The Veeam-ExaGrid Solution
Hoffman Construction Company first installed Veeam and found it to be an ideal solution because it’s built specifically for virtual environments and provides fast, reliable backup and recovery for their VMs. In addition, the IT team can automatically verify the recoverability of every backup. With Veeam, backup speed has significantly increased. “Prior to installing Veeam, it took at least six hours to recover one Microsoft SQL Server database, but we now do that in less than half the time,” Bott said.
Veeam’s On-demand Sandbox feature has been especially important to Hoffman. According to Bott, “We didn’t have a test environment prior to Veeam, and this has become a huge asset. It gives us the ability to run VMs from backups in an isolated environment. With this capability, we have a working copy of the production environment for troubleshooting, testing and training. It’s magic.” Initially, Hoffman’s VMs and the Veeam backups were stored on the same SAN. Storage took up at least half the SAN, which restricted its ability to add more VMs if needed. The IT team discovered that Veeam and ExaGrid have a special configuration that pairs Veeam with ExaGrid’s unique landing-zone architecture to deliver fast, reliable backups and efficient data storage and retrieval.
The ExaGrid appliance, maintains the most recent Veeam backups in their original formats. The ExaGrid technology and architecture, operating in tandem with Veeam, lets the IT team recover and run an entire VM directly from ExaGrid’s disk-based backup storage. While most deduplicating storage only retains a deduplicated copy, often resulting in limited functionality, ExaGrid’s architecture allows Hoffman to fully leverage Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery feature — which restores an entire VM from backup in a matter of
minutes — to minimize downtime and disruption.
The Veeam and ExaGrid configuration has already had a significant impact on Hoffman’s business. “We recently had a major SAN crash and lost all the data stored on our VMs,” Bott explained. “Thanks to the Veeam and ExaGrid solution, we were able to restore 100 percent of our VMs almost instantly, with no disruption to our users, and a real catastrophe was avoided. We are confident that our data is protected in the event of a failure. That’s peace of mind on a large scale.”
Veeam and ExaGrid also facilitate on- and off-site backups that will grow as Hoffman continues to prosper. The IT team can simply plug in more ExaGrid systems to create a larger virtual pool of storage without additional expense and ongoing configuration and management issues. Veeam recognizes this additional storage, as data loads are automatically balanced across all servers. The additional ExaGrid systems do not affect performance, since processing power, memory, and bandwidth are added along with storage capacity, “ExaGrid’s backup appliance works seamlessly with Veeam Backup & Replication,” said Bott. “The combined solution gives us the best of both worlds by allowing us to take advantage of Veeam’s backup capabilities and ExaGrid’s disk-based backup system. The net result is fast, reliable backups, high availability of our virtualized environment, and efficient data storage.”