Welsh health board cuts backup recovery times with Veeam


by Joe Curtis| 15 January 2014

Veeam replaces need to rely upon physical servers to back up 250 virtual machines, claims board.

A Welsh health board has implemented Veeam's backup and replication software in an attempt to speed up data recovery times.

Cwm Taf Health Board chose to replace its servers with Veeam's technology in order to recover clinical applications, healthcare systems and nurse rostering in minutes rather than days, it said.

The organisation runs those systems in a virtualised environment, but its previous backup solution was designed for a physical environment, hindering the board's capability to swiftly restore lost data .

The health board hopes the move to an increasingly virtualised IT infrastructure will help support its nearly 300,000 registered patients in South Wales.

"The level of scalability and efficiency it provides means that virtualisation is a crucial technology for us," said Matthew Palmer, head of server management at the health board. "We did not have the level of capability we needed: simply recovering an individual item could take at least one day, as we had to first restore an entire server."

He added that the limiting factor of only being able to perform one backup a day meant that a failure risked wiping out 24 hours' worth of data.

The implementation of Veeam solutions gave the board the management tools for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V, which is also the base for its entire virtual infrastructure - consisting of 250 virtual machines across two data centres that support nine hospitals.

With Veeam, Palmer said, data can now be backed up three times a day while it takes less than five minutes to recover individual items.

Cwm Taf Health Board is also set to implement Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which it hopes will provide the ability to quickly recover mailboxes or individual items for the first time in 10 years.

"Veeam has already given us greater confidence in our data protection," said Palmer. "In an increasingly cost-conscious environment, having a single solution that does all of this is a huge benefit."

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