Tiger Wheel & Tyre was an early adopter of virtualization. In 2007, the IT team decided that virtualization would be the ideal facilitator for two important components of its business: daily operations and research and development. Team members worked with three IT consultants on various aspects of their virtualization project over the next few years: Cornastone Enterprise Systems, Datacentrix and Dimension Data.
By 2010, 100% of the company’s IT environment was virtualized on VMware vSphere; however, the team was frustrated with the time it took to recover virtual machines (VMs) from tape. Melody Fourie, the company’s Group IT Executive, said the process could take days, and that kind of downtime could cost the company millions in lost revenue.
It’s no longer good enough to say ‘we’re backing up our VMs.’ Instead, we have to be confident we can restore multiple VMs in minutes — certainly not days,” Fourie said. “We considered several backup products, including a couple of online options, but discovered they weren’t robust enough. Obviously, we wanted speed and reliability in a VM backup solution, but we also wanted something that would help us get the absolute most from our virtual environment.”
Tiger Wheel & Tyre chose Veeam Backup & Replication™ to achieve these objectives. Veeam provides fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.
“Virtualization is like the Superman of technology,” Fourie said. “And Veeam is at the heart of virtualization. We’re a VMware shop through and through, but we can’t be successful without reliable data protection. Veeam lets us do more with our VM backups than we thought possible.”
Veeam’s pledge is virtualization-powered data protection. Veeam’s vPower® technology runs a VM directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file on regular backup storage. Administrators can start a VM from a backup in their production environment or in an isolated Virtual Lab that Veeam automatically creates and manages for them. vPower enables several industry firsts, such as Instant VM Recovery, which lets users restore a VM from a backup in two minutes or less.
“Veeam is a game-changer,” Fourie said. “Imagine moving from painfully slow VM backup and recovery to insanely fast speeds. With Veeam we can restore a server, on average, in less than 10 seconds. It’s science fiction come true. If you could recover a server in seconds, why would you suffer through products that take days?”
In addition to Instant VM Recovery, Fourie and her colleagues use Veeam’s On- Demand Sandbox, which lets them run a VM from any restore point (full or incremental) in a Virtual Lab for testing and troubleshooting.
“Veeam’s Virtual Lab is perfect for our research and development,” she explained. “When we want to test something new in the business, we run a VM from a backup in the sandbox and have a live test environment ready to rock in 30 seconds. People don’t realize how much they can get from their backups.”
“Insanely fast” VM backup and recovery
Now that the IT team at Tiger Wheel & Tyre uses Veeam Backup & Replication, VM backup is 10 times faster than the previous backup solution, and VM recovery is 100 times faster, taking the team less than 15 minutes to restore all businesscritical servers and less than five hours to restore the entire data center. Backup files also require less space (250 GB before Veeam and 25 GB with Veeam) because of Veeam’s built-in deduplication and compression. “If you’re virtualizing your environment and you’re not thinking of Veeam, think again,” Fourie said.
No break in business continuity
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery lets the IT staff restore a VM in minutes, helping it meet aggressive recovery time objectives (RTOs). Recovery point objectives (RPOs) are easy for the team to meet, as well, with Veeam’s fast incremental replication. “We can recover our business systems in seconds,” Fourie said. “Every IT director should know about Veeam.”
Virtual Lab supports research and development
Veeam lets Fourie and the IT team do more with their VM backups than they thought possible. “Setting up a research and development environment can takes weeks with physical servers, but it’s totally different in the virtual world,” Fourie said. “With Veeam’s On-Demand Sandbox, our Virtual Lab is ready to go in 30 seconds. Now that’s amazing.”
“The VMworld awards are yet another testimony to working with great solutions, vendors and partners. Early on we recognized virtualization as being the technology of the future, so we became early adopters. The wave is here, and this award confirms that we were onto something big. Our virtualization journey is getting really exciting, and we cannot wait to embrace the ‘next big thing’!”
Founded in 1967 in a backyard in Johannesburg, Tiger Wheel & Tyre has become one of the largest wheel and tyre suppliers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. The company’s 77 stores also provide wheel alignment, balance and rotation; puncture assessment and repairs; nitrogen fill-ups; wheel locks and insurance.