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Veeam, Quantum backup protects VMs for Hawaii’s DOCD

The Hawaii Disease Outbreak Control Division turned to a Veeam and Quantum backup service after a major expansion of its virtual infrastructure.

When the Disease Outbreak Control Division (DOCD) in Hawaii's Department of Health heavily virtualized its environment last year, it needed to expand its backup service. More importantly, it needed to enhance its recovery capabilities.

The DOCD has about 150 virtual servers and stores case surveillance data that helps detect disease outbreaks. It also must protect electronic laboratory data, immunization registry data and healthcare provider databases.

The agency installed Veeam backup software last September, when it expanded its VMware infrastructure, according to Steve Sakamoto, senior data processing systems analyst for the DOCD in Honolulu.

The DOCD had used Quantum disk backup for about five years before adding another Quantum DXi box in a second location in June, about 25 miles from its headquarters.

Now, the DOCD, for its 5 TB of data, uses Quantum's DXi6700 deduplication appliance at its main data center, the DXi4700 deduplication replication target at the remote site about 25 miles away and Veeam backup software for VMware. The DXi systems and their replication support Veeam well, and they make it easy to use the same appliance for different applications, according to Sakamoto.

In addition, the DOCD still needs a few physical servers -- less than 10 -- and continues to use Symantec's Backup Exec for those, Sakamoto said. Veeam protects only virtual machines.

Sakamoto said the new setup makes him more comfortable about restoring data, and has made it easier to do on several occasions.

For example, an issue in a database prevented access to information. With Veeam's Full VM Recovery, the DOCD simply used the interface and followed the menus to perform the restore of the entire database.

We don't have duplicate data all over the place. We really like the technology.
Steve SakamotoDOCD senior data processing systems analyst, on Quantum backup

"We were able to recover quite easily," Sakamoto said. "We feel comfortable we can bring back data we might so happen to lose."

Sakamoto is also impressed with the Quantum backup deduplication device.

"That really compresses data, minimizes the amount of storage," he said. "We don't have duplicate data all over the place. We really like the technology."

The DXi Quantum backup system also provided an important archive function. The division had a problem of where to store old files that were important, but not active. So, it set up one DXi partition as a network-attached storage share and moved the old files over to it as an archive, where they didn't need to be managed or backed up, but were accessible if needed.

Both Quantum and Veeam are very responsive when it comes to technical support, according to Sakamoto.

"That's something that's key for us," Sakamoto said. "It's very high on the list when we're selecting a product."

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What do you look for in a product when backing up a virtual environment?
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Most backup apps have adjusted to the different demands of virtualized environments, but I suppose the differentiators are the same as they've been with more traditional backup operations--ease of use and the ability to integrate the backup app as seamless as possible with other storage/data management tools.
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That's a great point, Rich.

Who's happy with their virtual backup? What products do you like?
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