NAKIVO Backup & Replication on NAS Improves VM Backup Speed by 10X for a Municipality

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Company Site: www.kentville.ca

The Town of Kentville, Nova Scotia, is using NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS to back up their VMware VMs 10X faster and near-instantly recover files and Microsoft Exchange objects.

Business Challenge

Kentville is a town in Kings County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Kentville is centrally located in the beautiful Annapolis Valley along the scenic Evangeline Trail roadway. It is known as a recreational destination and the home of the Apple Blossom Festival, one of Atlantic Canada’s largest and longest-running festivals. The town has experienced steady residential growth over time, both in population and in development of land. Kentville is also home to numerous professional services including lawyers, doctors, investment firms, and banks.

Kentville’s IT infrastructure consists of two sites that serve approximately 60 to 70 users. Several ESXi hosts hold VMware VMs at their main site in the Town Hall. The VMs store the town’s financial system (billing and accounts receivable), Microsoft SQL servers, Microsoft Exchange servers, a domain controller, a file server, and a small web server. If any type of disaster occurs that could shut down the town’s IT infrastructure, they would essentially be unable to deliver public services to citizens and visitors in a timely manner. The citizens would not be able to make payments, while billing services could be frozen, and the town’s website could be affected, too. In addition, email is crucial to the town’s operations, as there are public works crews that deal with emergency situations and need access to certain parts of GIS system, especially in the winter time, so the town’s Microsoft Exchange servers must be online 24/7.

“Originally, we were using a different backup product that came up with virtual machine data protection only a year ago, so naturally, I experienced several issues with that product. The bottom line was that it was cumbersome and expensive. Moreover, I experienced some support issues. On top of that, the backup speed was slow and it never really attained the level of performance I was hoping for. Therefore, as the government budget for municipalities is very strict, I wanted to find a VM backup solution that would be fast, stable, user-friendly, and affordable. In addition, I really wanted to take advantage of the hardware that we had already in place – our Synology NAS units,” says Jason Bethune, IT Manager for the Town of Kentville.

Solution

Jason’s colleague had recommended that he evaluate NAKIVO Backup & Replication due to the product’s ability to integrate with Synology NAS units, as well as the abundance of positive reviews for the product on Spiceworks. After a period of testing, NAKIVO Backup & Replication was purchased and installed directly onto the Town’s Synology NAS units. “In all my 17 years of IT experience, the installation of the NAS package was the easiest that I have ever encountered. Even though I consulted the instructions in the technical documentation, I was amazed at how quickly I was able to configure the product, apply the license, and start running backup jobs,” says Jason.

“The advantage of integrating NAKIVO Backup & Replication and Synology NAS servers is that everything is contained in one device – backup software, backup storage, and backup hardware – so we are not consuming the resources of our virtualized environment. Another benefit is the licensing model that NAKIVO offers. While I purchased one license, I was able to run the software on both our main Synology NAS server onsite and our offsite server, without the need to double on the licenses. The other VM backup products require you to purchase separate licenses for such cases, but NAKIVO is a definite winner in my mind with this policy,” says Jason.

At the town of Kentville, a total of approximately 13 forever-incremental backups are scheduled every day, about an hour apart. “When I first tested VM backup, I immediately noticed that backups were at least ten times faster compared to our previous backup product. The speeds were improved not only for the forever-incremental backup processes – the initial full backup was also significantly faster,” says Jason. With backup copy, the town of Kentville keeps backup copies offsite for an extra level of protection. “After a backup increment finishes, I then run a backup copy job to our offsite Synology NAS server. I enjoy the email verifications that I receive right after the completion of the onsite backup jobs and the offsite backup copy jobs,” says Jason.

Because Microsoft Exchange and the file server are crucial to the town of Kentville’s successful daily operations, instant granular recovery is an imperative feature for them to have. “Once in a blue moon, someone will delete a file or an email, something they do not want to delete, and then they contact me to help them get it back. Instant file recovery and instant object recovery are great features to have for these cases. I usually test file recovery once every couple of weeks to make sure everything is working properly. Again, compared to the previous backup product, with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, I can recover individual files, folders, and emails much faster. The product just spins the vmdk disks and parses the file structure right away,” says Jason.

Results

NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS provides the town of Kentville with fast VM backup and instant granular recovery. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, the town can now back up their VMware VMs 10X faster than with their previous backup software. Furthermore, NAKIVO Backup & Replication also allows the town to keep backup copies offsite and near-instantly recover files, folders, and emails. “NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows us to utilize our current infrastructure and achieve fast and stable VM backups, all with ease of use and lower pricing. The product also helped me minimize stress with email notifications and automated reporting. While I am getting notifications of successful backup jobs completions, I am happy, and can move to other IT projects,” says Jason.

About Town of Kentville

Kentville is the shire town of Kings County, Nova Scotia. It is one of the most beautiful and richest agricultural districts in North America, in the heart of Nova Scotia’s great apple industry. It is located on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, 107 kilometers from Halifax, 230 kilometers from Yarmouth and 193 kilometers from Saint John, New Brunswick by boat. Kentville has the highest year-round population of any residential center in the Annapolis Valley. The population has been steadily increasing over the years, and recent projections are that future development of the town will see greater increases than ever before. As the largest town in the Valley, Kentville serves as the professional center for legal, financial, and medical services. A large array of businesses, unique shops, and eateries offer quality of life to its growing residential population. For more information, please visit www.kentville.ca.