The Veeam Solution
Heidtman Steel chose an availability solution designed expressly for virtualization. Veeam® Backup & Replication™ helps the company meet customers’ supply chain demands by delivering 24x7x365 availability of ERP, which automates the processing facilities, as well as other virtualized systems that run the business.
“Veeam is one of the best – if not the best – product I’ve used during my 28-year career,” Miller said. “Because of Veeam our ERP and other critical systems are available at all times, helping us meet and often exceed customers’ supply chain demands.”
Veeam Backup & Replication delivers 24x7x365 availability through high-speed backup and recovery. When Veeam is combined with HP and ExaGrid, backup and recovery are tremendously complementary, making around-the-clock availability even easier. Heidtman Steel’s VMs reside on HP 3PAR StoreServ, enabling Veeam to make backups from storage snapshots as often as every 15 minutes with practically no disruption to the production environment. If a snapshot is left over after a backup has completed, Veeam’s Snapshot Hunter removes it.
“We love the Snapshot Hunter because it’s completely automated, so you don’t have to configure anything,” Miller said. “Like everything else in Veeam, ‘it just works.’”
Miller said Veeam backups are 60% faster than previous backups, even with a 50% increase in data during a two-year period. He credits the ExaGrid-Veeam Accelerated Data Mover.
“Our Veeam backups really fly,” Miller explained. “The ExaGrid-Veeam Accelerated Data Mover processes backups on the ExaGrid array, which frees up network and server CPU for other tasks. Veeam and ExaGrid also combine their deduplication efforts to conserve backup storage. After Veeam deduplicates data, ExaGrid deduplicates it again, giving us a reduction ratio of 3.6:1. This lets us retain more active restore points for our critical VMs. We used to keep two weeks of restore points, but with Veeam we keep five weeks.”
Recovery with Veeam is fast too, which is crucial for around-the-clock availability. Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery™ lets Heidtman Steel restart a failed VM quickly from a backup on ExaGrid’s landing zone – a high-speed cache on the ExaGrid appliance that retains the most recent backups in complete form.
“I used Instant VM Recovery to bring a VM back from the dead, and it was awesome,” Miller said. “When our ERP development team made a change to a SQL VM that rendered it unstable, I used Instant VM Recovery to restore the failed VM from a regular backup on the ExaGrid appliance in minutes. The developers were amazed. I told them they don’t have to worry about testing because Veeam will always restore what they need.”
Heidtman Steel uses another high-speed recovery feature called Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Active Directory. “ERP training sessions are set up in Active Directory, but one day someone wacked all the user profiles by mistake,” Miller explained. “We used Veeam Explorer to recover the user profiles to Active Directory VM in minutes. When you work in a small IT shop like ours, no one has time to worry about availability. We need fast, reliable backup and recovery, and that’s exactly what Veeam provides. Veeam gives us a level of comfort we’ve never had before. Each time I show my colleagues something cool I’ve discovered in Veeam, they tell me I’ve gone ‘Veeam crazy.’”