NAKIVO Saves Science Communication Agency 60% of Time on Backup Monitoring
Genius is a science communication agency founded in 1998. Today, the company has offices in Darmstadt and Berlin with 11 employees. Together with their customers, the company communicates complex scientific topics to a wider audience. The main goal is to ensure clear communication of scientific messages from customers in different industries to key target groups. Genius sees itself as a translator and mediator between companies, associations, ministries, universities, other research institutions, and individuals.
With two sites in Germany, Genius’s IT infrastructure consists of 3 physical servers and 17 virtual machines. Besides groupware, chat, intranet, document management, and file servers, the company hosts various self-developed web applications and web pages on Linux OS. Most of these custom applications are deployed in Docker Swarm, while some use a microservice architecture. Genius considers VM backup and recovery as a priority: all data that is not properly backed up is deemed to be lost. Genius’s web-based systems contain customers’ data that is critical for their business operations. Data loss and downtime can cause loss of customers and revenue, easily lead to missed business opportunities, and result in permanent damage to Genius’s reputation and professionalism.
Previously, Genius relied on a heterogeneous set of agent-based backup solutions. Since the backup solutions were not designed for virtualized environments, Genius faced maintenance and monitoring problems. Different operating systems required different backup solutions with various build versions. Centralizing monitoring was a challenge, as the company had to adapt and regularly analyze email reports. Overall, there was a constant need for manual actions from the IT team, like restarting a frozen backup job, remounting ISCSI volumes, and other routine tasks. Genius wanted a product that could help the company shorten backup windows, centralize backup management, and be OS-agnostic.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a robust data protection solution that supports virtualized environments on VMware, Hyper-V, and Nutanix AHV. The solution also offers competitive pricing for SMBs and enterprises. The product can be installed on Linux or Windows, deployed as a pre-configured virtual appliance, or installed on a NAS server. “NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers awesome pricing and rich functionalities for small companies, plus the product can be installed on a Synology NAS,” says Fabian Schmitz, IT Manager at Genius.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication is currently installed on a Synology NAS. “Installation on a Synology NAS decreases network overhead and frees up resources on our hypervisors. Resources like CPU and RAM on NAS servers were mostly underutilized. Additionally, installation and product upgrades are as easy as it would be upgrading a smartphone application,” says Fabian.
“Thanks to VMware CBT (Changed Block Tracking) technology, only modified blocks are transferred to the backup repository during the incremental backup. We save a ton of time with this functionality. Our Windows file servers only change approximately 3% of these blocks within the 24-hour backup interval. This functionality makes a backup of large and static VMs feasible in the first place,” says Fabian.
With the previous backup products, Genius could only keep one or three recovery points, depending on the size of the backed-up VMs. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, Genius can now keep at least 14 recovery points for the most important virtual machines. Genius also takes advantage of the global data deduplication functionality that NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides. “Global data deduplication is a powerful feature. As we have Windows and Linux VMs with a bunch of different files in common, global data deduplication allows us to save storage space significantly. The saved space can, in turn, be used more effectively to increase the number of independent recovery points,” says Fabian.
“NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows us to easily monitor and manage the backup process of all our VMs from a single web interface. The product is running on our Synology NAS and leverages the potential of previously unused resources. We can now back up all VMs every night without violating the defined backup windows and keep a lot more recovery points,” says Fabian.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides Genius with the ability to easily manage the backup jobs from the web interface, save storage space with global data deduplication, and free up resources with Synology NAS installation. With incremental backup, the company can back up their entire infrastructure every night, and keep a lot more recovery points than what was supported by their previous backup solutions. “With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, we saved 60% of our time spent on monitoring and maintaining the heterogeneous set of different backup applications. We are using the saved time to create more sophisticated backup and recovery strategies and have time to actually test VM recovery on a regular basis. NAKIVO Backup & Replication brought confidence in our backups to a new level,” says Fabian.
Established in 1998, Genius is a science communication company from Germany. In 2002, in addition to the Darmstadt office, the company opened another office in Berlin. Genius provides science consultations to customers from the business sector, politics, non-governmental organizations, and other social actors. The company’s primary goal is to link business, politics, science, society, and media. For more information, visit www.genius.de.