Admiral’s history is one of exceptional customer service, business growth, profitability and innovation. The company has grown from a small startup in Wales to insuring more than 6 million vehicles and homes throughout the United Kingdom.
From the start, Admiral has put customers first. By continually creating new products and services to meet their needs, the company has amassed a diverse portfolio. Customers can access products and services online, through Admiral’s app and by speaking with a customer service representative. Customers can also peruse online guides to learn the most cost-effective ways to insure their cars, homes and travel. Filing a claim is easy too. Admiral’s aim is great service and value.
“Our top business priority is providing customers with the best experience, whether they interact with us online, through our app or on the phone,” said David Loveless, Infrastructure Manager at Admiral. “To do that, we must protect the data that drives the business.”
Admiral’s IT team is always looking for ways to improve data protection, so they took a hard look at the current setup. A managed service provider was delivering Backup as a Service (BaaS) using IBM Spectrum Protect, but the team felt a more robust solution would be better for the business. Their immediate goal was faster, future-proof backup and recovery combined with visibility into the backup infrastructure so they could resolve issues proactively. They felt that level of functionality was the best way to protect data not only supporting the customer experience but also compliance with regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“It was time to bring backup on-premises,” Loveless said. “We also wanted workload portability for cloud integration and backup immutability for ransomware protection. We considered Symantec NetBackup because some of us had used it before, but we had also used Veeam, and we knew Veeam would fit the bill.”
Admiral deployed Veeam® Availability Suite™ and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.
Veeam helps Admiral protect data that supports the customer experience and FCA compliance. Veeam ensures reliable backup, recovers 90% faster and future-proofs data protection. Additionally, Veeam enables immutability for ransomware resilience and saves significantly in software, licensing and maintenance costs over five years.
“Veeam provides a range of capabilities and new innovations for data protection while also saving the business considerable money,” Loveless said. Veeam backs up 500 TB across more than 400 virtual machines (VMs) to Pure Storage® FlashBlade™ on-premises. As the backup repository, FlashBlade can harden Veeam backups via SafeMode snapshots, making them impervious to ransomware. SafeMode snapshots can’t be deleted, modified or encrypted.
“Veeam also provides visibility by monitoring backup jobs and reporting if they’ve changed,” Loveless said. “And Veeam reports on our recovery history, which is useful during FCA audits. Recovery is easy and fast.” One way to recover fast is with Veeam Instant VM Recovery®. The feature is part of Veeam DataLabs™, an isolated virtual environment that puts backups to work. SureBackup® tests and verifies backups for recoverability, Instant VM Recovery® restores from them in minutes and On-Demand Sandbox™ tests software patches and updates before they’re deployed in the production environment.
Veeam also backs up 60 TB of Office 365 data including mailboxes, files and documents used by more than 8,000 employees to Azure Blob Storage.
Veeam is highly scalable, enabling enterprises to protect petabytes of data and browse more than 100,000 objects simultaneously for recovery. Granular recovery capabilities such as Veeam Explorers™ for Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams restore items quickly to support employees’ work and FCA compliance.
“Microsoft makes it clear that organizations are responsible for backing up their data, so Veeam was the clear choice for us,” Loveless said. “Many of our departments use Teams as a repository for documents, so if our colleagues were to delete a channel accidentally, they might lose their documents if we weren’t using Veeam. We know their work is backed up, and we know we can restore it quickly.”
Loveless said Veeam helps prepare the business for the future too.
“One of our long-term goals is to continue moving workloads to the cloud, so we’re talking to Veeam about cloud-native backup options,” he said.
Loveless said Admiral is considering sending backup copies of Office 365 data to long-term, low-cost object storage. Veeam offers integrations with several, including Azure Archive, Amazon S3 Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive.
“Veeam gives the business a level of comfort that wasn’t possible with a managed service provider and the previous backup solution — and we’re saving considerable money,” Loveless said.
Admiral is the largest car insurance company in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Wales, Admiral offers motor, household and travel insurance as well as lending products to millions of customers. Admiral is part of Admiral Group plc, a Forbes Global 2000 and FTSE 100 company employing 11,000 people globally.
Admiral’s top business priority is providing the best customer experience, so when the company’s IT team found an even better way to protect data supporting the customer experience, they replaced the legacy solution.