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How YouGov Uses Veeam Backup & Replication to Safeguard Data

The IT team at YouGov had quite the challenge on their hands when trying to plan a large-scale data migration from Berlin-based services to a datacenter in London. Faced with backing up 30 terabytes of data in a safe, secure and efficient manner, the team ultimately chose Veeam Backup & Replication as their go-to software for the move. Despite the accessibility of Veeam software, migrating such a huge amount of data was still a difficult task.

Prior to using a dedicated datacenter in London, YouGov was stuck in a poor managed service contract with Interroute. Without enough flexibility and versatile, and with exorbitant premiums for the addition of new devices, the relationship between YouGov and Interroute started to go south. YouGov really had no other choice but to take their business elsewhere.

The difficulty they faced now involved finding the right solution for their needs. Not only did they need to locate a dedicated datacenter, but they also had to migrate their data away from the old servers. Given the fact that they were looking at 30 full terabytes of data, it's safe to say that the team had their work cut out for them.

Once the London-based datacenter was secured, YouGov still had to tackle the issue of populating their new servers with the critical data needed to sustain operations. Again, this was no easy task, but the IT team with YouGov found the perfect solution in Veeam Backup & Replication.

Nick Carter, YouGov's head of system operations and infrastructure, spoke about the difficulties faced when overseeing the migration of such a large amount of data from Berlin to London. He was quoted as saying: "The challenge with tape backup is that we would have needed similar hardware. There is also a high potential risk. It would have taken at least two days to get the VMs back online." He continued by saying: "In 2011 we made the move to London, with new HP DL380 G7 Proliant servers and the Dell Compellent SAN. Because the hardware was now no longer identical to Berlin, we had not come up with a decent migration strategy."

YouGov didn't decide on Veeam Backup & Replication immediately, however. They took advantage of a trial version at first, thereby allowing them to get a feel for the software and its functionality. Once they saw how user-friendly and streamlined the entire process could be with Veeam, they realized they had found their solution.

Carter went on to talk about the moment when they finally tried out Veeam, as he spoke about his company's initial test run of the software. He stated: "We heard Veeam had backup, so we installed a trial and redeployed one of our VMs from its current location in the Berlin datacentre over to London using a 10Mbps line. We wanted to ensure we did an initial replica then a catchup, before bringing the other machine up."

After it was all said and done, the entire data migration process had taken a full month. While Veeam wasn't able to replicate the entire framework, such as internal databases, the software lifted a huge burden from the shoulders of YouGov's IT team.


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