The Business Challenge
The role of IT is considered crucial by Al Naboodah Group Enterprises’ (ANGE) top
leadership. The company has applications that have to be always available to enable
collaboration between the 16,000-strong workforce that operate out of 100+
construction sites and offices across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. ANGE also
runs close to 20 specialized construction and commercial applications including
AutoCAD, a computer-aided design and drafting application that is used daily by the
company’s architects, project managers and engineers.
The United Arab Emirates is deeply committed to meeting the climate change demands
of COP21 and, in line with this, the Group has set sustainability KPIs for each department.
Therefore, as the IT team scaled its operations in-line with business objectives, they were
keen to increasingly utilize virtualization and reduce their carbon footprint.
The organization’s existing backup solution, however, couldn’t meet the IT department’s
three key objectives: virtualization advanced support; backup verification, and rapid
recovery. “With our existing solution we were only able to back up our mission-critical
applications and data, and that too was outside of working hours. We generate
tremendous volumes of data daily, pertaining to designs, project management, supply
chain and logistics, and other critical functions. It is important there are no interruptions
to this data which could have a negative impact on the Group’s productivity,” Mario
Foster, Group Chief Information Officer explained.
With a host of new applications being added to his environment and an inevitable
data explosion on the horizon, Foster knew it was time to look for an alternative.
“We were in the market for an ‘availability’ rather than just a backup solution. It
had to enable us to meet our sustainability KPIs, safeguard data being constantly
generated by the business, and ensure applications were always available to
employees who relied on them,” he said.
The Veeam Solution
ANGE evaluated Proof of Concepts (POCs) from multiple vendors. “While all
solutions supported virtualization, Veeam had the best overall package and by far
the most dedicated local support. They boasted an impressive list of references
and were consistently recognized as a market leader by independent research firms
such as Gartner,” explained Foster.
ANGE deployed the Veeam® Availability Suite™ as a single solution for its backup,
replication, recovery and reporting needs. In addition, the solution’s deep
integration in the IT environment meant it also offered powerful monitoring
capabilities, thus proving to be the ‘feature-rich’ solution Foster had hoped for.
“We have achieved 99.8% virtualization and Veeam offers us in-depth monitoring
of 170 virtual machines (VMs) and the very limited physical servers,” stated Foster.
The Group instantly realized a tremendous increase in performance as backups
were now smoothly executed in minutes, reducing RTO by 60%. So, despite ANGE’s
data increasing by over 200%, the IT team is now able to back up all applications
on a daily basis in real-time. This assured backup and constant availability of apps
is fundamental to the Group as it utilizes more than twenty different specialized
construction and commercial applications. “These apps enable everything from
design, collaboration and communication to customer management, logistics
and other mission-critical operations, thereby playing an essential role in all the
operations of our organization,” explained Foster.
Through utilization of existing investments, Veeam has reduced the organization’s need
to procure additional storage by 50%, taking advantage of Veeam’s compression and deduplicate
technology, thereby saving roughly $180,000 in capital expenses. This enabled
ANGE to achieve ROI on its Veeam deployment in well under two years.
Veeam SureBackup is a standout feature for ANGE, as it has eliminated the need to
manually verify backups. “We are now assured that every backup is always taken
correctly and can be used in any event or emergency,” said Foster. “We can thus
guarantee up-to-date information is always available when and where it is needed - a vital
requirement for an organization with over 100 offices and sites across such a vast area.”
He was also highly impressed by Veeam’s recovery features, stating, “Because a lot of the
work our employees do requires collaboration and the involvement of contractors, it’s
very important that we have reliable backups at every stage of the process in case there is
a miscommunication or a need to refer to previous versions. Whereas file recovery could
take up to a day, with Veeam, we can resolve these issues in under five minutes. What this
means is that employees are not inhibited, but rather empowered by IT.”
Many key applications in ANGE’s environment weren’t designed for high availability,
but Veeam addresses this by increasing VM restore speed by over 10 times.
- Enables 99.8% virtualization, achieving sustainability objectives
and cutting capital expenses
“Veeam gave us the confidence to carry out the complete virtualization of our
environment. We know our VMs can be instantly recovered, and we have the tools
needed to closely monitor our entire virtual environment in real time,” said Foster.
Considerably greater speed and efficiency has meant that ANGE now extends backup
to all applications, rather than only mission-critical ones. “This eliminates business risk
and makes us far more resilient to data loss or application failure,” he added.
- Improves full VM recovery speed by over 10 times
Veeam has shortened backup windows by over 60%, automated the backup and
verification process with SureBackup, and increased the speed of full VM recovery
by over 10 times. Foster estimates that his team now saves 1000 man-hours per
year thanks to Veeam, resulting in a large amount of annual savings.
- Full Return on Investment (ROI) in under two years
Although ANGE has experienced a data explosion in recent years with
volumes growing by 50-200% in some areas, the organization has been able
accommodate this with its existing storage investments. This is because Veeam
has reduced storage requirements by close to 50%, allowing ANGE to avoid an
estimated $180,000 in capital expenses. “Taking into account such cost savings
and the increased productivity of my team, I believe we achieved ROI on this
implementation in under two years,” said Foster.