The Business Challenge
The Azzurri Group’s corporate strategy is to become the leading Italian food business in the United Kingdom. One way to accomplish this goal is by maintaining exceptional brands.
Azzurri’s brands offer memorable dining experiences and great value for money. The company’s constant focus on proposition refinement, menu development and restaurant design help the brands thrive in a highly competitive market.
To make the best business decisions for each brand, Azzurri relies on point-in-time data analytics from Cognos, a BI solution from IBM. Raw data is fed into a Microsoft SQL environment, and Cognos analyzes it to generate detailed sales, food cost, labor cost and financial reports.
“The reports tell us how we’re doing against our target spends,” said Jon Lee, IT Infrastructure Manager at the Azzurri Group. “If one of our restaurants is off on labor costs, we’ll run an additional report to investigate further. When customers redeem vouchers in our restaurants, we’ll run reports on their previous visits to target our marketing efforts.”
Data fuels decision-making, making it one of Azzurri’s greatest assets. “You can’t get the most out of your data unless it’s fully protected,” Lee said. “It’s critical to have a trusted data protection strategy.”
Lee said Azzurri’s data protection strategy was adequate but not exemplary. “We had a decent backup solution, but it didn’t offer replication. In a crisis situation we could recover our entire IT infrastructure from a backup, but it might take several days. Adding replication would significantly reduce recovery time, taking our BC and DR strategy to the next level.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ takes Azzurri’s BC and DR strategy to the next level.
Replication reduces recovery time from days to minutes, making data continuously available to Cognos for BI analytics.
“Having point-in-time data analytics at our fingertips is vital to our business because it lets us proactively resolve issues at our restaurants,” Lee said. “If we notice a dip in sales, we can identify the cause quickly. Veeam helps us maintain exceptional brands.”
Veeam backs up and replicates 10 TB across 60 VMware vSphere virtual machines (VMs) on-premises for high availability, off-premises for BC and DR and to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) AWS for long-term retention. “Replica failover ensures our data is always available,” Lee said. “Our entire BC and DR strategy is based on Veeam — we rely on it every day.
During failover, Veeam recovers a fully functional VM to the required restore point. As a result, the VM is up and running within a few minutes, making data available to Cognos with minimal disruption. To guarantee recoverability of replicas, Veeam provides a feature called SureReplica. It validates a DR environment by automatically verifying every created restore point of every VM replica.
Automatic verification is important for Azzurri, so the company is considering Veeam Availability Orchestrator next. It delivers a reliable, scalable and easy-to-use orchestration and automation engine that eliminates manual testing and recovery processes that are inefficient, lengthy and error-prone. Veeam provides a planned, practiced and proven BC and DR strategy using replicas and backups. The result? More resilient IT operations.
“The biggest benefit to using Veeam is peace of mind, so being able to extend peace of mind to BC and DR testing would be invaluable,” Lee said. “This is another good example of how Veeam simplifies data protection. Life should be easy, and Veeam makes life easy.”
- Protects data required for BI analytics
Veeam protects the critical data that Cognos analyzes to uncover hidden insights into daily restaurant functions, empowering Azzurri to make informed business decisions that improve operational efficiency and help each brand maintain a leading position in a highly competitive market.
- Reduces recovery time from days to minutes
Replication was the missing piece in Azzurri’s BC and DR strategy. Replica failover enables the company to recover a fully functional VM to a specific restore point, making data available with minimal disruption or downtime.
- Automates and orchestrates BC and DR testing
Azzurri is considering Veeam Availability Orchestrator next. It orchestrates extensive recovery processes, automates DR testing to prove recoverability and reliability, and generates documentation that can be customized and updated automatically on a recurring schedule.