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SunExpress flies under the enterprise-level protection of Veeam

Veeam supports the airline’s high standard of delivering the best customer experience on the ground and in the air

Antalya, Turkey, 18 August 2020: Veeam® Software, the leader in backup solutions enabling Cloud Data Management™, today announced that SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa Group and Turkish Airlines that operates flights to holiday destinations where the sun always shines, replaced legacy backup with Veeam Availability Suite™ and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 to ensure the best customer experience possible.

Veeam provides comprehensive data protection for all workloads, streamlines compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and automates backup management, monitoring and reporting, saving the equivalent of one full-time employee.

The airline industry is one of fastest growing and most competitive industries in the world. If customers have poor experiences, they’ll switch to another airline. If they have good experiences, they’ll become loyal, frequent flyers. SunExpress understands the value of customer experience. The airline has been uniting people, countries and cultures for decades, flying more than 10 million passengers to 90 destinations in 30 countries each year. 

“The SunExpress family works unrelentingly to provide an excellent customer experience,” said Mensur Tahiroviç, IT infrastructure and operations group director at SunExpress. “To assure customer satisfaction and trust, critical systems must be available all the time. This includes our reservation system, the in-flight operation system, email and SAP HANA.”

Tahiroviç said the impact of downtime could be catastrophic, particularly to the reservation system.

“Competition for passengers is intense, so we can’t miss out on a single reservation. Apart from losing reservations, we’d lose our customers’ trust, and they might not fly with us again.”

“There is serious competition between airline companies. That is why we can't afford to miss a single reservation. Apart from losing reservations, we would lose our customers' trust, and they might not fly with us again."

Tahiroviç said historical email data was also at risk. SunExpress wanted to transition from on-premises Microsoft Exchange to Exchange Online but worried backup-policy gaps might make it difficult to comply with GDPR.

"Many IT professionals believe that Microsoft provides a complete backup for Office 365 data. However, we knew that this did not meet the criteria of SunExpress and that it was not entirely sufficient," said Tahiroviç. "Microsoft provides a certain degree of data retention, but given the high standards set by international regulations governing airlines, this data retention option had to be supported with additional solutions."

Legacy backup didn’t meet the airline’s high standards. Backup was unreliable, requiring one person to monitor the process most of the day. Recovery was slow because data had to be restored from tape, taking hours.

"Because of all these factors, the operation became risky due to the potentially faulty backups and manual processes. Even when the process was successful, recovering data from backups was time-consuming." Tahiroviç said. "Our jobs as IT professionals is to contribute to the customer experience. However, legacy backups carry risks and are inefficient because they require manual labor."

Veeam backs up and replicates 300 TB across 600 virtual machines on-premises for fast, local recovery and off-premises for disaster recovery and business continuity. Veeam Plug-in for SAP HANA guarantees the transaction consistency of SAP HANA databases in backups, helping SunExpress process high volumes of data in real time. Veeam also eliminated the airline’s concern about losing access and control of historical email data when transitioning from on-premises Microsoft Exchange to Exchange Online.

“We trust Veeam for comprehensive data protection and Cloud Data Management,” Tahiroviç said. “We can restore individual emails, OneDrive files and SharePoint documents quickly and easily, and we can use Veeam’s eDiscovery feature to retrieve emails for GDPR compliance.”

Veeam provides something else that legacy backup lacked: monitoring and reporting.

"Veeam notifies us when there's a problem. Thus, we are able to solve problems before they grow into bigger ones and harm the business”, Tahiroviç explained. “Veeam has successfully automated backup management, monitoring and reporting, saving the equivalent of a full-time employee. The person who looked after backup now works on other important data center tasks.”

Tahiroviç said he’d recommend Veeam to IT professionals looking for comprehensive data protection and Cloud Data Management.

“Ease of installation, management and serviceability are top-notch with Veeam,” he said. “Our daily, weekly and monthly backups are created in line with policies we determine based on specific business requirements. Veeam definitely fulfils enterprise-level expectations in data protection and Cloud Data Management.”

To learn more, visit https://www.veeam.com/success-stories/sunexpress.html or https://www.veeam.com.