Quantum and Veeam Create Data Protection Practice at Advatek

When a leading UK integrator ramped up its private cloud data protection practice, it quickly ran out of capacity and performance. The solution? Combining Quantum deduplication appliances with Veeam software to provide reliable, economical, high-performance protection against data loss and ransomware.

Advatek began by providing integration, networking, and IT management, but it has continually expanded offerings to meet client needs. One of the company’s fastest growing businesses is cloud-based backup, DR protection, and business continuity planning.

Helping Clients Provide Protection for VM Environments
“We had a number of clients who needed help protecting their virtualized environments from potential data loss and attacks like ransomware,” explains Simon Koscinski, Advatek Founder and Managing Director. Since traditional backup software often struggles with virtual environments, the company built its system around Veeam software specifically designed for VMs.

“Very early we partnered with Veeam to create a system for backing up VMs and providing 3-2-1 protection—that means keeping three copies of data in at least two different locations,” Koscinski said. “The first copy is the primary data, the second is a local backup on disk, and the third is a remote replica stored in our Manchester data center. Three copies, managed appropriately, ensure that client data always remains safe and available.”

NAS and Software Compression Can’t Keep Up with Growth
Initially, the company used NAS at client sites for the first backup, and then replicated back to a data-center NAS system using the backup software’s compression. “The software-based system worked well at first but as we added more and more clients and as their data kept growing, it just couldn’t keep up anymore,” said Koscinski. “Storage at the client sites and the data center kept filling up, and we had a hard time keeping up with the data being sent over the network to Manchester.”

Quantum DXi® Deduplication Provides the Missing Piece
Advatek investigated deduplication appliances to see if they could help solve the problem. “We looked at all the leading dedupe vendors and it didn’t take us long at all to settle on Quantum DXi appliances,” Koscinski remembers. “Quantum has very powerful dedupe technology, it had a track record of working very well with Veeam software in many different installations, and the DXi system offers the most flexible configurations that we see—many different sized appliances and non-disruptive scaling. We also know Quantum from working with their tape systems and have confidence in their service and support. An additional bonus is Quantum’s level of security—DXi data is encrypted while it resides on disk and while it is being sent over the network, but the performance stays high.”

Now, Advatek installs DXi appliances at client sites for local backup. “Veeam and DXi work very well together,” Koscinski says. “Backups are fast and restores are instantaneous. Most important, the amount of space we need to store the backups has shrunk dramatically because DXi has extremely effective deduplication.”

To provide the third copy, Veeam Cloud Connect manages replication of the local DXi data to a large, central DXi appliance in Manchester. “The replication works extremely well—DXi performs the replication, but it is managed through Veeam—and the high dedupe rate has reduced the network traffic by a wide margin. Our central DXi can easily handle all the data coming in, and we have plenty of room to expand the system in the future by adding capacity or processing nodes.”

Flawless Performance and Room for Growth
“In the 14 months since we installed the first DXi systems, the multi-site, 3-2-1 operation has performed flawlessly,” said Koscinski. “The backups and replications have all completed on time, restores have been easy, and the whole system has worked without any problems at all.”

DXi also provides a wide range of choices for expansion. “We can easily scale our central DXi when we need to, as well as the units installed at the client sites. And for customers who would like a fourth, removable retention option, DXi systems can use Veeam to easily create and export tape-based data sets using a directly connected Quantum library.”