NAKIVO Saves One Day on VM Recovery for an IT Company

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Company Site: www.vsnsystemen.nl

VSN Systems BV, an IT company located in the Netherlands, is using NAKIVO Backup & Replication to back up VMs reliably and efficiently and recover VMs near-instantly with Flash VM Boot.

Business Challenge

VSN (Voice Systems Netherlands) Systems BV is an IT company responsible for the network, application, and systems management of a large worldwide telecommunications network. Through a pragmatic approach and with over 25 years of experience, VSN aims to meet the high standards set by their customers. VSN closely monitors changes on the market so that they can provide their clients with state-of-the-art products and services.

VSN’s IT infrastructure consists of two sites: one office location and one datacenter. The office location, in Venray, counts around 180 servers, many of which run Microsoft Hyper-V. The datacenter hosts a much larger number of servers, with nearly 900 VMs running on VMware. One third of VSN’s VMs are Linux-based, and the remaining two thirds run different versions of Windows Server. Many of the VMs run custom-built applications that set up, manage, and transport VoIP calls for telecommunications providers. Others run network configuration, server monitoring, and other tools.

VSN has many VMs that it would be exceedingly complicated and time-intensive to rebuild from scratch, if they were to become corrupt. If some particular business-critical VMs were to become unavailable, it might result in VSN’s customers being unable to call or deposit new balance on their VoIP accounts. That is why those VMs must be backed up on a daily basis, and it needs to be possible to recover them quickly and easily in case of any failures. Some of the company’s virtual servers could take several days to recover with legacy methods, depending on their type and configuration, so in order to avoid such delays, a VM backup solution is required.

“In the past, we relied on VMware’s backup solution for data protection. The VM backup solution was unstable and had several disadvantages. Sometimes, the product caused snapshot locks on the file system, especially after a storage failover. In addition, the product would often stop processing the entire backup job as soon as a single VM backup failed, which would result in the rest of the VMs not being backed up either. When VMware announced that they would be discontinuing this product, we finally started looking into other VM backup solutions. Our criteria were pretty straight-forward: full VM and forever-incremental backup, fast and easy VM recovery, and ease of use, so that someone with little to no technical experience would be able to use the software,” says Ray Zorg, Data Center Specialist at VSN Systems BV.

Solution

After trying and testing multiple VM backup solutions available on the market, VSN decided to go with NAKIVO Backup & Replication due to the product’s ease of use and pricing model. While other IT vendors impose a maximum limit of sockets, forcing customers into more expensive product versions, NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s PRO Edition has no such restrictions. Moreover, even during the testing stage, NAKIVO’s timely and professional support stood out from the competition for VSN. VSN tested installation on Windows and Linux, and both options were easy enough to complete for users with minimal technical knowledge. The product’s web interface was also the most user-friendly, in comparison to the other VM backup solutions.

So far, NAKIVO Backup & Replication has been vastly outperforming VSN’s previous solution in terms of VM backup performance and retention policy. “It takes us approximately 3 hours to run and complete all the configured VM backup jobs. We have eight backup jobs in total that run every night, and each has a retention of one recovery point per day for the last six days, and one recovery point per week for the two weeks preceding that. This retention policy helps us tremendously, as our VM configuration changes quite frequently, so a maximum of two weeks for retention is sufficient for us,” says Ray.

“As I mentioned previously, our past solution would stop processing all other backup jobs as soon as a single VM backup job failed, but with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, all of that is in the past,” says Ray. NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers not only improved VM backup performance, but also improved job management compared to VSN’s previous solution. “I enjoy how I can chain all the VM backup jobs so that they run one after another. Even if one fails, NAKIVO Backup & Replication will still complete all of the other backup jobs in the chain. As a result, we achieved much better backup management and more efficient backup scheduling,” he adds.

With NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s instant VM recovery, VSN saved a full day of work on VM recovery. “When one VM became irreparably damaged, Flash VM Boot restored that VM near-instantly. With the old VM backup solution, we would have needed one full day of work to rebuild that VM from scratch. Due to significant issues with that solution, we also had to re-enter the entire VM configuration on a weekly basis,” says Ray. In addition to instant VM recovery, Ray sees the product’s instant file recovery feature as being potentially very useful to them in the future.

Results

NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides VSN with improved VM backup performance, job chaining functionality, and simplified VM recovery. With job chaining, VSN chains multiple VM backup jobs so that they successfully run one after another. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, the company is able to recover their VMs near-instantly, rather than rebuilding them from scratch. The easy-to-use web interface also saves VSN a lot of headaches, as their customers can even use NAKIVO Backup & Replication themselves. “Our old VM backup solution was prone to instability and left us with unreliable VM backups. NAKIVO Backup & Replication is reliable and stable, and offers great performance. Moreover, NAKIVO Backup & Replication has allowed us to centralize our entire VM backup configuration. The software also provides us with a central point to view backup jobs’ statuses and progress – a much-needed feature for any datacenter management department,” says Ray.

About VSN Systems BV

VSN Systems BV (based in Venray, the Netherlands) started developing telecom hardware and software in 1991 for an exclusive group of high-volume/high-end (VoIP) carriers. VSN not only provides R&D services to this client group, but also supports and maintains their networks, leaving them to focus on service development and the associated marketing and sales activities. VSN develops stable, high-end systems in a controlled and consistent manner using several professional tools and processes, including object-oriented software design, signal integrity analysis, and simulation and agile/scrum development cycles. As a knowledge-based organization, VSN works in close cooperation with institutions such as silicon vendors and universities. For more information, please visit www.vsnsystemen.nl.