NAKIVO Helps Switchfly Save 50% on VMware VM Backup Costs

Company Profile

Switchfly, Inc. is a global technology company that powers travel shopping and loyalty redemption solutions for some of the world's most recognizable brands across airlines, hotels, financial services and e-commerce. World-class products delivered via a flexible software-as-a-service platform let clients easily launch and maintain a complete omnichannel travel shopping and loyalty point redemption experience superior to any online travel agency. Tailored to their client needs while maintaining a full brand match, Switchfly solutions drive customer engagement, enhance brand loyalty, and increase profit.

Founded in 2003 and headquartered in San Francisco, the company generates more than $1.25 billion USD in revenue for its clients annually and facilitates the redemption of more than 35 billion reward points and miles annually. The company's global client roster includes American Airlines, Emirates, JetBlue, LAN Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, and TAM Airlines; American Express Loyalty Edge, IAG Avios, Lufthansa Miles & More, and United MileagePlus; InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott and Starwood Hotels; Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline; American Express, Groupon and PayPal. For more information, please visit www.switchfly.com.

Business Challenge

Across all environments, Switchfly runs 30 ESXi hosts with 300 VMware VMs with various operating systems. The majority of the VMs facilitate inventory requests for travel destinations, hotels, car rentals, etc. and information pertaining to customer bookings of those items. "We strive for the best possible uptime for our VMware virtual machines to keep commerce flowing for our clients," says Eric Prescott, Senior Systems Administrator at Switchfly. "If we are down, and not able to recover quickly, our customers would suffer revenue loss during that time."

Switchfly has used several data protection solutions in the past. "First, we would manually download virtual machine files from VMware and used those to archive important virtual machines," says Eric. "While looking for a more automated and effective solution, we tried VMware vSphere Data Protection and also a third-party VM backup product."

Manual downloading of .vmdk files was incredibly cumbersome and inefficient. VMware vSphere Data Protection seemed to be a fair solution, especially for a free product, but its shortcomings were soon clear. "Backups were slow and we had multiple instances across multiple rebuilds of VDP where it would become corrupt and all previous backups would be lost. The third-party solution was the most full featured, but the price point was too high," says Eric.

Solution

Eric has started evaluating available VM backup solutions and came across NAKIVO Backup & Replication. The product has performed great in production for over a year now, meeting the company's data protection and recovery needs. "NAKIVO Backup & Replication has offered us reliability, speed, and flexibility for a fraction of the cost of other paid solutions," says Eric.

To reduce storage requirements for VM backups, NAKVIO Backup & Replication uses global data deduplication and compression. The product saves only unique data blocks to the backup repository and compresses them to further reduce data size. "On a product to product basis, we are noticing much better results with NAKIVO compression and deduplication," says Eric. "We are able to have a deeper retention policy and have more backups with the same amount of storage by using NAKIVO over our previous VM backup solution."

Eric also appreciates NAKIVO's ability to protect entire VMware containers. "While it may seem small, I really treasure the feature that allows us to back up an entire cluster rather than adding individual VMs to a backup job," he says. "This eliminates the human factor of having to remember to add newly created VMs to the product. It is easy to imagine a scenario where we need to restore a machine from backup, log in to initiate the restore, only to notice that we never added that machine. At that point, we are just losing out on time and resources."

Results

"NAKIVO ensures that when we have a need to restore a VM, that we have reliable and worry free backups waiting for us, and offer more point in time options than previous solutions that we have used," says Eric. "Flexibility is key when making sure that the business-critical data is safe and NAKIVO delivers the flexibility that we need while saving us 50% on our VMware VM backup costs." By choosing NAKIVO over their previous VM backup solution Switchfly had more than a 50% savings based on a core to core licensing comparison.

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