2 NetApp FAS2552 systems with SAS and SATA drives
NetApp Data ONTAP® 8.2.3
NetApp AutoSupport®, OnCommand®, SnapRestore®, Snapshot®, SnapVault®
Microsoft Exchange, Hyper-V, Windows File Services; Oracle E-Business Suite; Triple C Airwatch; Veeam 8
AlgorithmAlgorithm SAL (www.algorithm-lb.com), a regional pharmaceutical company based in Lebanon, is committed to improving human health and wellbeing. It operates in the Middle East and North Africa region, focusing on innovative products under license from international companies and on differentiated generics. It has a wide portfolio covering the following therapeutic areas: cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, gynecology, urology, and rheumatology. Its dedicated and talented team of highly skilled personnel has built a culture and reputation based on Trust and Respect, Ethics and Integrity, Responsibility and Accountability, Quality and Excellence.
Protect data under insecure conditions
To keep the IT operations on an agreeable working level is a real challenge in Lebanon. Power outages can happen anytime, and internet connections are slow and expensive. Though these conditions are part of its daily business, Algorithm’s IT team has to provide sustainable IT services for its users and comply with data protection and archival regulations of the pharmaceutical industry. However, data was growing and preventing backups from completing overnight. The result: In the morning, the backup tapes were not ready to be driven to Algorithm’s disaster recovery (DR) site. What had been a good working routine was now putting data at risk.
The IT team approached the local agents of leading storage vendors for an affordable solution covering a lifecycle of five years. The solution had to deliver fast and reliable backup, provide effective deduplication, and integrate backup data management at the DR site.
“NetApp seemed to answer our requirements while providing much more than a storage and a backup solution. That was very compelling,” says Rana Saliba, IT manager at Algorithm. “The more we dug into the technology, the more interesting it became—especially the simplicity and granularity of the snapshot backup and the great accessibility of the data. Switching from tape to disk with NetApp seemed to be the best thing we could do.”
Select NetApp and Veeam
Algorithm operates Oracle E-Business Suite on Linux servers and dedicated
HP storage, runs Microsoft virtualization and applications in a private cloud, and uses cloud services for CRM and mobile device management. An HP SAN solution is its central data platform for all non-Oracle data. After in-depth discussions with NetApp and Algorithm’s IT partner Triple C, it was evident that Algorithm loved the NetApp technology, but also wanted to keep the SAN.
“We had to solve the backup issue, reduce data growth, and keep the costs low,” says Jacques Rahmouch, vice president of business development at Triple C. “The server virtualization in place and the efficiency and openness of the NetApp systems helped to find a feasible and effective solution which includes Veeam.”
By using NetApp, Algorithm can leverage storage efficiency tools to fight growing application data, quickly back up and restore on site, and simplify data replication and disaster recovery. And with Veeam, the team can pull both SAN and NetApp backup jobs under a single management umbrella. Thus, the virtual machines keep running on the SAN. Their number is quite static, so that Algorithm avoids additional disks and costs and protects its SAN investment. In addition, Saliba and her team deployed a NetApp storage cluster at the main and DR sites. As a start, they moved the growing file and e-mail data onto it. For the time being, the Oracle environment still relies on its dedicated HP storage and the tape routines. Database size and line quality do not allow remote backups.
“The whole project, from system and backup setup to DR site tests and start-up, went smoothly and without downtimes for our users,” says Saliba. She adds, “Triple C did a very good job, and we are very happy with their support and knowledge.”
Minimized risk of data losses
The new backup provides low recovery point objectives enabled by NetApp and low recovery time objectives enabled by Veeam. Thus, accelerated backups revolutionized the data protection at Algorithm. The file and mail backup time went down by 75% and enabled Algorithm to run three snapshots per day.
A few mouse clicks start restore operations, which complete within a minute instead of half an hour, and now work even for a single e-mail. To make the most out of the solution, the team also moved its file server data to the NetApp storage and integrated it into the nightly NetApp SnapVault® replication to the second site. Moreover, the virtualized Microsoft Exchange Server was also moved to the SAS disks on the NetApp storage.
“It’s fantastic to now have backups right at one’s fingertips instead of driving tapes from one site to the other,” says Joe Kaloust, network administrator at Algorithm. “This is as different as night and day. We can serve our users much faster with file restores, and we know that our servers are protected and ready for recovery anytime. Handling all backup jobs through Veeam is very convenient and, thanks to the integration with NetApp Snapshot technology, absolutely smooth.”
The new solution minimizes the risk of losing production data and provides high availability. Constant access to files and e-mails is critical at Algorithm and requires always-on operations. Algorithm benefits from redundant systems and components, automatic failover to the DR site, RAID protection, remote system health checks, and automated spare part delivery for failed disks.
Saved money and postponed investments
With only one additional solution, Algorithm could solve many issues. The efficiency results are impressive. “We need 50% less storage for the files and about 27% for the Exchange data,” says Kaloust. “We utilize only half of the current capacity. As there is enough space, we can even postpone purchasing a mail-archiving solution for some years.”
Gained a future-proof platform
Algorithm is flexible with the NetApp platform and can support many future projects such as the upgrade to Veeam 9. The team wants to accelerate the backup once more and speed up and multiply the replication. A test for running Oracle on NetApp is also planned.
“The decision for NetApp was not easy. We had to be sure that our move will deliver on its promises,” summarizes Saliba. “We even talked to other NetApp customers to hear about their experiences with the products and with Triple C. In the end, everything was fine. We are very happy with the result and feel really safe with NetApp and Veeam.”
Fight data growth and ensure data protection.
Select NetApp® systems and backup technology enhanced by Veeam for Hyper-V.
- Accelerated file and mail backup by 75%
- Greatly enhanced recovery time and point objectives
- Achieved one-minute file restores
- Minimized risk of data losses
- Won simplicity and convenient data accessibility
- Reduced capacity—50% less for files and 27% less for e-mail
- Saved investments in SAN storage and mail archiving
- Gained a secure platform for further application consolidation