Taking Hosted Backup Services to the Next Level

"For the past years, we at Advania have collaborated closely with the backup company Veeam in the development and implementation of our backup systems that safeguard and service our virtual hosting environment. This has catapulted us to being a leading player in the backup services industry."

Olafur Helgi Haraldsson

For the past years, we at Advania have collaborated closely with the backup company Veeam in the development and implementation of our backup systems that safeguard and service our virtual hosting environment. This has catapulted us to being a leading player in the backup services industry.

Check out our Veeam Cloud Connect Services

Recognition for ambition and cooperation

Earlier this month Veeam presented Advania with the prestigious “Veeam Cloud Service Provider (VCSP) Partner Award” This award is given to Nordic hosting companies who have demonstrated exceptional ambition and cooperation with Veeam. 
Last winter I had the privilege of being invited to speak at the VeeamON 2015 conferences which are hosted by Veeam. My task was to give other hosting companies insight into how Advania plans and implements backup services and how we create value for our customers. 

VEEAM Advania award.
 Me (on the far right) with our partners, my colleague Petur Arnason with the reward in the middle. 

Backup should add value

We at Advania believe that backup is one of the basic services included in hosting. It should not only be a good defense against data loss, but it should also be value adding. For example, new virtual machines and data should seamlessly be integrated in our Service Level Agreements and companies that are hosted by us do not experience disruption to their operations. There is a need to cooperate closely with customers so they are able to use the full potential of data backup services. 
By breaking away from the old way of doing things and automate backup in the hosting environment there is a great deal of potential for getting real benefits for both hosters and customers. This improves both service level and data security.

Test backup services – they are the zero in the 3-2-1-0 rule

Smart backup services enable you to do automatic testing. When planning your backup services, it is important to safeguard data with the 3-2-1-0 rule. It is often forgotten that backup can be unreliable unless it is tested on a regular basis. Instead of testing your backup ad hoc, it is recommended that testing is both frequent and automatic. 
The 3-2-1-0 Rule
3. Have three copies of data
2. The data is stored on two different medium
1. One copy should be safely stored off site
0. Test regularly how to restore the IT environment automatically

Have a sandbox to prepare for updates or changes

When new implementations or updates are being tested, it is often difficult to get access to live systems without putting a lot of strain on system administrators or developers. This is simply due to the fact that it is difficult to set up a testing environment that contains all the nodes and services included in the system to be tested.
We at Advania use backup systems to boot entire environments of backup stacks in a protected environment. This way you can apply updates or add-ons without wasting precious resources used by live IT environments and therefore lower the risk of failure in your systems. 

In order to maximize the operational security of your IT systems the best way is to test backup in a reliable fashion in a protected environment before changes are made in a live IT environment.

Have copies off site

There are many ways to get back up data offsite. Probably, the most popular method is to take data tapes and store them in a bank vault. They are, however, often a poor choice for storing tapes due to environmental factors such as humidity levels. 
We offer our customers who use Veeam solutions to move data to our data centers using a self-service solution. Advania data centers are constantly monitored by our technicians and experts and are ISO 270001 certified. When using our services it is relatively easy and simple to reclaim important data in case of major disasters. 

Advania enters the next phase to build Europe’s science cloud

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) has, together with nine of the other leading public research organisations in Europe, launched the Helix Nebula Science Cloud (HNSciCloud) Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP). With co-funding from the European Comission, the objective is to build a hybrid cloud platform to support data-intensive science areas in Europe. The procurement includes the design and implementation of Infrastructure as a Service for compute, storage and network connectivity. 

It is one of Europe’s largest ongoing procurements and Advania is included as an infrastructure vendor in one of the four consortia. Together with HP, Indra and SixSq the companies are now entering the Design Phase of the HNSciCloud PCP. 

According to Daniel Albertsson, marketing manager at Advania Sweden, 28 proposals from 12 countries where submitted and Advania is very proud to be one of the four consortias. “It is an evidence of how we think and work differently and is in line with our strategy to offer HPC as a service. We are very proud and are looking forward to completing this phase successfully”  

Advania has during the last year, in partnership with HPE and Intel, developed a business and delivery model for building high-performance computing (HPC) as a service. The objective is to create a service portfolio to provide HPC for data-intensive simulations and calculations. A service which is becoming increasingly important in sectors such as the automotive and aerospace industry, where large amounts of data are used to simulate crashes and wind speed. 

“Many companies do not have the capacity in their own data centers to cope with data-intensive simulations” says Daniel Albertsson, marketing manager at Advania Sweden. “Therefore, we have recently launched the HPC as a service to give companies the opportunity to rent by the hour or month if desired. For those customers who want to purchase virtual machines or Containers as a service, we provide it through our public cloud service Helion OpenStack”