The Business Challenge
North Macedonia has undergone considerable economic reform since gaining
independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The economy is growing consistently,
thanks in part to the Development Bank of North Macedonia supporting
businesses’ financial needs. As the only development bank in the country,
its work is critical. When COVID-19 hit, its work became even more critical.
The bank provided interest-free loans to approximately 1,400 micro, small
and medium-sized domestic businesses between the start of the pandemic
in March 2020 through the middle of the pandemic in September. The loan
application process, which is nearly 100% electronic, is supported by
the bank’s IT infrastructure.
“I can’t express how critical these systems are to our internal processes
and the ability to make a difference in economic development,” said Gorgi
Kokinovski, IT Division Manager at the Development Bank of North Macedonia.
“If they’re not available, we can’t support our clients, and if we can’t
support our clients, their businesses might fail.”
Kokinovski said the legacy backup solution wasn’t able to meet the bank’s
needs at the beginning of 2020. Backup and recovery were slow, unreliable
and complicated, making it difficult to provide adequate data protection.
In addition, there was no way to verify the recoverability of backups, and
recovering individual items such as emails was nearly impossible.
Kokinovski contacted local IT solution providers for advice and improvement
ideas, and they recommended Veeam® Backup Essentials™. He also opted to
send backup copies to a local cloud provider to enable Disaster Recovery as
a Service (DRaaS). His goal was to strengthen the bank’s business continuity
and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy. Before deploying Veeam and DRaaS,
the bank worked closely with the National Bank of the Republic of North
Macedonia to confirm both solutions comply with the country’s regulatory
requirements, and they do.
“We learned two things,” Kokinovski said. “The entire IT community
recognizes Veeam as the best availability solution on the market and adding
DRaaS was the best decision we could have made. Since the pandemic began
our client base has nearly tripled. Business continuity has never been more
critical to the economy.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam supports economic development in North Macedonia by strengthening
the bank’s BCDR strategy. Veeam enables DRaaS, increases backup and recovery
speeds by 75%, supports the 3-2-1 Rule and easily accommodates a 160%
increase in applications for financial support during COVID-19.
“We’re the first bank in the country to add DRaaS for business continuity,”
Kokinovski said. “When you see the business value Veeam delivers, the decision
to deploy it is easy and obvious.”
Kokinovski said Veeam ensures critical IT systems are always available so the IT
team can be more forward focused. Veeam ensures availability by verifying
the recoverability of backups (SureBackup®), restoring virtual machines (VMs)
in minutes (Instant VM Recovery®) and restoring individual e-mails in seconds
(Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange).
“Availability is always critical to the bank, but during a pandemic when quick
delivery is really important, being able to quickly deliver made a difference,”
The bank has provided more than €13.5 million in interest-free loans to
domestic businesses affected by COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, the bank
was not directly focused on domestic companies and was providing support
to the private sector through local commercial banks, resulting in a small
number of direct clients. During the pandemic, the number of direct clients
increased by 160% quickly.
“Veeam easily accommodates the increase in loan applications and data, helping
us provide the financial support our clients need,” Kokinovski said. “Veeam is
the most intuitive software I’ve used.”
Veeam backs up 3.2 TB across 10 Microsoft Hyper-V VMs on-premises
to network-attached storage for fast, local recovery and to a tape library
to follow the 3-2-1 Rule. Veeam also sends a backup copy off-premises
to a local cloud provider, so the provider can provide DRaaS if needed.
“Veeam is impressive, and it’s even more impressive with each new version,”
Kokinovski said. “Instant VM Recovery is one of my favorite features, so I can’t
wait to try Multi-VM Instant Recovery. It will be very helpful if we experience
a massive data center outage. Veeam makes life easier, so I would recommend it.”
- Strengthens the bank’s BCDR strategy by enabling DRaaS for the first time
“We’re absolutely confident the bank is protected, and Veeam is the reason,”
- Increases backup and recovery speeds by 75% and supports the 3-2-1 Rule
“There’s no better feeling than knowing our critical IT systems have been
backed up successfully and can be recovered quickly in an emergency,”
- Accommodates a 160% spike in clients and loan applications during COVID-19
“We’ve proven we can safely receive and process loan requests electronically,”
Kokinovski said. “This kept our clients and bank employees safe when social
distancing was critical. Veeam has proven its value.”