This article first appeared in the Winter issue of The Record.
The Department of IT at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides IT support and services to the UBC community, as well as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and disaster recovery (DR) to 26 universities throughout the Canadian province of British Columbia. UBC’s IT infrastructure serves more than 250,000 students, and 60,000 faculty and staff throughout western Canada.
To enable this level of IT delivery, UBC developed world-class data centres capable of enterprise business operations akin to those of Fortune 500 companies. Thousands of virtual machines (VM) run critical databases and applications containing several petabytes of data, and must be available 24/7, 365 days a year.
While deploying a legacy backup tool in the VMware vSphere environment, it was quickly realised that this tool would not be sufficient in a virtualised environment. UBC’s Department of IT would struggle to offer service level agreements (SLAs) to customers, or meet recovery time and recovery points objectives (RTPOs).
UBC turned to Veeam, and found that Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam Management Pack (MP) for System Center met its needs.
As Veeam Backup & Replication fully integrates with NetApp FAS, the University is able to establish SLAs easily. UBC uses Veeam to make fast backups from NetApp storage snapshots, with little to no impact on the production environment. Meeting RTPOs is easy because Veeam offers high-speed replication for guaranteed restore points and high-speed recovery features.
Instant VM Recovery restores VMs to the production environment by running them directly from backup files, while Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots recovers individual items or entire VMs quickly and efficiently from NetApp Snapshot, SnapMirror and SnapVault.
Veeam Backup & Replication also helps UBC deliver IaaS to customers by backing up and restoring VMs managed by vCloud Director.
Veeam MP solved UBC’s visibility problem by fully integrating with Microsoft System Center to provide complete visibility of all the virtual and physical environments UBC maintains from the System Center console.
“When we look at the combination of Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam MP, we see benefits on both the business and the technology sides,” says Mario Angers, senior manager of systems at UBC. “On the business side, Veeam Backup & Replication helps us deliver IT services that are more compelling and cost effective than other providers. Veeam’s support for vCloud Director is critical in delivering cloud services to customers, and because Veeam will be four times less expensive than the legacy backup tool over a five-year period, we’re able to provide affordable IT to customers. Veeam MP is also important because it helps us keep customers happy. Veeam MP gives us much-needed visibility into our virtualised environment, which lets us resolve issues before they affect customers.”
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