“As we grew, backups were taking longer and longer to complete. We then decided to take a support contract with Bacula Systems. They have helped us in optimizing our configuration, and now backups are completed almost twice as fast as before.”

Nicolas Van Eenaeme, Director of ITS, Netlog

 

About Netlog

Netlog is an online platform where users can keep in touch with and extend their social network. It is an online social portal, specifically targeted at the European youth. It is developed by Netlog NV, based in Ghent, Belgium. Netlog is currently available in 37 languages and has more than 63 million members throughout Europe, and this number increases every day.

 

The Challenge

Netlog has been a very active user of open source for a long time. It needed to find a product that suited its needs and that was also flexible enough to support its many different systems,
‘We started to implement Bacula by ourselves, but when the backup environment became more complex, we felt the need to get in touch with the experts’, said Netlog’s Director of ITS, Nicolas Van Eenaeme. ‘We have an enormous amount of data that needs to be backed up daily and with different retention periods. Our data is constantly growing, so we needed a solution that scales very well’, added Van Eenaeme.

Before 2008, backups were made using self-made scripts. This was not a complete automated backup solution and there was a huge continuous growth in the amount of data that needed to be backed up. ‘Most of our applications run on open source software, so we evaluated Bacula as being a complete backup solution that provides us all the features we want without using proprietary software’ said Van Eenaeme.

 

The Solution

So what was the main decision criteria? ‘Just to make sure everything works, and that it gets backed up fast enough’, says Van Eenaeme.

Netlog is currently using Bacula to backup 30TB of data from more than 500 critical servers, running mainly MySQL databases. All of its servers run Debian GNU/Linux. Backups are stored on tapes using the Dell LT4000 tape library, with 4 half-height LTO4 drives. The library holds 48 tapes. Each storage device has a Dell MD1000 DAS containing 15 SAS disks for spooling.

‘As we grew, backups were taking longer and longer to complete. We then decided to take a support contract with Bacula Systems and use the Open Core solution: Bacula Enterprise Edition. They have helped us in optimizing our configuration, and now backups are completed almost twice as fast as before’ said Van Eenaeme.

 

 

Steps described in the diagram:

1. The Bacula Director tells the bacula file daemon to backup
2. All data is written to the spool device using fast network/ fast disks, so the snapshot on the database gets removed as soon as possible.
3. The spooled jobs get despooled one by one when the tape is available.

 

The Result

‘Because Bacula is flexible, open-source and very widely supported in the community, we could benefit from various available scripts and were able to tweak it to perfectly suit our requirements’ says Van Eenaeme. ‘For example: the integration in our monitoring platform just took us one hour!’ he added.

 

Netlog now relies on Bacula Systems’ technology and support services to meet its mission-critical data backup requirements. ‘Our data is continuously growing. Bacula is the right solution for us and scales very well. ‘

 

“We needed to find a product that fitted our needs, and is flexible enough to support all our different systems, so Bacula was the best backup product we could use” affirmed Van Eenaeme.