NAKIVO Helps International School Recover VMs and Files in Minutes
Ekamai International School (EIS) is a private, non-profit, co-educational, international school founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The school is located in Watthana District, Bangkok, Thailand. EIS educates students from pre-kindergarten to the twelfth grade. Originally the Adventist English School, EIS was recognized in 1992 by the Thai Ministry of Education as an international school. The school’s name was changed to Ekamai International School. In 1998, the school received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
EIS operates out of one site that consists of two physical servers and 15 virtual machines. These machines run a school registrar (an administration system that keeps student’s data and grades), a library system (a system that keeps track of checking books in and out), a book room system (a system that keeps track of all books given to the students for each subject) and other third party applications that fulfill government requirements and regulations on issuing official documents. For EIS, backup and recovery are vital because losing a single record can have a significant impact on a student’s grades. EIS operates Monday to Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., so having a reliable backup each day is a must for the school. Even though fast recovery is not the school’s highest priority, being able to recover virtual machines successfully without losing data is of utmost importance.
EIS relied on snapshots and a third-party schedule file mover for protecting data in the past. Failed jobs were a recurrence and files were often missing in backups. Recovery was not reliable either. Not only did recovery take a long time, but also data was often not usable such recoveries. Moreover, EIS was missing a functionality that the school badly needed. EIS wanted to be able to schedule backup jobs for specific days and at specific times, or even run them one after another. The main criteria that EIS set for a new VM backup solution was affordability and ease of setup and reliability. And NAKIVO Backup & Replication ticked all the boxes.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication was recommended to EIS by similar educational institutions, including the Adventist International Mission School (AIMS) and Asia-Pacific International University (AIU). With NAKIVO Backup & Replication completely fulfilling the needs and requirements of both institutions, the decision was straightforward for EIS.
EIS deployed and configured NAKIVO Backup & Replication quickly, all information is easily available on the website and in the help center. Since NAKIVO Backup & Replication is compatible with a number of NAS servers, EIS installed the solution on their Synology DS1819+. “NAKIVO Backup & Replication is quite simple, but at the same time quite a powerful tool. The web interface is extremely easy to navigate, while the installation can literally be done in minutes, and then you can immediately run your backup jobs,” says Piyanut Ekwiriyaton, IT administrator at EIS.
With the previous approach, EIS struggled with multiple failed jobs and lacked a proper scheduler for backup jobs. Currently, with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, all backup jobs are completed successfully, and the school can schedule backup jobs at different times and even chain one backup job after another. “Now, we have many backup setups for different virtual machines with different priorities. We back up our most critical VMs on a daily basis, and we back up our less critical VMs once a week, on a Friday. NAKIVO Backup & Replication provided us with the ability to schedule and run our backup jobs easily. The dashboard provides us with all the required information, while the menu is quite convenient for the average user to easily go through,” says Piyanut.
EIS also takes advantage of screenshot verification and VM replication functionality that they lacked previously. EIS can now use NAKIVO Backup & Replication to replicate VMs directly from their backups. By doing so, EIS saves time and resources by creating VM snapshots only once, during the initial backup job. “Since we can replicate directly from our backups, VM replication saves us a bunch of time when setting up a new VM replica,” says Piyanut. With screenshot verification, EIS can automatically test its VM backups and VM replicas as well. “Screenshot verification saves us time when it comes to verifying VM recoverability. We receive email notifications that let us know that backups have been successfully completed,” says Piyanut.
Lastly, EIS experienced issues with recovery in the past, where recovery time was long, and some data was sometimes lost in the process. NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides EIS with two functionalities: instant VM recovery and instant file recovery. “With instant VM recovery, we are able to recover faulty VMs in minutes. I was expecting much more downtime, but instant VM recovery is just awesome! We are amazed at how fast we restore operations now. We can also now recover individual files, without the need to recover an entire VMs first. The whole process is amazing, we just download a file, and it’s ready for use,” says Piyanut.
With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, EIS achieved ease-of-use and reliability, which translates into piece of mind. The IT team no longer needs to solve issues with backups. Now, the IT team can work more efficiently, focusing more on core operations and less on backup administration. Ultimately, EIS gained faster VM backups that are easy to schedule and that complete successfully every time. While recovery of entire VMs and individual files is near-instant. “Our previous approach to data protection was always cross your fingers and hope it works, when we were just trying to back up something each time. Reliability of backups was always our weakness. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we ultimately achieved piece of mind and believe that the product will help our school avoid data loss and downtime in the future,” says Piyanut.
About Ekamai International School
Ekamai International School (EIS) is a private, non-profit, co-educational Christian school (from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12) founded and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Mission in Thailand. The school was first established in 1946 as a church school at Phyathai Road and moved to its present location in 1957. Although EIS mainly serves the Thai community, 33 countries are represented in the student body and English is used as the language of instruction. Most of the school’s students come from different religious backgrounds, but the parents are supportive of the religious studies and activities that the school organizes. For more information, visit www.eis.ac.th.