The Business Challenge
ŽSR is responsible for, among other things, building, managing, maintaining and
operating railway infrastructure, providing services related to the operation of
railway infrastructure and establishing and operating railways, telecommunications
and radio networks. ŽSR employs over 13,000 people and the total length of
national and regional routes operated or managed by ŽSR covers almost 3,600
Railway Telecommunications Bratislava is the largest organizational unit of ŽSR and
the quality of its services, including the continuous availability of key systems, has a
direct impact on the fulfilment of state policy for railway transport.
Railway Telecommunications’ central data centers, server farms, services,
businesses and other specialized workplaces are located all across Slovakia so that
they can quickly and efficiently satisfy the information and communication needs
of their most demanding customers. The company has also has an optical network
with connection to the peering centres of SIX, Sitel and foreign partners in the
surrounding states, including the Czech Republic.
ŽSR’s information architecture encompasses over 50 physical servers with
hundreds of virtual machines (VMs). All of this is divided into two data centers
in two different geographic locations. Railway Telecommunications provides
direct services within ŽSR to more than 8,000 client computers in total. Critical
applications include SAP, Oracle Database, MS SQL Server and MS Exchange.
“With virtualization technologies we can be flexible enough, but effective backup
and recovery are the foundations of success. Our primary storage was not fully
compatible with the original availability solution, and we have had a few problems
due to unforeseeable issues that have caused the loss of a few virtual machines
in the past. Given the other issues encountered with the previous solution, we
made the decision to use other technology. After carefully examining a wide
range of options, we chose Veeam Availability Suite”, explains Matěj Samel, who
is responsible for Microsoft and VMware systems at Railway Telecommunications
The Veeam Solution
When looking for a suitable solution for ŽSR, Railway Telecommunications tested
several technologies, but Veeam was deemed to be the best solution for meeting
the high demands at the level of service provided. The powerful interconnection
capabilities between Intel and Veeam technologies also played a key role. Veeam
Availability Suite, used in combination with HPE StoreOnce and six HPE 3PAR
8200 storage bases, fully covers VM data availability, which represents 99% of
all operating environments. In total, Veeam technology protects several hundred
virtual servers and dozens of TB of data in two geographically separate locations.
In addition, some backups are automatically tested and do not require manual
authentication by administrators.
The entire project was implemented by Railway Telecommunications itself in just
three to four months, with the consulting services of a Veeam-certified partner
available if needed.
In Railway Telecommunications, Veeam Availability Suite is primarily used in
combination with HPE products, HPE StoreOnce 50TB VSA and six HPE 3PAR 8200
storage bases, which play the role of local and offsite backup storage.
“HPE technology is as high-quality as Veeam technologies, and thanks to the strong
partnership of both companies in the field of extraordinary business availability,
we have the certainty of long-term investment protection and support for further
development”, Matěj Samel said.
“Previously, the backup of a single virtual machine took us an average of 20
minutes. Now we can manage it in just three minutes – that’s six times faster”, said
“Veeam technologies are the only ones able to meet the high demands of our
SLAs. It is also important that Veeam Availability Suite is compatible with all of our
existing applications and saving solutions. Veeam gives us the resources to easily
and efficiently backup and recover the hundreds of virtual servers that we have.
Thanks to this we save a lot of time and energy, which we can devote to improving
the services we provide. Veeam technologies unambiguously help us to provide
transport as one of the prerequisites for the smooth running of the state and the
everyday lives of citizens and companies”, said Matěj Samel.
- A comprehensive solution that supports key operation processes
Veeam Availability Suite has enabled Railway Telecommunications to build
a corporate architecture that fully meets demanding requirements provides
perpetual operation. Thanks to Veeam, the total investment and operating
expenses associated with backup and availability have been significantly reduced.
- Seamless integration and time savings
The new Veeam solutions work seamlessly with the other technologies used by
Railway Telecommunications and allow VMs to be restored in minutes. This is a
significant acceleration that has allowed the company to invest the time they’ve
saved into further improving the quality of the services provided by Railway
Telecommunications. Another undisputed benefit is the advanced deduplication
support and 80% storage space savings.
- Greater security in accordance with GDPR requirements
Veeam technologies are an important means of enhancing overall information
security, including the integrity and resilience of systems, and thus the fulfilment
of obligations related to the European Union’s general data protection regulation
(GDPR) and the Cyber Security Act.