policies.