Architecture Firm Protects Data with NAKIVO
Loeliger Strub is an architecture firm based in Zurich, Switzerland. The company occupies two floors of a single building. The floors are connected via Ethernet to form a single network. Two virtual machines are hosted on one VMware ESXi host. One VM acts as the email and groupware server, storing current and historical messages as well as company and employee shared calendars. Another VM hosts the telephone PBX and internal chat system.
Keeping business records and email history is central to the company. Apart from blueprints, almost all information about current and past projects as well as proceedings depends on having quick access to email messages. Working without email and telephone is practically impossible in today’s environment. Any loss of access to the company’s project history, which relies on a large proportion of archived emails, can lead to confusion and delays in daily operations.
Over the last two years, Zufall Health used two different VM backup solutions, and neither product met the organization’s expectations. “Our first VM backup solution corrupted our VMs on a regular basis, and when we tried to recover them from the VM backups, we were often unsuccessful. Thus, we had to rebuild VMs manually, which was an extremely time-consuming process. Our second VM backup software worked better but still was not an ideal solution. With this product, VM recovery time was usually 20 minutes, but definitely not near-instant. In addition, we wanted to copy our VM backups to the cloud, but the solution did not support such functionality. We started investigating other VM backup solutions. We ultimately wanted a perfect combination of ease of use, pricing, and functionality. Functionality was at the top of the priority list, as we wanted to decrease VM recovery time, replicate VMs offsite, and have the option to back up VMs to cloud,” says Alex Martinez, Network Administrator at Zufall Health.
Not so long ago, business records and email history were externally hosted and downloaded via POP to workstations. Email backup was performed indirectly by backing up workstations. However, once the company virtualized their environment on VMware, there was a need for a modern backup solution. The most important criteria for selecting a solution was ease of use as well as implementation, pricing, and support. Although backup of the email server is important to the company, being able to restore an entire VM offers an additional layer of security in case of hardware failure.
After centralizing the company’s email storage, a good and reliable VM backup solution was needed to protect the data against various data loss scenarios. According to Peter Schneider, IT Support Manager, knowing NAKIVO Backup & Replication from other installations at different companies, quickly lead to the decision that the product would be the perfect fit for Loeliger Strub. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is currently installed on a Synology NAS at Loeliger Strub. “Having the software nicely packaged and visible in the Synology ‘app’ overview gives a sense of integration, which I somewhat associate with reliability. I have the impression that the software is ‘made for’ this situation, and that there is communication between the NAS manufacturer and NAKIVO,” says Peter. “The web interface is logical for setting up the backup jobs. For me, it is easy to perform tasks within the product, thus it means one less software package to update and maintain on my workstation.”
“The initial backup of the email server took a couple of hours, due to the size of the email server. The PBX VM is much smaller and only takes a few minutes to back up. Full VM backups are performed once a day. Having VM backups means that in the event of a server or hardware failure, another server could be used as a temporary host,” says Peter.
The experience with NAKIVO’s support has always been excellent for Peter. “Less urgent problems were handled via email with only a few exchanges, while with pressing technical problems, which were impossible to handle via email, a team of engineers was always available via telephone. I am impressed by the quality of support I always receive,” says Peter.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is installed at Loeliger Strub’s location in order to prevent problems that can arise from a situation without a backup strategy. “In all honesty, a VM backup solution is way better than having none or an inconsistent solution. NAKIVO Backup & Replication was chosen because management was easy to convince to invest a minimal amount in order to achieve maximal benefits,” says Peter.
“NAKIVO Backup & Replication basically replaced a ‘zero’ solution at Loeliger Strub, so I of course needed to invest time into the new solution, and I never regretted this decision. The situation here is a bit special because there was no real solution in the past. Peace of mind is a priceless achievement, and it helps that the cost of implementing NAKIVO Backup & Replication is not excessively high as to prevent the firm from having a backup solution,” says Peter.
About Loeliger Strub
Loeliger Strub is an architecture firm based in Zurich, Switzerland. The firm is renowned for its highly acclaimed architectural projects, especially in the area of residential buildings. Since 2000, the company has received multiple awards for their projects, including the 2020 Golderner Hase prize, recently awarded by the leading Swiss architectural magazine Hochparterre. For more information, visit www.loeligerstrub.ch.