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Veeam Backup & Replication helps Together Housing Group make the right move towards 100% virtual environment

Product Helps Housing Association Guarantee Compliance for Auditors and Save Over £70,000 per year

Reading, UK, 28 June 2012 - Veeam Software, innovative provider of VMware data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management solutions for virtual data centre environments, today announced that UK housing group Together Housing has used its Backup & Replication product (“Veeam Backup”) to ensure the protection of its infrastructure as it moves towards a 100% virtual environment. By using Veeam Backup, the Together Housing Group has been able to complete the project while avoiding the cost and performance issues often associated with legacy data protection tools. As a result backup windows have been halved, recovery times have been reduced by over 80% and Together Housing is saving over £70,000 per year in technology and consultancy costs.

“Together Housing is responsible for over 35,000 homes affecting over 50,000 peoples’ lives in the North of England,” said Lee Richardson, Systems Engineer, Together Housing. “With that kind of responsibility a disruption to any part of the business, from IT services to our field workers, can have huge effects on our customers. On top of this, due to our role our processes are placed under strict scrutiny from external auditors. As a result, as we pushed towards a 100% virtual IT infrastructure with the accompanying cost and flexibility benefits it brings, we needed to be certain that the applications and data on that infrastructure would be easily recoverable in the event of a disaster. At the same time, our existing legacy products did not provide the flexibility and cost-effectiveness needed to work in an increasingly large and complex virtual environment.”

The Together Housing Group has over 1,500 IT users spread across 20 locations in the North of England. Its 300 servers are currently split between 80% virtual and 20% physical, although the number of virtual machines is steadily growing as the organisation pursues its virtual ambitions. Whilst Together Housing performed some backup and recovery actions in-house, it also employed a third party organisation to help with its backup and recovery, providing services such as replication which were difficult for Together Housing to provide itself using its existing tools.

Together Housing originally used legacy backup and recovery tools. Unfortunately, neither tool provided the capability, flexibility and simplicity that Together Housing needed. The tools were too complex to use, requiring numerous visits from vendor engineer teams often lasting several days to set up and fix incidents. At the same time they did not work to the level Together Housing needed, providing limited replication capabilities and long backup windows that would overlap with IT users’ working time. Beyond this, if Together Housing wanted extra capabilities from its legacy products beyond the most basic it would have to pay extra. Based on these factors, Together Housing decided to replace its legacy backup and recovery tools with a product specifically designed to work in a virtual environment. It selected Veeam Backup based on its replication capabilities, the agentless and so much faster nature of its backup and recovery and its ease of use and set-up.

“Veeam Backup has proved a success for us in every department,” continued Lee Richardson. “By providing all of the capabilities we need in one easy-to-use package we have saved at least £20,000 per year on our legacy backup tools as well as £50,000 on our backup and recovery provider since we can now provide all these functions in-house. At the same time, backup windows have been reduced by more than half, from 16 hours to 7, which includes time for replication. As a result, backup can be performed both more often and without disrupting IT users’ work while actual recovery is possible in less than a fifth of the time previously taken. We can also recover individual files rather than entire machines, giving greater flexibility in data protection. This has made a huge difference to our business: we are more secure in our ability to offer a consistent service to our customers, while our auditors are much more satisfied with the data protection processes we have in place.”

About Veeam Software Veeam Software develops innovative solutions for VMware backup, Hyper-V backup, and virtualization management. Veeam Backup & Replication is the #1 VM Backup solution. Veeam ONE is a single solution for real-time monitoring, resource optimization and management reporting for VMware and Hyper-V. The Veeam Management Pack (MP) and Smart Plug-in (SPI) extend enterprise monitoring to VMware through Microsoft System Center and HP Operations Manager. Veeam also provides free virtualization tools. Learn more by visiting http://www.veeam.com.

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The Together Housing Group was formed on 1st April 2011, following the coming together of three well established housing groups;

  • Trans-Pennine Housing: Pennine Housing 2000 in Calderdale and Sheffield & Green Vale Homes in Pennine Lancashire
  • Chevin Housing: Chevin Housing Association, Harewood Housing Society, and Synergy Housing Solutions operating in the Yorkshire and Humber regions
  • Prospect Homes: Twin Valley Homes & Housing Pendle, both in Pennine Lancashire.

Managing over 35,000 homes affecting over 50,000 people’s lives and employing over 1,250 staff, the Group is a leading provider of quality, affordable and modern homes for rent, across the North of England.

Whilst each partner company will retain local identity for local communities, the Group will use its shared skills and expertise to offer better services and value to its customers to achieve their vision – ‘Making a Better Future Together’.