Product Use Case Story: NASA Landsat-8 Sat Control Center

Backup agent for Microsoft Windows servers and workstations (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE)

Product Use Case Story: NASA Landsat-8 Sat Control Center

Veeam Logoby pswenson » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:09 am 15 people like this post

I work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where we are developing a virtualized refresh of the satellite control center for the Landsat-8 United States Geological Survey (USGS) mission. We are moving from a configuration that consisted of over 120 physical rack mount servers and workstations spread across 8 equipment racks, to one that uses 5 physical 2U servers, with 6U of Direct-Attached SAS storage.

We are utilizing the Nvidia Grid shared GPU cards for our Windows VMs that will be projecting high-resolution real-time renderings of the spacecraft attitude and position as it orbits the Earth within the satellite control center, but need to run the Grid cards in vDGA mode in order to bypass a VMware limitation of 512MB of graphics memory in vSGA mode (we need MORE!!! We have some VERY high-resolution textures for the Earth, Sun and Moon!) Because of this direct-mapped hardware, we can’t use our normal Veeam Backup and Replication Enterprise solution to back up these 5 VMs since direct-mapped hardware precludes VMware snapshots which the normal Veeam approach relies on.

The thought of having to implement and maintain a secondary backup solution JUST for these 5 workstations was giving our Engineering team heartburn at night. The ease-of-setup and “set it and forget it” nature of Veeam has spoiled us in our other deployments, and the legacy tape-based backup solution (and EXPENSIVE backup software!! Not going to name names, but the product maintenance alone was in the tens of thousands of dollars...) the current physical environment uses requires constant baby-sitting and fiddling to keep it going, and we really wanted to ditch our old solution and migrate to something exclusively online, with much faster recovery times and much less hassle. Veeam B&R was ready to go, except for these 5 systems…

Lucky for us one of our Intrepid Engineers came across an e-mail talking about Veeam Endpoint Backup, which was just being made available in an initial Beta release for customers to test against. Hallelujah!!! We downloaded the Beta the day it became available, and immediately installed it on two of our systems to test. Installation was seamless and set-up took all of 10 minutes (that INCLUDED generating NASA-spec detailed documentation of the install so that we could reproduce it later on other systems!) And this FREE, BETA software has been running for the past few days churning out backups without complaint. We are so excited for the GA to come out so we can target this at our existing off-site Veeam Repo Server for Disaster Recovery purposes (we also use a local Repo Server for instant recovery from localized failures).

Thanks so much for the AMAZING new FREE product, and keep up the great work leading the market in backups for virtualized (and now non-virtualized) systems!! I can’t imagine deploying a VM backup solution that didn’t have your “Instant VM Recovery” feature in its quiver… It’s quite literally saved our bacon a number of times :)

Best Regards,

Paul
Paul Swenson, CISSP
Science and Planetary Operations Control Center
Ground Data Systems Lead
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
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Re: Product Use Case Story: NASA Landsat-8 Sat Control Cente

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:09 pm

Excellent! Thank you very much for taking time to post this, Paul.
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Re: Product Use Case Story: NASA Landsat-8 Sat Control Cente

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:22 am

Thanks Paul,

I assume you already tried out some test restores also and played with the recovery appliance to know what to do in DR mode (which I of course hope you never have to do) :D

If you would see some things that you miss in this area for recovery of your workstations, I would love to hear about it! You can post it here or PM me.

Thanks
Mike
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Re: Product Use Case Story: NASA Landsat-8 Sat Control Cente

Veeam Logoby JasonRS » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:08 am 2 people like this post

Hi Paul,

You could also benefit from the upcoming vGPU feature that will arrive in Horizon 6. This eliminates the need for a hard PCI mapping yet still allows you to allocate GPU resource across 1,2,4 or 8 VM's with between 512Mb and 4GB of graphics memory accordingly. You have the hardware already, so no further outlay required.

As you're already using GRID technology it should be easy to get early access, just speak to your local Nvidia contact and I'm sure they'll sort it out for you.

Cheers,

Jason

Full Disclosure: I'm a Solutions Architect for Nvidia specialising in GRID & Virtualisation, and was directed here by a message on twitter from one of our UK partners!
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