Customer stories

Secured VMs and faster backups with 15‑minute RPO

Learn how RBINS secured all its IT services by integrating AiRE with Proxmox and turned a slow backup situation around by bringing its RPO down to 15 minutes with the agility of AiRE IntelligentFiler by STORViX.

2 min read

The challenge

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences’s (RBINS) were seeking faster backups options to ensure its vital North Sea research data could be quickly secured. With infrastructure growing rapidly and plans to bring the operations of several departments together under a single central IT function, RBINS was concerned that its solution at the time would not be robust enough to handle this vast increase in data. Backup time was such a great concern that the directorate dragged its feet on implementing the planned consolidation until a more agile solution could be found.

It was also crucial that a new solution could ensure optimal performance tailored to RBINS’s fields of research and needs. This included using the system to manage virtual machines (VMs) and provide a suitable space to archive the results of simulations. As a result, the solution would also need to be easy to integrate with simulation software and VM management software.

faster backups

The solution

STORViX initially deployed two AiRE IntelligentFiler model 3128 systems, significantly boosting backup speeds and ensuring rapid protection for both VMs and simulation data. The core of IntelligentFiler, AiRE, incorporates powerful features that serve as the lifeblood of the complete AiRE IntelligentFiler solution. These advanced capabilities not only deliver continuous protection from corruption, disasters, and breaches but also guarantee optimal performance by automating I/O path management, recognizing application profiles, and efficiently reducing data—culminating in consistently faster backups.

Through seamless integration with Proxmox, AiRE efficiently manages all IT servers running as VMs, providing a robust foundation to ensure the institute’s IT services remain secure and operational. Proxmox Virtual Environment, a comprehensive open-source platform for enterprise virtualization, tightly integrates the KVM hypervisor and LXC containers, coupled with software-defined storage and networking functionality. This integration not only streamlines operations but also contributes to faster backups, addressing the need for swift data protection.

Thanks to AiRE’s intelligent provisioning, the RBINS team experienced a substantial improvement in the time required to establish protection points, achieving an impressive recovery point objective (RPO) of only 15 minutes—demonstrating the commitment to faster backups.

After the initial year, RBINS was thoroughly impressed with the value AiRE added for its teams and the seamless user experience. Recognizing the importance of speed in data management, RBINS ordered an additional AiRE system to scale the solution and meet the increasing demand for more archiving space, further enhancing the efficiency of backups. Moreover, RBINS and STORViX are actively planning to leverage AiRE’s advanced data protection and replication features to facilitate even quicker offsite copies in the near future, ensuring a comprehensive and faster backup strategy.

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) is one of the ten federal scientific establishments that are governed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo). It is involved in important scientific research activities and carries out public service missions. The institute is open to everyone through the Museum of Natural Sciences.

Today, the RBINS research team comprises 165 scientists and dozens of scientific staff, technicians and volunteers. It is a varied team that includes biologists, ecologists, geologists, mineralogists, palaeontologists, anthropologists, oceanographers, engineers and computer experts. This enables RBINS to carry out multidisciplinary research.

RBINS has enormous collections made up of approximately 38 million specimens that form an inexhaustible research resource. These ‘biodiversity archives’ are used to classify existing species and identify new ones, and to study their ecosystems. This research enables RBINS to amend policies in order to protect and preserve biodiversity. And now, with new techniques such as CT scans, isotope analysis and DNA sequencing, researchers are able to glean new information from old material on a daily basis.

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