The business challenge
“One in five cars in the world is designed with Coficab cables; which are
certified by the world’s main leading car manufacturers and attach great
importance to the quality of the customer experience,” explains Sami Benzid,
Corporate IT Infrastructure Manager. In addition to being renowned for the
quality of its products, Coficab is at the forefront of technology and places
innovation at the heart of its strategy, with a significant budget allocated to
Research and Development, to offer high value- added products that meet
the specific needs of its customers.
Coficab’s operations run, 24/7/365, and the entire production chain is fully
dependent on the IT infrastructure. The need for availability is crucial for
Coficab. Any business interruption, due to a server failure, a computer
attack or any other cause, is synonymous with great difficulty for Coficab
towards its internal teams and its customers. Nasri adds, “After a 15- or 30-
minute downtime, we start to receive telephone calls in droves to the IT
team, demanding that we restore IT service availability as soon as possible
for production to resume with minimal impact. It is our daily life. When
downtimes longer than 30 minutes occur — and they do sometimes – they
partially affect our production process and may even lead to a delivery stop
in the most extreme cases. They also affect the company’s reputation and
financial situation, as customers may demand penalties or reimbursement
of transportation costs, which represents considerable sums of money”.
The main mission of the IT team is to ensure data availability, integrity and
security, and the recovery after incidents as soon as possible.
This situation was made even more complex by the distributed nature of data
backup management on Coficab’s various production sites: “Initially, each of
our sites operated with its own backup solution and strategy, without any
resembling another. This was a huge waste of time, money and efficiency for
us,” says Benzid. As a result of its international expansion and the growth of
its business, Coficab has decided to standardize its backup strategy across all
its 13 sites, in order to put an end to this management complexity.
The Veeam Solution
After a quick audit of the backup solutions available on the market,
Veeam was able to make the difference by its ability to provide the most
appropriate technical response to Coficab’s initial problems thanks to the
speed, reliability and efficiency of its solution. As Veeam was already used
on 70% of Coficab’s sites, the IT teams have had the opportunity to test
and approve its benefits over time on many occasions and to welcome the
quality of the support offered by Veeam, whether in terms of listening, and
the reactivity or professionalism of the technical and commercial teams.
To achieve the standardization of Coficab’s backup architecture, the IT
Corporate team has implemented a solution called “Umbrella”, built on a
central Veeam server that centrally manages the servers located at each
production site. The goal is to leverage a central point of supervision with
Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager to improve backup visibility at the sites’
level and allocate datacenter resources as needed.
This “Umbrella” architecture was made possible thanks to Veeam Backup
& Replication EnterpriseTM, which make it very easy and fast to extend
a single backup strategy to all existing sites, regardless of where they
are located, and to allow data to flow between sites with much greater
flexibility. “Before Veeam, we operated in very complex environments, all
different. Everything has become easier thanks to Veeam and the “Umbrella”
architecture, which allows us to have a single contract with a single license
file for all sites and for the cloud. “We have become more efficient at all
levels, both in our daily site management and for the deployment of a new
site”. The solution also made it possible to optimize, license and purchase
instead of juggling between several different versions of Veeam and several
different licenses between sites.
As the central site of the “Umbrella” architecture is located in the cloud
cloud, a two-week POC was conducted to evaluate the use of Veeam Backup
Enterprise Manager on this cloud, before Coficab confirmed its final choice
for its new standardized backup architecture. Nasri adds: “Veeam has so
many advantages that it is barely necessary to test it beforehand, you just
have to install it as soon as possible!”. Coficab also benefits from the backup
supervision of all its sites as well as the restoration of data with Veeam Direct
Restore and was able to reduce file recovery time from minutes to seconds.
The standardization of the backup solution at group level brings immediate
benefits to the IT team collaborators, starting with a 90% reduction in the
backup time of virtual machines at each site, in addition to a guarantee
of reliable backup quality. “On some sites, we went from 2 days to only
1.5 hours to backup all virtual machines, for a total of about 4TB. On all
sites, the time required to perform the full backup is now between 1.5 and
4 hours, for a total of 4 to 10TB of data and between 20 and 30 virtual
machines. The time reduction is invested with our teams who can focus on
other more value added tasks such as managing internal customers’ needs or
conducting regular audits” says Benzid.
By extension, Coficab’s operational teams at each production site also
benefit from these advantages, which result in greater peace of mind in the
event of unavailable IT services and the resulting business interruptions.
Finally, with its new optimized backup architecture, Coficab also ensures
that it meets the high product quality requirements of its end customers,
namely cable companies.
Building on the success of the redesign of its backup architecture, Coficab
is already considering the next step, as Benzid explains: “We are currently
studying the value of setting up cross-site backups or adopting an
Infrastructure-as-a-Service to regionalize our backup. One thing is certain:
the next improvements we will make to our system will be based on Veeam
solutions, with the Veeam Cloud Connect and Veeam Backup for Office 365
solutions as the 2020 outlook”.
- Successful standardization of the backup architecture from an initially
distributed and complex infrastructure
By moving from the old backup architecture distributed across multiple
sites to a single, centralized backup solution, IT teams have gained in daily
management time and efficiency, while saving money by optimizing the
purchase of backup licenses.
- 90% reduction in backup windows
On all sites, the time required to perform a complete backup of virtual
machines is now between 1,5 and 4 hours, for a total of 4 to 10TB of data
and 20 to 30 virtual machines. This represents an essential saving in
time and backup performance for Coficab’s business, whose production is
entirely IT dependent and suffers direct losses with each persistent failure.
- More effective backup for the benefit of internal IT and operational teams
and end customers
The “Umbrella” architecture, made possible by the capabilities of Veeam
solutions, allows resources to be allocated centrally for greater efficiency.
Benefits that directly impact IT teams by providing them with greater
peace of mind and less pressure on a daily basis. By extension, production
teams and end customers also benefit from these improvements.