NAKIVO Allows an Advertising Agency To Back up VMs at 280 MB/s and Recover Files 99% Faster
Stendahls is a strategic and creative advertising agency located in Sweden. The company’s main goal is to create real value for people, businesses, and brands with the help of traditional and digital media. More than 150 visionaries, creatives, strategists, specialists, innovators, and wild minds are working together to make a genuine difference for such customers as Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment, Husqvarna, and Mölnlycke Health Care.
Currently, Stendahls has only one datacenter, but the company has plans for expansion in 2018. With roughly 16 physical servers, the company’s IT infrastructure runs on VMware. Nearly 130 VMware VMs store everything imaginable: file servers, web servers, databases, Microsoft SQL, Active Directory, and enterprise resource planning and invoicing services. Since Stendahls creates and stores a variety of critical data, a robust VM backup solution is a key component of protecting that data and ensuring its recoverability. When deadlines begin to approach, ensuring data availability with the help of a VM backup solution gives the organization comfort; they know that projects can be finished on time and customers will be satisfied with the results. As data loss might significantly hurt Stendahls, critical VMs must be backed up and replicated to avoid unnecessary problems in the future.
“We used a couple of backup products: a VM backup solution that was designed specifically for VMware, some customer-based software, and other techniques, like rsync. Our former VM backup solution was unreliable and required constant supervision. The product had a cumbersome user interface that did not show a clear overview of the current status of all VM backups and did not provide any alarms if issues occurred. Overall, too much time was spent on backup administration, as it was a lengthy process to check which virtual machines were backed up and with which solutions, and on top of that, sometimes VMs got lost in the whole process. Naturally, we had multiple VM backups that were corrupted and thus VMs could not be recovered. At one point, we learned that VMware was discontinuing the product, so it was time to take action,” says Krister Laag, CIO at Stendahls.
After performing market research, Stendahls identified NAKIVO Backup & Replication as the winner in terms of the absolute best price to performance balance. For Stendahls, ease of use was one of the principal criteria to be met; they needed a product that did not require any specific training or certifications beforehand. “We met NAKIVO’s CEO at a trade show and had a great impression of the company as a whole, while the contact with NAKIVO’s sales managers and technical support staff made the experience awesome from the start,” says Krister.
Stendahls created a high-performance VM backup appliance by installing NAKIVO Backup & Replication directly on a Synology NAS, “The installation process took about 10 minutes without consulting the product’s technical documentation or external support. NAKIVO Backup & Replication was not only quick to deploy, but the software also offered improved VM backup performance via its integration with Synology NAS. The integration also helps us separate VM backups from the entire infrastructure so we don’t consume valuable resources. In addition, we absolutely appreciate the look and feel of the web user interface and the frequency with which it gets updated. We can finally see the status of our VM backups, as well as alarms,” says Krister.
Stendahls is primarily using the VMware VM backup and VM replication functionalities that NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers. “I was impressed by the VM backup speed, when we managed to achieve about 280 MB/s on our first backup. I like how NAKIVO Backup & Replication is much clearer than our previous solution, in terms of creating and removing the snapshots. No more corrupted VMware VMs and that is a huge plus. On top of that, global data deduplication provides us with huge storage space savings, ultimately allowing us to save money,” says Krister. While VM replication has not yet been deployed, the feature will protect business-critical services from major disaster or VM loss, so that these events will not stop Stendahls from delivering its services to their customers on time. “Soon a disaster recovery site will be up, so that we can start replicating our critical VMs offsite,” explains Krister.
Instant file recovery is the most vital feature for Stendahls, as it has brought significant time savings to the company. “Before, if we lost a file or a folder, we needed to restore the full VM because we did not have granular recovery. Now, we can restore files in just a few minutes, while previously it would have taken us hours to restore the entire VM that held it. Since that was too time-consuming for us, we would often ask the user to recreate the work instead. Thankfully, that is all in the past because of NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s instant file recovery,” says Krister.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on Synology NAS provides Stendahls with fast VM backup and instant file recovery, as well as offsite VM replication for extra protection from the various problems that could occur in the datacenter. Stendahls managed to improve VM backup performance and achieve higher backup speeds than with their previous solution. With instant file recovery, the company can now recover individual files in minutes. “In NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we have found a VM backup solution that does not require us to babysit and supervise the backup jobs anymore. Most importantly, we trust NAKIVO Backup & Replication and appreciate the pace with which the company comes out with different upgrades to the product. It’s amazing that we can now recover files 99% faster than before. We are very excited to take full advantage of the product’s VM replication and screenshot verification functionalities in the future,” concludes Krister.
Stendahls is Sweden’s oldest running advertising agency, having been around since 1954. The company is located in Gothenburg and consists of approximately 150 employees (as of December 2017). Stendahls works with customers like Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, Husqvarna, Mölnlycke Health Care. Stendahls provides its customers with a range of advertising services, including Print, E-commerce, Social media, Film, PR and much more. For more information, please visit www.stendahls.se.