ALPLA’s IT managers explored the market in detail, drew up a shortlist and finally tested three products in proof-of-concept installations. In the end, the company decided to use Veeam Availability Suite.
"The solution clearly met our requirements best," said Schrom. "In particular, the intuitive operation, the wide range of functions and the future-proof technology, but also the good price-performance ratio spoke in favor of Veeam."
With the support of its IT partner, ACP, ALPLA planned the changeover of its globally distributed sites. Veeam Availability Suite was then implemented in ALPLA’s two main data centers in Austria and Germany and step-by-step at the individual sites. The rollout was largely automated thanks to scripted procedures.
In total, ALPLA uses Veeam to back up well over 1,000 VMs based in VMware vSphere with a data volume of over 500 TB. Each VM is first backed up to a local backup repository on site. Then, backup data is copied to the company's headquarters and stored again on tape for long-term retention.
"Especially when transferring data from our remote sites, we benefit significantly from Veeam's deduplication and WAN acceleration features," said the project manager. "We can therefore reduce the amount of data transferred by almost 70 percent."
Shortly after the conversion of the first sites, the use of Veeam Availability Suite paid off for ALPLA. At one of their plants in Mexico, their terminal server environment failed. As a result, employees no longer had access to their applications and data, a real worst-case scenario. With Veeam, ALPLA’s IT organization was able to respond immediately.
"In less than 30 minutes, we had everything restored and employees were able to resume working," said the project manager. "With our previous backup software, it probably would have taken us several days to get the servers up and running again."
Veeam gives ALPLA multiple options to quickly make data and applications available when needed. For example, with Instant VM Recovery, VMs can be restarted from the backup within a few minutes. For services like Microsoft SQL Server, ALPLA uses Veeam's granular recovery capabilities. The company's core applications, like its customized supply chain management and production planning, are based on SQL databases. With Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server, the IT team can now recover entire databases or even individual transactions down to the minute. A simple slider user interface also makes the administrators' work much easier.
Today, ALPLA’s IT team also saves time and effort in meeting compliance requirements. VM tags are used, for example, to specify how long the backups of a VM should be retained. - for example, for one, five or ten years. This way, different legal requirements in individual countries can be mapped efficiently and transparently. Additionally, Veeam's replication function helps ALPLA implement a disaster recovery (DR) strategy. ALPLA uses Veeam to keep ready-to-start copies of business-critical systems at all times. Hence, ALPLA is also prepared for disaster scenarios.
"These different use cases underline how important the Veeam solution is for ALPLA's business today," Schrom said. "Above all, it is crucial that the solution relieves us of some routine tasks in day-to-day operations. The data backup always runs in the background. And, with Veeam's self-service functions, we can delegate recovery tasks to the individual sites going forward. This gives us more time for new digitization projects."