GeoSpatial Company Implements a D2D2T Backup Strategy with NAKIVO

Applied Geosolutions, a Geospatial Information Systems company, implements a disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup strategy, while also improving backup performance by 15% with NAKIVO Backup & Replication.

Business Challenge

Applied Geosolutions (AGS) uses cutting-edge geospatial tools, as well as Earth system models, to answer the most pressing questions on agriculture, climate change, public health, and resource management. AGS creates customized tools, using biogeochemical modeling, remote sensing, and GIS mapping while collecting and synthesizing crucial information to help their clients make effective, informed decisions. AGS provides software services to global companies, governments, and NGOs.

Based in Newmarket, New Hampshire, Applied Geosolutions’ virtual infrastructure runs on VMware. Multiple VMware VMs run a combination of different workloads, including firewalls, DNS, LDAP, tape backup software, and specially developed space software. In the past, AGS experienced several power issues at their main location which risked the loss of data and processing time. To prevent such misfortunes, the organization decided on backing up all their data to tape, including the VM backup software itself. AGS requires VM backup software to protect their VM data with a disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) approach. In addition, AGS wants to recover VMs near-instantly, in case of a disaster.

“Some time ago, we were using different VM backup software. That product did not offer us a D2D2T data protection approach, and only allowed us to back up data to cloud. D2D2T was only possible if we invested in a hardware appliance. For us, backup to cloud was undesirable and did not align well with our already-established data protection strategy. As we have a huge amount of data, backup to cloud was just not practical. When I started doing some research, investigating other VM backup products on the market, my one and only requirement was the D2D2T backup strategy. Essentially, we wanted to store our backups on disk for fast recovery, while keeping a copy of the backups on tape for long-term storage,” says Jon Ramsay, Systems Administrator at Applied Geosolutions.

Solution

After AGS’s previous VM backup software was terminated, NAKIVO Backup & Replication was the first product tested by their IT team. NAKIVO Backup & Replication was ultimately selected due to the software’s ability to provide a D2D2T backup strategy. The product allows AGS to copy data to a backup repository on disk storage, then copy that data again to tape storage. As a result, AGS archives data that needs to be kept for a long time and achieves fast restores with daily backups on disk. Among the many deployment options, AGS decided to deploy NAKIVO Backup & Replication as a pre-configured VMware virtual appliance. “The installation process was great – there was a bit of a learning curve because the product was new to us, but nevertheless, everything went smoothly from start to finish. With the pre-configured virtual appliance, we ultimately eliminated the costs associated with installation, configuration, and maintenance. The incredibly user-friendly web interface, which is not cluttered with a thousand things, is also a time saver,” says Jon.

AGS now has two copies of their data: one on disk storage and another on tape. Not only did AGS finally manage to achieve their desired D2D2T backup strategy, but the organization also enjoys better backup performance. “As we have a combination of incredibly small files and incredibly large files, the entire backup process takes some time. The VM backups to the repository on disk storage complete in half an hour, give or take. Backups to the tape storage take a little bit longer, but that is understandable. Despite that, we still improved the backup performance by at least 15%,” says Jon.

“What I appreciate about NAKIVO Backup & Replication is the scheduling. I can run backup jobs on a daily or weekly basis, select different times for particular days, and even chain multiple jobs together. Moreover, I also appreciate the customization aspect, where I can detach and then reattach the backup repository on a schedule,” says Jon.

Finally, instant file recovery allows AGS to recover files near-instantly from their VMware VM backups. “Instant file recovery is pretty important for us because we have users that often ask us to perform a recovery of a single file. One day somebody is working with a file and the next, that file suddenly becomes corrupted; with instant file recovery, we can recover that particular file in literally minutes,” says Jon.

Results

NAKIVO Backup & Replication deployed as a pre-configured VMware virtual appliance provides AGS with a D2D2T data protection approach, customized scheduling of backup jobs, and instant file recovery. AGS is finally able to copy data to disk storage and then copy that data to tape for archival purposes. AGS can near-instantly recover individual files should they become corrupted or get lost. “Now that NAKIVO Backup & Replication is set up and automated, we are definitely saving time on backup administration every day. We’ve set up email notifications and weekly reports, but as the product has been great for us, we feel like we don’t even really need to look at the reports. With the previous VM backup software, we could not get to tape and back again like we can with NAKIVO Backup & Replication. As the requirement of our company was to implement a D2D2T backup strategy, NAKIVO Backup & Replication was the right solution – and it also helped us improve our backup performance,” says Jon.

About Applied Geosolutions

Formed in 2000, Applied Geosolutions (AGS) is a private, for-profit business that works with organizations, academic institutions, government agencies, industries, and private clients around the world. In the past five years, AGS has begun to focus their efforts on geospatial decisions support systems, environmental change, ecosystem services assessment, and the application of tools and web mapping. Moving forward, AGS plans to continue building their commercial products and provide consulting services in the use of geospatial technologies and applications. For more information, please visit www.appliedgeosolutions.com.