NAKIVO VM Backup Appliance Based on Synology NAS Provides 10:1 Backup Size Reduction for Swiss Middle School
Established in 1875, the Kantonsschule Hohe Promenade (KSHP) is a middle school in Zurich, Switzerland. There are over 700 students and 120 teachers at the school. While the school focuses on ancient and modern languages, the course of study also provides in-depth training on mathematics, natural sciences, as well as education on arts and sports.
KSHP's IT infrastructure consists of one site. "In total we have approximately 40 servers: 20 physical servers and 20 ESXi hosts. VMware VMs mainly store web servers. Previously, we had only one web server that ran our website and we had all these dependencies that did not tie well together, so we decided to have a separate virtual machine for each task. VMware VMs are essential because if a disaster strikes, the whole gymnasium administration might not be accessible," says Kurt H., ICT Administrator at KSHP.
The gymnasium has used a file-based backup solution previously, and while the solution was excellent for the physical servers, it was mediocre for the virtual machines. "I have tried several approaches to back up our virtual machines. Firstly, I tried to save backups with a file-based backup solution, but the storage space increased dramatically because the backup size grew too fast, so this approach did not work. Next, I tried a script-based solution, but it was not reliable and I could perform only one backup at a time, so I decided to look for another solution. I wanted to find a product that would significantly reduce the size of the backups and, ideally, allow me to use our Synology NAS," says Kurt.
Kurt came across NAKIVO Backup & Replication online. In comparison to another solution that was up for consideration, NAKIVO Backup & Replication won with its flexible deployment options. "One backup solution required installing a Windows server infrastructure in order to operate, but our environment is a mix of Linux and Mac, so we did not want to use Windows just to be able to perform backup. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, there is quite a large choice of deployment options, and Synology NAS being the best one. I was actually surprised that the product can be installed on my NAS, turning it into a VM backup appliance." The Synology NAS installation option allowed Kurt to use the available Synology NAS hardware, without incurring additional expenses or taking away resources from the virtual infrastructure. "The installation was quite easy and the product's web interface is slick and clean. I was able to make use of the available hardware at the gymnasium, and also gained an all-in-one backup software, hardware, deduplication, compression and backups in one box," says Kurt.
Compared to the previous data protection approaches, NAKIVO Backup & Replication demonstrated higher backup speed and great storage space savings. "We use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to perform backups every day and it usually takes around an hour to back up two clusters with three servers each. That helps me tremendously because I am able to perform backup within an hour at night and I will not experience any complaints from other colleagues the next day. As for the data deduplication, I saw huge space savings. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, I need less than 10% of the space to store my backups. Data deduplication works globally across the storage, so all backup data is taken into account. Lastly, I tested instant VM recovery and this feature is lightning fast, so I am confident that I will be able to recover our environment without much hardship. In the future, I believe that the backup copy feature could become an important addition for KSHP, with its ability to maintain backup copies onsite, offsite, and in the cloud," says Kurt.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS provides KSHP with faster VM backup and with 10:1 storage space savings due to global data deduplication and compression. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, there is an additional level of data protection because automatic emails provide information on whether backup jobs have finished successfully. "Past backup solutions did not provide automatic emails, so I had to manually check the storage to see if everything was there or not. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is fast and requires little storage space. I am quite happy with NAKIVO Backup & Replication because everything is working so well," says Kurt.
The Kantonsschule Hohe Promenade (KSHP) is one of the 20 middle schools in Zurich, Switzerland. It admits students from sixth grade of the primary school and leads them to maturity. The curriculum includes the focus on ancient and modern languages, as well as in-depth math and science training, social sciences, and education in arts and sports. The goal of teachers is to promote educational progress of young children, improve, and evaluate their performance, as well as promote talented students. With its educational work, the gymnasium contributes to the development of students to become self-reliant and responsible. For more information, visit www.kshp.ch.