Cloud Temple wanted to protect its clients’ virtual machines, improve customer service, and cut costs in a multi-tenant private cloud. How could it simplify management, increase business efficiency, and enhance client satisfaction?
The company deployed IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to manage the backup of approximately 7,500 VMware virtual machines to IBM FlashSystem arrays.
Frees 3 FTEsfrom software development and maintenance tasks
Saves 2 FTEsin backup operations, enable staff to focus on value-add opportunities
7,500 VMswill be protected across complex, multi-tenant private cloud
Business challenge story
Protecting the most critical asset: data
For Christophe Lesur, General Manager of leading French cloud hosting provider Cloud Temple, there can be no half measures or grey areas when it comes to protecting data: “As a service provider, backup is of fundamental strategic importance – we can recover from anything except the loss of data.”
When Cloud Temple launched more than a decade ago, it faced a challenge: how to efficiently manage multiple different backup policies simultaneously in different clients’ virtual server landscapes. The company wanted to ensure complete reliability in protecting its clients’ servers, without placing unsustainable demands on its technical support staff.
“At that time, backup solutions were immature when it came to meeting the needs of service providers,” recalls Christophe Lesur. “There was really nothing on the market that offered rigorous management of multiple backup policies in a multi-tenant private cloud – so we created our own solution in-house.”
The Cloud Temple solution took the form of an advanced scheduler that hooked into VMware APIs and backed up VMs to an IBM Storage environment, using ZFS technology for scalability and built-in data integrity.
Fast-forward ten years, and while the in-house technology continued to work well, Cloud Temple determined that there was no longer sufficient added value in maintaining its own solution. “The in-house solution occupied three FTEs who were more valuable to us in other areas of the business,” says Christophe Lesur. “We decided to seek an external solution from a vendor that understood our specific challenges as a cloud services provider.”
Fast, reliable, scalable
Cloud Temple reviewed solutions from IBM and two other global vendors, determining that IBM Spectrum Protect Plus uniquely offered the required scalability, flexibility and performance for its needs. “The added value of Spectrum Protect Plus is twofold,” explains Christophe Lesur. “First, the software uses a very similar architecture to our in-house solution, so we were confident that it would be scalable and functional enough.
“Second, we were reassured that IBM understands what backup means for a service provider. It’s rare to have a software provider that understands multi-tenancy and segmentation of rights. A further element in our decision was the fact that we have never lost a single bit of data with IBM Storage.”
Cloud Temple deployed IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to manage backups of VMware virtual machines to its IBM FlashSystem arrays, all pooled into a single flexible storage resource using IBM Spectrum Virtualize.
IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is designed to simplify the backup, recovery and replication of data across multi-cloud environments. With management policies based on SLAs, the solution provides ideal support for service providers like Cloud Temple, while drilldown dashboards help monitor compliance and storage utilization. IBM Spectrum Protect Plus employs incremental-forever backup of virtual environments to ensure exceptionally low RPO for mission-critical applications running on VMware. It also enables the easy offload of backups to on-premises object storage or to public cloud-based storage for long-term data protection and disaster recovery. Cloud Temple is in the process of setting up local object storage for this purpose.
Supplementing the FlashSystem arrays, IBM tape libraries provide a third tier of storage, enabling Cloud Temple to offer different levels of backup performance to clients depending on their needs and budgets.
Today, Cloud Temple is using the solution to protect approximately 1,500 VMs out of a final target of 7,500, and manages 20 PB of storage, all on IBM Storage systems. Approximately two thirds of clients choose a full backup-as-a-service offering from Cloud Temple; the remainder use IBM Spectrum Protect Plus web-based management tools to manage their own backups.
“It was already a challenge just to keep our internal solution updated for each new version of VMware,” says Christophe Lesur. “With IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, keeping VMs protected is far easier to manage and we can focus on adding value to our clients rather than on developing software.”
Meeting multi-cloud needs
Cloud Temple has taken advantage of the RESTful APIs in IBM Spectrum Protect Plus to automate a large number of administrative tasks around backup, simplifying and accelerating internal operations while simultaneously reducing risk for its clients.
“Backup is strategically vital, but you don’t want to spend more time on it than you need to,” reports Christophe Lesur. “IBM Spectrum Protect Plus saves significant time and effort for Cloud Template in two areas. First, we have eliminated the need to maintain and update our in-house solution, freeing up three FTEs to focus on other responsibilities. Second, we are saving at least two FTEs in daily operations, so we can focus more on delivering excellent service to our clients.”
The deployment of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus improves the quality of service to clients by ensuring higher success rates for backups. The solution has also increased the rates of compression and deduplication of data during the backup process, accelerating protection while cutting the rate of growth in storage capacity requirements.
Christophe Lesur adds: “For us, the major advantage of IBM solution’s API-driven approach is the automation possibilities it offers. We are automating in areas such as deployment, monitoring and reporting, and currently building an automated file recovery tool for clients.”
The new IBM solution is also helping Cloud Temple to adapt to the demands of the hybrid multi-cloud world, providing easy integration with major public cloud providers. In addition to simplifying the recovery of backed-up virtual machines directly on the public cloud, the solution enables clients with multi-cloud infrastructures to centralize all of their backups to Cloud Temple’s private cloud. Says Christophe Lesur, “Many clients want to centralize backup and be able to move data from the public cloud to on-premises tape resources, which we can now do easily thanks to IBM Spectrum Protect Plus.”
With its clients’ virtual machines protected around the clock by IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, and backed up to high-performance, ultra-robust IBM FlashSystem arrays, Cloud Temple has achieved its goals of greater efficiency, performance and reliability in backup.
Christophe Lesur concludes: “With IBM Spectrum Protect Plus, we are confident that our clients’ critical systems and data are protected and can be rapidly recovered, either to our own data center or to virtual resources in the public cloud. In addition, we now spend less time organizing backups and can concentrate on keeping our clients’ outsourced systems in optimal working order.”
Cloud Temple is a specialist provider of hosting services and private cloud infrastructure to approximately 100 corporate clients in France. Established in 2006 and focused on serving the banking and industrial sectors, Cloud Temple is now part of Neurones, a EUR500M technology group listed on the Euronext stock market (ticker symbol: NRO).