In 2014, CoreTech expanded its business by offering cloud computing services to customers in Italy and the United Kingdom under the name Stellar. Advertised as a more affordable alternative to cloud providers Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google, Stellar provided virtual machines (VMs) with guaranteed performance for a monthly payment.
CoreTech marketed the service to developers, web agencies, system integrators, and managed service providers. One of the selling points, in addition to Stellar’s guaranteed performance, was reliable data protection via regular backups.
CoreTech needed a way to protect Stellar customers’ data by backing up their VMs. The solution also needed to be affordable, to suit Stellar’s low-price model. In addition, CoreTech’s employees needed to back up the VMs they used for testing purposes, which they had created using Microsoft Hyper-V.
Before using Micro Focus VM Explorer, CoreTech would have to stop a VM to manually copy the backup file to another location. According to CoreTech Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Roberto Beneduci, this was expensive for the company and disruptive and risky for customers, who could not use VMs during this downtime. It could take two hours or more to back up one VM, so a technician would be required to spend a day managing just five backups. For these reasons, CoreTech only manually backed up a few VMs in its internal test environment.
With VM Explorer, CoreTech employees can now schedule hundreds of VM backups to occur automatically, saving its administrators hours each week. Beneduci says this was straightforward to set up and that CoreTech’s employees can quickly check the status of backups by reading reports via email, or connect to the VM Explorer dashboard to gain further information. VM Explorer also offers users the option of automatically testing a backup, and can provide screenshots of this test via email.
Another strength of VM Explorer that appealed to Beneduci was its support for a wide variety of VM environments. CoreTech has different VMware production clusters hosted in two separate data centers, each cluster comprising three HPE DL360 servers connected to an HPE MSA 2040 storage array. In addition to backing up these production VMs, CoreTech uses VM Explorer to back up its development VMs using Microsoft Hyper-V.
CoreTech had previously used Veeam to back up VMs for other projects, but it switched to VM Explorer when it launched the Stellar business. One of the major reasons was VM Explorer’s affordability. Beneduci said CoreTech was able to save thousands of euros by using VM Explorer instead of Veeam. “VM Explorer is the right alternative to Veeam,” he says. “It’s simpler and less expensive.”