Catalyst2 Services Ltd hosts tens of thousands of sites for clients, from small personal sites to some of the UK’s largest companies. The Catalyst2 network was built to be redundant from the ground up and is located in Telehouse Europe—one of London’s premier data centers.
Catalyst2 prides itself on the premier hosting services it provides to clients, in particular to small and medium-sized businesses. That’s one reason why the company virtualized 100 percent of its shared hosted services. Not only has virtualization improved the efficiency and availability of clients’ resources, but it has also reduced Catalyst2’s capital costs by increasing energy efficiency and requiring less hardware.
The IT environment includes a mixture of Dell PowerEdge servers (R610s, R710s, R200s, and 1950s) running Windows and Linux operating systems. Currently, they host roughly 50 virtual servers.
Catalyst2 worked with S3 Consulting Services during the virtualization process because S3 specializes in virtual solutions. When it was time to implement a VMware backup product, Paul Redpath, the company’s Technical Director, contacted Robert Galt, S3’s Chief Technical Officer, once again. Paul asked him to recommend a backup solution that supports VMware vSphere 4 and is easy to use and manage.
S3 Consulting recommended Catalyst2 implement Veeam Backup & Replication for those very reasons: it supports VMware vSphere 4 and is so easy to deploy and manage. “We use it ourselves at S3 and know how simple it is to install and configure,” Robert explained. “Therefore, we’re confident our clients will be able to back up and restore with minimal training and configuration.”
Paul said Robert was spot on. “Veeam Backup & Replication does exactly what it promises to do. Other programs we tested required helper VMs, but we prefer to keep the environment neat and clean. It only took us 10 minutes to install Veeam Backup, while it took up to 90 minutes to install and configure other products.”
Paul said a big plus for Veeam Backup & Replication is its support of VMware vSphere 4. “When we upgraded to vSphere 4, we experienced a seamless transition with Veeam Backup,” he explained. (Veeam was the first to offer generally available support for the backup and recovery of VMware VSphere 4.)
Paul and his colleagues also appreciate how easy it is to manage Veeam Backup & Replication. That is due in part because they use another Veeam product for file management. Veeam FastSCP is a free ESX file management utility that can copy files more than six times faster than other file management tools. Veeam Backup & Replication and FastSCP share the same interface, which means Catalyst2 only deals with one management console.
“We don’t have to log into separate VMs like you do with other products,” he said. “Running just one application provides simplicity, but Veeam also offers a plethora of management options, such as built-in e-mail reporting. That means we can set up backups and forget about them.”
Veeam Backup & Replication is also cost-effective for Catalyst2. For example, Paul and his colleagues are experiencing 30 to 40 percent data compression during backup. This compression, coupled with Veeam’s de-duplication, reduces their storage costs. When Veeam performs backups of multiple virtual machines for Catalyst2, it de-duplicates similar blocks inside the backup file. This provides an exceptional result when backing up multiple virtual machines created from a single template because the template is only stored once, which reduces disk space requirements.
“We’re getting more for our money as we grow our virtual infrastructure,” Paul concluded.
Supports VMware vSphere 4 seamlessly - Veeam was the first to offer generally available support for the backup and recovery of VMware VSphere 4. Therefore, when Catalyst2 upgraded to vSphere 4, the IT team experienced a seamless transition with Veeam Backup & Replication.
Installs nearly 90 percent faster than other backup programs - Catalyst2 tested several backup solutions for its VMware environment, but Veeam Backup & Replication was definitely the quickest to install. It took the IT team only 10 minutes to install Veeam, while it took up to 90 minutes to install other backup products.
Reduces storage costs - Catalyst2 is experiencing 30 to 40 percent compression during the backup process. This compression, coupled with Veeam’s de-duplication, reduces their storage costs.