Western Health is a public provider of medical services for people living in western metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. It has 6,000 employees and supports four hospitals, two aged-care facilities and a drug and alcohol treatment centre.
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In addition to being an early adopter of virtualisation, Western Health was a beta user and launch partner for Microsoft Windows Server 2012. When the ICT team experienced data recoverability constraints with its legacy VM backup tool, team members began looking for a new solution.
The legacy backup tool required agents; therefore, VMs were restarted unnecessarily whenever agents were upgraded. Licensing and deploying new agents was expensive and time-consuming as well. The legacy tool also required backups to be routed via the backup server rather than go directly to Western Health’s deduplication storage appliance, causing bottlenecks that decreased backup speed. In addition, the legacy backup tool required the entire host to be restarted, even if the problem was within a single VM, causing the host to miss the weekly backup window, which presented significant risks.
“We had several criterion for a new backup and recovery solution,” said Cameron McBride, Manager, Systems and Software Solutions at Western Health.
“It had to be designed specifically for virtual environments, support Hyper-V, provide fast backup and recovery, be agentless and back up directly to our deduplication storage appliance.”
McBride said price was a factor too.
“At Western Health we always have an ear to the ground for effective, efficient technologies that provide value and meet our required business needs,” he added.
McBride found what he was looking for with Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“Veeam offered support for Hyper-V much earlier than other vendors, which allowed us to back up our Hyper-V VMs shortly after we installed a beta version of Windows Server 2012,” McBride said.
“They also offered multi-hypervisor support earlier than other vendors. We have a very small VMware environment for applications that can’t be virtualised on Hyper-V, so using one backup solution for both environments is very efficient.”
He added that VM backup and recovery are considerably faster with Veeam, and because Veeam is storage-agnostic, it can back up directly to Western Health’s deduplication storage appliance; therefore, the bottlenecks are gone.
“Since we work in a 24x7x365 environment our aim is to have the least amount of impact on production servers when backing up VMs,” he explained.
“We have found this solution to be 10 times faster in both backup and recovery, and it’s less CPU-intensive compared to our previous backup tools. Backing up directly to the duplication appliance has also reduced our backup time.”
According to Jason Whakaari, Executive Director, ICT, Capital and Contracts at Western Health, apart the benefits McBride shared; the solution also enabled WH to reduce complexities in ICT teams.
“We have many other products that keep team members busy, but this one’s different. It’s so easy to use that we can conduct quick training to achieve the outcomes we want,” he said.