The business challenges
Avnet guides today’s ideas into tomorrow’s technology. The company helps customers reach further no matter where they are in the product lifecycle— from mapping an idea on paper to moving a product into mass production.
For nearly 100 years, Avnet has adapted to wave after wave of technological change by expanding its capabilities and creating an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurs and startups of every size and in every part of the world. The company’s engineers are on the front lines of innovation, and they’re supported by experts in design, manufacturing, marketing, supply chain, distribution and sales. Avnet’s business intelligence is extensive and deep.
“Our challenge was protecting the IT systems supporting business intelligence,” said Mark Wysolmierski, Senior Manager of Systems Administration at Avnet. “We were using Veritas Backup Exec to back up to tape—a process that was time-consuming, decentralized and didn’t align with the company’s cloud initiative. It was difficult to meet service level agreements (SLAs) with the business.”
Avnet’s SLAs require two weeks of backups on-premises and in the cloud to facilitate disaster recovery and comply with regulatory requirements such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Controlled Unclassified Information Program (CUI). The company considered two replacements for Backup Exec: Dell EMC Data Domain and Veeam Availability Suite.
“Data Domain was significantly more expensive, yet it didn’t offer the simplicity, flexibility and portability Veeam offers,” Wysolmierski said. “As it turns out, Veeam portability helped us protect the business and our data during a situation that no one could have anticipated.”
The Veeam solution
Avnet replaced Veritas with Veeam to protect business intelligence and align with the company’s cloud initiative.
Veeam simplifies and centralizes data protection by simultaneously backing up 50 TB across 180 virtual and physical servers to NetApp Storage onpremises and to Azure Blob. The IT team meets SLAs, complies with regulatory requirements including SOX and CUI and saves $200,000 each year in backup licensing costs. Veeam also migrates critical workloads quickly and seamlessly, enabling the team to move on-premises workloads to Azure Blob fast during political unrest in Hong Kong.
“Our Hong Kong office is close to where people were protesting, so our executive board was concerned about employees’ safety and the safety of our data,” Wysolmierski said. “We were already using Veeam to back up to Azure Blob, so we used Veeam to migrate critical applications to Azure Blob as well. The applications are used daily by offices throughout the region, so migrating them to the cloud quickly, easily and effortlessly was a big win for Avnet.”
Wysolmierski said Veeam also migrates workloads when Avnet acquires companies and when data centers are consolidated or decommissioned.
“Veeam migration is quick, easy and seamless—even over low bandwidth because of its built-in WAN Acceleration,” he said. “Veeam is a business enabler in so many ways.”
Wysolmierski provided another example of enablement: Microsoft named Avnet a strategic partner for Azure Sphere, a secure application platform providing communication and security features for internet-connected devices. Avnet was the first company to distribute a starter kit powered by Azure Sphere to help customers accelerate their internet of things (IoT) deployments.
“Veeam backs up the analytical data in this environment too,” he said. “We’re confident data is protected and can be recovered quickly and easily.”
Recovery is vital to data protection, so Veeam DataLabs provide extensive functionality. SureBackup and SureReplica verify the recoverability of backups and replicas, and Secure Restore scans data with antivirus software before restoring it. Staged Restore helps companies manage compliance by ensuring sensitive data is removed from backups before they’re restored.
“We’re audited several times a year for regulations ranging from SOX to CUI, and Veeam supports compliance each time,” Wysolmierski said. “It’s a multipurpose solution that protects data so we can serve customers.”
Avnet’s customers are diverse, and so are their products. The Smart Sock, created by a company called Owlet, helps keep babies safe as they sleep by tracking their oxygen levels and heart rates. The sock has a builtin monitor that notifies parents if their babies’ levels drop below preset safe zones. Avnet supported Owlet during the product design phase and Veeam backed up the design data.
“Our customers vary across industries, but they have one thing in common,” Wysolmierski said. “They trust Avnet to help them turn their ideas into products, and we trust Veeam to protect the business intelligence that powers that process.”
- Meets SLAs by simultaneously backing up on-premises and to Azure Blob
“Veeam aligns perfectly with Avnet’s cloud initiative for data protection,” Wysolmierski said. “It simplifies backup and centralizes backup management, making it easier to meet SLAs with the business.”
- Migrates on-premises workloads to Azure Blob fast during Hong Kong protests
“As a tool in Avnet’s toolbox, Veeam is without a doubt the most flexible data protection solution our team has used,” Wysolmierski said. “One of the best examples of flexibility was being able to migrate on-prem workloads in our Hong Kong office to the cloud quickly and seamlessly during a period of political unrest.”
- Saves $200,000 annually in IT costs and supports compliance with SOX and CUI
“Choosing Veeam was straightforward,” Wysolmierski said. “It’s the most affordable, flexible and portable solution we could find.”