Canadian Gold Mine Protects Critical Data with NAKIVO

The Canadian Malartic mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in Canada, is using NAKIVO Backup & Replication to back up and recover VMware VMs, as well as near-instantly recover individual files.

Business Challenge

The Canadian Malartic mine is one of Canada's largest open pit gold mines. The mine was developed within just six years after the first exploration drill holes in 2005. The first gold pour was in April 2011, and commercial production began in May 2011. As of December 31, 2017, the proven and probable mineral reserves total 6.4 million ounces of gold (181 million tonnes at 1.10 grams/tonne gold).

The Canadian Malartic mine’s IT infrastructure is divided into two separate sites: one with seven ESXi hosts and the other site with four ESXi hosts. Both sites hold nearly 40 VMware VMs that store an industrial software for their plant screen viewing, a PI system for viewing data, one file server, and regular Windows servers. IT is critical for the successful daily operations and production processes at the Canadian Malartic mine, therefore, all the critical data must be protected on the regular basis. A data protection solution designed specifically for virtualization is integral for achieving reliable VM backup and fast VM recovery. As the mine is fully operational 24/7, the data protection solution should provide 24/7 data availability for the mine. Any downtime could cost thousands of dollars per hour for the company.

The Canadian Malartic mine was using another data protection solution not so long ago. “The previous product was more or less okay; however, its usability and functionality were not the best. For example, the solution did not offer us the possibility to recover individual files. For the new product, we wanted more functionality, as well as ease-of-use, thus I talked to our IT Administrator from the corporate office, and he recommended to look at NAKIVO Backup & Replication because he was pretty impressed with the software. He told me that NAKIVO Backup & Replication was the best software that he had tried, thus inspired by his review, I decided myself to evaluate NAKIVO Backup & Replication,” says Serge Offroy, Automation Technician at the Canadian Malartic mine.


NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a fast, reliable, and affordable data protection solution for VM backup, recovery, and replication of various VMware environments. The product’s intuitive web user interface is designed to reduce management complexity and simplify usability. The software also provides flexible deployment options, including installation on Windows, which was selected by the Canadian Malartic mine. “I had several phone and email conversations with support engineers because they helped me ensure that our whole installation project was done correctly, with minimal effort from my side. Installation on Windows was a perfect choice for us, as no extra resources were needed. Overall, NAKIVO’s support team helped me to understand the product better, as well as guided me through the installation steps,” says Serge.

Currently, the Canadian Malartic mine’s network is not necessarily optimized for the daily VM backups, as the data that is on the network is critical to the company, thus VM backups are only done during the plant’s shut down time. Serge explained that they are working on a project to install a separate network, in order to be able to do VM backups on a daily basis. “The initial full VM backup took two days, as we had to back up literally all of our data. For me, the speed was pretty fast, if to compared to our previous product. As soon as we optimize our network, I anticipate that the forever-incremental backups should be much faster, but for the time being, I am fully satisfied,” says Serge. Global data deduplication and compression also helped the Canadian Malartic mine to save 50% of storage space, and now, the IT team can use that space to store more VM backups.

With instant VM recovery, Serge can boot VMware VMs directly from compressed and deduplicated VM backups, thus can recover those VMs near-instantly. “Full VM recovery is the main feature that we needed to have to ensure near-instant VM recovery, in case of a disaster. For testing purposes, I tried to recover a couple of VMs quickly, without any training, as the software is definitely user-friendly. Fast VM recovery is critical, as we do not want to lose our critical data during various incidents,” explains Serge.

With instant file recovery, Serge can also search and recover individual files from compressed and deduplicated VM backups. “We did not have this functionality before and now this is a cool feature to have. At least once a month, somebody can lose a file or delete a file accidentally, thus they come to us for help, and with instant file recovery, we can recover that file for them easily. Only a couple of seconds are needed,” says Serge.


NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides the Canadian Malartic mine with full VM backup, instant VM recovery, and instant file recovery. NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s instant VM recovery allows the IT team to recover entire VMs in minutes, while with instant file recovery, individual files can be recovered in seconds. Global data deduplication and compression functionality also saved 50% of the company’s storage space. In addition, because of the intuitive web user interface, backup management time is at its minimum, saving Serge a couple of hours per week. “In NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we found a solid and easy-to-use data protection solution that truly protects our critical VMs. With the previous solution, we did not have instant file recovery, while the usability was also not the best. Now, we reduced management complexity thanks to the web interface. Plus, we have three main features: full VM backup, instant VM recovery, and instant file recovery,” says Serge.

About the Canadian Malartic

The Canadian Malartic mine, 25 km west of Val-d’Or, is the largest operating open-pit gold mines in Canada. The open-pit mine and plant built by Osisko Mining Corp. began commercial production in May 2011. In June 2014, Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold acquired Osisko and created the Canadian Malartic GP that owns and operates the mine. Agnico Eagle and Yamana each have an indirect 50% ownership interest in the Partnership. Canadian Malartic is one of the world’s largest pure gold producers. The 55,000-tonnes/day open-pit mine and plant produced a record 633,461 ounces of gold in 2017 with another 650,000 ounces expected in 2018. Mine life is expected to last through 2027. For more information, please visit