NAKIVO Saves the European School Bergen Few Hours Per Week on Backup Administration
The European School Bergen is one of the thirteen European schools located in Bergen, North Holland. Initially, the school was established for the children of the staff of EU institutions, though, nowadays, additional students can also be accepted if there is available space. Currently, the school enrolls students in Dutch, French, and English. There are presently around 35,000 pupils attending the European Schools in 13 European countries.
The European School Bergen’s IT infrastructure is fairly small, consisting of one site, two physical servers, and 15 virtual machines. There are two networks at the school, one pedagogical network and one administrative. The pedagogical network keeps a domain server, a file server, a web server, a helpdesk server, and an SCCM server. Most servers run Windows Server 2012 R2 or Server 2016. The administrative network keeps another domain server that stores login information for the administrative staff and holds historical data.
As the school, staff are constantly working with information, including financial data, student data, and other sensitive data, such as health information and disciplinary issues, so having a reliable VM backup of all this information is extremely critical. In case of disaster, reliable VM backup can help the school recover lost files, as well as security footage. Any loss of data cannot be tolerated, as it might impact the daily working hours of the school, and penalties might be imposed by their head office in Brussels.
Initially, the school protected its information via the backup-to-tape approach. In 2013, the school virtualized its environment and started using another VM backup product available on the market. Often, the IT team experienced failed backup jobs that in turn impacted the time spent on backup administration. Moreover, recovering individual files often took a long time. Getting the list of all the files also was a lengthy, time-consuming process. Sometimes, the product could not list the contents of the disk, thus increasing the time needed to recover dramatically. Additionally, the user interface was quite sluggish and required much time to load an item. Finally, the previous product did not offer any NAS integration. Overall, the European School Bergen wanted to switch to a solution that could run independently of their servers, which could support more than one virtualization platform.
Tim van der Nagel, System and Network Administrator at the European School Bergen, was already familiar with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, as he used the product for his home lab, which is why a switch from their old solution went rather smoothly for Tim. The previous solution could only be installed on a Windows server, however, and seeing how the school had bought a Synology NAS server, the solution could not support such installation. However, NAKIVO Backup & Replication could be installed directly on a Synology NAS, thus combining hardware and software together. “We also wanted to switch from Microsoft Hyper-V to VMware VSphere in the near future, and NAKIVO Backup & Replication supports both platforms, allowing us to easily migrate from one platform to another,” says Tim.
“The installation on our Synology NAS was complete in a matter of minutes. The web interface is simple and responsive, while the layout is logical. Setting up a backup schedule did not take long either and was very straightforward. Setting up a backup copy job to another Synology NAS located offsite was a matter of opening the right ports in our firewall and adding a new transporter and a backup repository. I was able to figure out all of this by myself, without ever consulting a manual,” says Tim.
“The benefit that we’ve seen while using our Synology NAS and NAKIVO Backup & Replication together is tremendous. We do not have to manage a server-based installation, and updating the software can be easily done. Also, everything is in one place: backup, storage, etc. In case of emergency or disaster, we can pick up the offsite Synology NAS, plug it into our work network and recover the VMs quickly, without first having to install software,” says Tim.
In addition to installation on a Synology NAS, Tim appreciates the ease of setting a backup copy to another location. Backup copy provides the school the peace of mind that there is, in fact, an offsite copy of their backup. In case of disaster, this functionality is very valuable for the school. Moreover, screenshot verification helps the school to know that backups and offsite backups are in good shape and can be recovered if necessary. Moreover, the functionality saves time on additional tests. Lastly, Tim enjoys that the reporting is clean and simple, since the calendar overview gives clear insight about how long backup jobs have been running.
Instant VM recovery and instant file and object recovery provide additional benefits for the European School Bergen. “We were already having problems already with the server, so we tried using instant VM recovery a couple of times. I could quickly boot an old version of a VM, to see if a problem existed before. All in all, recovery an entire VM can be completed in minutes. I also used instant object recovery a few times to quickly recover individual objects that had been accidentally deleted. Since the recovery functionality is fast, there is little interruption to our daily operations,” says Tim.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides the European School Bergen with the simplicity of installation and configuration, as well as ease of maintenance. The installation on Synology NAS saves resources, and combines software and hardware together. Overall, the European School Bergen improved VM backup and VM recovery speed and set up an offsite copy of their backups with backup copy functionality. The software also solved the problem for the school of not having to maintain a server-based installation of backup software. “NAKIVO Backup & Replication saved us a bit of money because of the trade-in deal that we got when switching from our previous VM backup solution. NAKIVO Backup & Replication also saves us a few hours every week on backup administration,” says Tim.
About the European School Bergen
The European School Bergen is one of the thirteen European schools located in Bergen, North Holland. Now, the school has a Dutch, French, and English section and it continues to be an important educational facility not only for the children of people working at JRC Petten, but also in the wider local community, with many pupils traveling from as far as Amsterdam to attend the school. The main difference between European Schools and other international schools is that, in an international school, there is one working language (usually English), while other languages are taught as foreign languages. In the European School, the curriculum is delivered in different languages. Thus, such a distinction can meet the needs of children from many different backgrounds, making it a truly international education. For more information, please visit www.esbergen.eu.