The business challenges
The launch of Aboriginal Peoples TV Network (APTN) more than 20 years
ago represented a significant milestone for indigenous peoples across
Canada. The network has become an important news, entertainment and
educational programming resource for more than 10 million households.
APTN celebrates indigenous peoples’ cultures, shares their journeys and
honors the wisdom of their elders. The network broadcasts more than
50 hours of programming each week in 23 languages. Programs include
Nation to Nation, which follows the effect of politics on indigenous
peoples, and InFocus, a live interactive call-in show covering top news
stories that impact their way of life, health and employment.
Several IT systems support programming as well as business operations.
Avatega is a cross-platform scheduling system enabling APTN to deliver
programming in multiple time zones across Canada. Microsoft Dynamics
is an enterprise resource planning system that supports APTN’s financial
management and marketing. Microsoft SQL Server underpins both systems.
“Protecting these systems is extremely important to our organization,”
said Steve Ens, IT Manager at APTN. “If we experience a ransomware
attack or a natural disaster like a fire, we have to be able to restore these
systems quickly so programming can continue.”
The challenge was Backup Exec. Ens said recovery could take hours or
even days, putting programming and business operations at risk.
“That wasn’t the only challenge,” he said. “Backup Exec was difficult to use at
times, and customer support felt like it was nonexistent unless you paid through
the teeth. We knew there was an easier way to protect our critical systems.”
APTN considered several solutions including Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“Choosing Veeam was a no-brainer because it’s the whole package,” Ens
said. “When we deployed Microsoft Office 365 a few years later, adding
Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 was a no-brainer too. Microsoft
tells customers it’s their responsibility to protect their data, so Veeam
protects it for us.”
The Veeam solution
Veeam protects all IT systems supporting programming and business
operations so APTN can continue its invaluable work of celebrating indigenous
peoples and helping the world understand their significance and value. Veeam
also strengthens ransomware protection by fulfilling the 3-2-1-1-0 Rule (3
different copies of data on 2 different media with 1 copy offsite and 1 copy that
is air-gapped, immutable or offline with 0 backup recovery errors). Moreover,
Veeam provides total access and control of APTN’s Office 365 data.
“Our network is an advocate for indigenous peoples, so knowing Veeam
is protecting the systems that support our programming and business
operations removes the anxiety associated with disaster recovery (DR),”
Ens said. “Veeam is the best solution out there.”
Veeam backs up and replicates 15 TB across 36 Microsoft Hyper-V virtual
machines (VMs) on-premises to a local server and off-premises to a DR
site. Ens said recovery takes minutes, not hours or days like the legacy
solution. His go-to recovery features are Instant VM Recovery® and Veeam
Explorers™ for Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange, SharePoint and Teams.
“Restore time is of the utmost importance, so we test our ability to
restore regularly,” he said. “Instant VM Recovery is a fantastic way to spin
up a server, and file-level recovery with Veeam Explorers is super-fast.
When I attend Microsoft Ignite conferences, they remind you it’s your
responsibility to protect Office 365 data, so I’m grateful we have Veeam.
I’ve restored employee’s mailboxes several times, and it’s a relief knowing
I have the ability to restore their SharePoint and Teams data too.”
In addition to backing up and replicating APTN’s VMs on-premises and offpremises,
Veeam sends backup and replica copies to Storagepipe’s secure,
private cloud through a built-in feature called Veeam Cloud Connect.
Storagepipe is a global provider of comprehensive cloud, data protection
and cybersecurity services. It’s also a Platinum Veeam Cloud & Service
Provider (VCSP) partner.
“Veeam helps us follow the 3-2-1-1-0 Rule because our copies in Storagepipe’s
cloud are air gapped,” Ens said. “Next we’re considering additional
ransomware protection through immutable backups. We may use Veeam to
create a hardened Linux repository that protects against deletion of data.”
Ens said if he has questions about creating a hardened Linux repository, he’ll
immediately reach out to Veeam’s technical support team.
“Veeam provides customers with an easy way to open a case and chat online
or on the phone,” he said. We have a great local team that supports us, and
that’s a big advantage.”
- Protects all IT systems supporting programming and business operations
“We’re passionate about our programming because it contributes to
a greater understanding of indigenous peoples,” Ens said. “It’s a good
feeling knowing Veeam can restore our IT systems quickly.”
- Strengthens ransomware protection by fulfilling the 3-2-1-1-0 Rule
Veeam sends air-gapped copies of backups and replicas to Storagepipe’s
secure private cloud. Next APTN is considering immutable backup
repositories in Linux to prevent malicious encryption and deletion.
- Offers complete protection and total control of Office 365 data
Since Microsoft makes it clear that it doesn’t back up customers’ data in Office
365, APTN uses Veeam to protect and ensure data is always accessible.