NAKIVO and Synology Increase VM Backup Performance by 2X for an Iowa School District

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Company Site: www.wsr.k12.ia.us

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District increases VM backup performance by 2X and improves reporting capabilities with NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS.

Business Challenge

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District is located in the communities of Waverly and Shell Rock, in the northeastern region of Iowa. The district consists of seven schools that range between elementary, middle, and high schools. The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District serves approximately 2178 students and employs 162 teachers.

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District virtualized their environment on Microsoft Hyper-V, and the district’s data center now handles 13 physical servers and 11 virtual hosts. Hyper-V VMs store the district’s critical data and IT systems, including domain controllers, print servers, file servers, imaging, wireless monitoring, and physical plan security. In particular, teacher’s files and student information, such as personal data, attendance records, grades, graduation records, must be protected at all times. Therefore, Hyper-V VMs should maintain the district’s availability of data and provide student and faculty access to that data at any given point in time. It is critical for the faculty and students to have access to the information 24/7.

“In the past, we had two servers that were replicating data to each other. Sometimes one server could get out of sync or simply fail to sync properly, thus constant monitoring was required to check whether the data was actually replicating successfully. This process was outdated and could not guarantee us 24/7 availability of our systems. At the same time, we also used a backup solution specifically designed for Microsoft, however, our pain was the expensive licensing costs. Not so long ago, we decided to move some data over to the Synology NAS server, while at the same time, we thought to look at VM backup solutions that were compatible with our Synology NAS server. NAKIVO Backup & Replication offered ease-of-use, lower licensing costs, and integration with our Synology NAS – a perfect combination for us,” says Matt Nelson, Technical Coordinator at the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District.

Solution

NAKIVO Backup & Replication is an enhanced data protection solution that offers a vast range of features for protecting Hyper-V environments, as well as supports Synology NAS devices. Matt investigated VM backup solutions via both Google and a Synology App Center, as well as reviewed multiple online reviews about NAKIVO Backup & Replication. Within a week of testing, the product was purchased to protect the district’s virtual environment.

“I can describe my first experience with installing NAKIVO Backup & Replication on our Synology NAS server in three words: easy, fast, and straightforward. However, NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a new piece of software for me, thus I had multiple rookie questions, and a natural learning curve. I have contacted support several times via email and all my questions were answered in a timely manner,” explains Matt. In addition, Matt appreciates the integration of NAKIVO Backup & Replication and Synology NAS servers not only because of faster installation times, but also because all VM data protection components are combined in a single system that is essentially significantly easy to manage. “The two products are matched perfectly together,” adds Matt.

Not only does NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on a Synology NAS provides faster installation and configuration, the product also offers faster VM backups, as one of the primary needs of the district is to have fast and reliable backups. “After we switched to NAKIVO Backup & Replication, the speed of our backups improved by at least 2X. We scheduled backup jobs during the night time, and the average forever-incremental backup job usually finished in under an hour. Therefore, for us, the VM backup performance is much faster than before,” reports Matt.

Due to the Hyper-V’s native Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) technology, the district can transfer changed data blocks to the backup repository, and thus can increase VM backup speed and eliminate the need to run full backups., Up to 1,000 recovery points can be saved for each Hyper-V backup and rotated on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. “Hyper-V RCT technology is great for doing only forever-incremental backups and this functionality helps us save time. As for the recovery points, we always save the seven most recent recovery points, thus for each day we have seven days’ worth of data,” says Matt.

Finally, with the previous backup solution, Matt did not have any reporting and notifications capabilities built into the product, thus he had to spend additional time to manage the system. Now, with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, Matt has automatic reports and email notifications, thus he managed to save his own personal time that was previously spent on managing the backup system. “The one thing that I always missed was the email notifications that I now receive every night after our backup jobs finish. NAKIVO Backup & Replication can also send email notifications in case an error occurs in the product, thus I will be immediately notified about the problem and can fix the issue in a timely manner. I definitely appreciate the reports as well, as all the information about our backup jobs can be generated into one pdf file,” explains Matt.

Results

NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS provides the Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District with a more modern way to protect their data and systems. The product has reduced deployment time, minimized complexity, and improved VM backup speed for the district. Now, forever-incremental VM backups jobs can be completed in under an hour, which is at least 2X faster than before. Moreover, with reporting capabilities, such as automatic reports and email notifications, Matt managed to reduce backup administration time. “NAKIVO Backup & Replication runs on our Synology NAS box, provides great functionality, improves VM backup speed, and provides great reports. Also, the fact that licensing cost for NAKIVO Backup & Replication and the cost of the Synology box were lower than the licensing cost of our previous installation is huge deal for us,” says Matt.

About Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District

The Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools are nestled within the communities of Waverly and Shell Rock, in the northeastern Iowa. Seven schools make up the district: Margaretta Carey Elementary, Shell Rock Elementary, Southeast Elementary, West Cedar Elementary, WSR Middle School, WSR High School, Greenview Alternative High School, and WSR Residential/Lied Center. The Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District strives to create a passion for learning that will sustain students for a lifetime. For more information, please visit www.wsr.k12.ia.us.