Masterpet accelerates 5 Mbps connection to 140 Mbps

Monday, 17 June, 2013

Pet products and services company Masterpet has streamlined its nightly Veeam virtual machine (VM) replication and disaster recovery (DR) exchange between New Zealand and Australia. Using data acceleration software, Masterpet is now transmitting three times more data twice as fast over a 5 megabit-per-second (Mbps) connection.

Masterpet’s nightly 500 megabyte (MB) VM replication process between Wellington and Sydney had previously taken 40 minutes to complete over the saturated 5 Mbps wide area network (WAN) connection. This was putting Masterpet’s recovery point objective (RPO) in jeopardy.

In addition to its data centres at the Masterpet head offices in Wellington and in Sydney, the company has branch offices in Auckland and Christchurch which run a variety of applications over the WAN. Internet voice traffic accounts for a big portion of the bandwidth being consumed, along with email, remote desktop (RDP) sessions, web and file-sharing.

VM backups began to saturate the link during the past year, as the company moved most of its servers to a virtual environment. Sean White, Masterpet’s ICT Manager for Australasia, responded by evaluating ways of streamlining and improving WAN performance.

“First we investigated a larger link, but the cost was prohibitive,” said White. “We needed to improve our DR processes without extending the link, so we began to investigate WAN acceleration solutions.”

Masterpet drew up a list of WAN acceleration vendors to evaluate, with an emphasis on virtual products. Following a two-month trial of Silver Peak, Masterpet determined the vendor’s VRX software to be a suitable fit for their environment.

Masterpet’s 5 Mbps connection now performs like a 140 Mbps connection.

White said the software “installs easily into our environment and performs better than any hardware optimisation product we’ve seen. Looking at the figures, the transfer of 1.6 GB in 22 minutes is the sort of result that is very consistent for us now and is helping us easily meet our RPO.

“Silver Peak is giving us a full four hours of unused space to push more data through if need be,” said White.

White said the solution’s subscription-based pricing model was a key consideration, as it worked out to be cost-effective for Masterpet’s OPEX requirements.

Masterpet uses Veeam for its virtual replication and also needed to ensure that any new data acceleration solution would seamlessly interoperate with Veeam.

White said: “It is very easy to perform our Veeam backups now the WAN is working so efficiently. We wanted something simple - we don’t need a lot of reporting or features, just something that sits there in the background and quietly makes our replication faster.”

The ROI for Masterpet’s new solution crosses several areas of the business. Bandwidth savings means White will not need to increase his link capacity for the foreseeable future. He has also saved on server and facility costs by making better use of existing infrastructure with virtual products.

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