This article was first published in the Spring 2015 issue of OnWindows
Grove City College in Pennsylvania, US, was an early adopter of virtualisation with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 and ten Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). Today, 180 VMs run nearly all applications in the IT infrastructure, including Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange and the enterprise resource planning system used to manage student data and administrative operations.
Microsoft Hyper-V is the main hypervisor in use; however, some applications run on VMware vSphere VMs, such as HP TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention System and a printing system called WebCRD.
In addition to VMs, Grove City College has ten physical machines. When members of the IT team attempted to back-up their VMs with the same tool used to back up their physical machines, they ran into a problem with their Hyper-V VMs.
“Our legacy backup tool is great for our physical machines, and we’ve used it successfully for many years,” said Vincent DiStasi, vice president and chief information officer for Grove City College. “But since the majority of our mission-critical applications are virtualised on Hyper-V, we needed to find an agentless backup solution that would accommodate and support Hyper-V.”
The team also wanted to find a single virtualisation management solution to ensure the protection, performance and availability of their mixed hypervisor environment.
Grove City College selected the Veeam Availability Suite because it provides backup, recovery, monitoring, reporting and capacity planning for VMware and Hyper-V in one affordable, easy-to-use solution.
“It’s so nice to use a solution that was developed specifically for virtualisation where VMware and Hyper-V coexist,” DiStasi said. “Sometimes Hyper-V support is an afterthought, but not with Veeam. You can tell Hyper-V support is just as important as VMware support.”
Veeam differs from physical backup products because it’s designed specifically for availability in the virtual world. It’s agent-free, making deployment and setup fast and easy.
“Backup is 50% faster, so we’re backing up more frequently and efficiently than before,” DiStasi said. “File-level recovery is also a breeze. One of our next steps is to take advantage of Veeam’s recovery capability for Microsoft Exchange.”
Veeam ensures the performance and availability of the entire virtual infrastructure through advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning. DiStasi also said Veeam monitoring helps the IT team identify and react to incidents quicker than before.
This helps the college’s IT team with capacity planning and monitoring checks and alerts against a prebuilt database of best practices. This capability and the product’s knowledge base simplify and speed up troubleshooting.
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