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Oil and gas firm halves backup licence cost with Hycu move

Summit E&P made a strategic move to Nutanix hyper-converged and away from NetApp and VMware and wanted backup that could handle virtual machines and physical servers

Oil and gas exploration company Summit E&P has cut backup licence costs in half after switching from Veeam to Hycu and migrating from VMware to Nutanix and its native hypervisor, AHV.

Summit, a UK-based subsidiary of the Sumitomo Corporation, has only 17 employees but holds about 250TB of data, which is gathered by geophysical survey boats and exploratory wells.

Projects come as large files (300GB to 400GB) in large datasets in flat files (up to 1TB) that are subject to analysis via high-end workstations.

The infrastructure had comprised NetApp storage, VMware virtualisation and Veeam and Symantec (for physical servers) backup software.

An initial move to Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure came in 2017 with the deployment of a three-node cluster. “Then, in 2020, we decided Nutanix was the way to go,” said Summit IT and data manager Richard Inwards.

“NetApp had become expensive and difficult to maintain and we got rid of ESX for [the Nutanix] AHV [hypervisor]. We got rid of Veeam because we got rid of ESX, but also because Hycu for Nutanix could back up physical servers.”

He added: “Veeam didn’t backup physical servers very well at the time.”

Summit holds about 200TB of data on-site with some held off-site and streamed to the cloud. It runs 13 virtual machines (VMs) plus four physical servers.

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So, Summit deployed Nutanix, with the AHV hypervisor and Hycu backup, which provides incremental backup.

Inwards said licensing costs for Hycu are about half those for Veeam, but the key benefits are in ease of use.

“It’s a much more simple interface,” he said. “And we can now use one product for virtual and physical instead of two. Also, when we moved from ESX to Nutanix, Hycu handled the migration. We backed up from ESX and restored to Nutanix.

“The big benefit of Hycu is that it can do what Veeam couldn’t do, which is to integrate well with the Nutanix environment.”

Summit backs up about 50GB to 60GB per day via Hycu.

Hycu was spun off from the Comtrade Group into its own company in 2018. It offers backup software tailored to Nutanix and VMware virtualisation environmments as well as Google Cloud, Azure and Office 365 cloud workloads. It also offers a product aimed at Kubernetes backup.

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