High-Tech Start-up

Using Back-up as a Service (BaaS) to solve the long-term retention of backups for VMware farms without the costly CAPEX budget and never-ending Backup infrastructure Lifecycle management challenge.

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Introduction


A late-stage high-tech start-up approached PTS to help solve the issue of Business Continuity requirements around the VMW-hosted virtual infrastructure. An existing VMware environment consisted of 10 ESXi hosts running VMware ESXi 6.0 vSAN cluster with Veeam Backup and Recovery software to perform scheduled backups to a pair of NAS storage arrays. The location had limited IT closet space and was experiencing a 30% year-over-year growth in VM footprint. However, there was no Business Continuity strategy for VMware infrastructure – no backup copies of virtual machines were stored offsite. The VM infrastructure consisted of a mix of Build and Release, Finance, HR, Operations, Development & QA, and Customer Support and Product Management functions. Altogether, a mix of 350 VMs with an overall storage footprint of 35 Terabytes.

Solutions


PTS performed a capacity assessment to ensure correct storage array requirements for local backup and recovery infrastructure. Following analysis and proposal acceptance, PTS recommended a lifecycle refresh for the existing pair of NAS devices with high-density 6TB Seagate disk drives for a combined redundant usable capacity of 115 Terabytes. NAS refresh allowed for a 3-year 30%-year-over-year growth cushion while maintaining the same RU profile and no increases in power and cooling requirements.

To address the Business Continuance gap, PTS proposed and implemented an off-site backup solution using Veeam and AWS storage gateway in the VTL mode to Amazon Glacier storage service.

PTS implementation of the off-site solution utilizing the best practice methodology from Veeam for deploying the VTL solution with AWS and the AWS best practices for deploying Storage Gateway.

In the discovery phase, PTS assessed the feasibility of the internet bandwidth capabilities to keep up with the daily volume changes. As the result of the assessment, the Client has taken steps to upgrade their network bandwidth capability from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps to accommodate the expected network connectivity requirements.

PTS has assisted the Client in the classification of critical VMs needing offsite backup. PTS further structured the backup-to-tape jobs to ensure that they optimally use the daily bandwidth capabilities and minimize impact to the rest of the network traffic.
Following the assessment, PTS carried out the below:-

  • Assisted in creating relevant AWS artefacts in the Client’s existing AWS environment: AWS IAM setup, Appliance installation, configuration and activation, creation of backup tapes.
  • Created necessary Veeam artefacts in VMware/ESXi, including AWS Gateway for Veeam, iSCSI configuration.
  • Configured monitoring and alerting for the Veeam backup-to-AWS VTL into the Client’s existing environment: e-mail alerts and PagerDuty.
  • Trained IT operations staff on the new solution and provided documentation. During the knowledge transfer, PTS demonstrated the built-in features of AWS encryption. PTS also demonstrated the configuration screens of Veeam and AWS Storage Gateway to regulatory and compliance personnel that provide evidence for audit purposes.
  • Trained the Client to monitor billing data in their AWS account to proactively keep track of their VTL infrastructure costs

Benefits


  • Through successful engagement with PTS, the Client achieved their primary objective of modernizing their backup NAS devices without violating their real-estate constraints
  • With the help of PTS, the Client was able to implement regulatory and compliance requirements for critical data around Business Continuity by implementing backups offsite to AWS Storage Gateway without a CAPEX expenditure while adopting a flexible consumption model satisfactory to their organic IT Estate growth
  • PTS enabled the Client’s successful adoption of Hybrid Cloud technology
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