Electric Mirror, LLC has translated innovation into growth. Like so many American start-up companies, Electric Mirror began in a garage. Jim Mischel’s first creation was a high-end defogging mirror. Soon his parents and younger siblings were answering sales calls and helping with manufacturing and assembly. When a hotel customer asked for a mirror with an integrated light figure, Mischel developed one, followed by a line of mirrors with monitors built into them so users can watch TV or check their email while getting ready for work. The company — still owned by the Mischel family — expanded from the hospitality market to commercial and residential markets.
Today Electric Mirror’s entire business (design, engineering, fabrication, manufacturing, assembly, finish work and shipping) is housed in one large facility near the family’s home. Every part of the business is tied to three critical IT systems: email, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and vault data management, which helps designers and engineers organize design data, manage documentation and track revisions.
“If those critical systems don’t work, we don’t work,” said Brian Patow, IT Manager for Electric Mirror. “If email isn’t available, we can’t take orders from customers or send quotes to prospects. If ERP is down, manufacturing, assembly and shipping stop. If the vault isn’t running, our designers and engineers can’t work. Just one hour of downtime could cost the company $20,000.”
Each of these systems was vulnerable to downtime before Veeam® Backup & Replication™ was deployed. They were virtualized on Microsoft Hyper-V, but Electric Mirror could only replicate virtual machines (VMs), putting data in jeopardy. For that reason, file shares remained on physical servers because they contain key data. Physical servers were backed up—but not reliably. Malware made that very clear.
“Malware encrypted our file shares, and we were only able to restore 60 percent of them,” Patow said. “The remaining 40 percent hadn’t been backed up reliably, rendering them unrecoverable. That’s when we decided to virtualize our file shares and deploy reliable backup and recovery.”
Electric Mirror found everything it needed in Veeam, plus more. Fast, reliable backup and recovery keep Electric Mirror’s critical systems running 24.7. And, a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan follows the 3-2-1 backup policy and protects company-issued laptops.
“Veeam is a dream solution that delivers exactly what it promises: 24.7 Availability,” Patow said. “Veeam exceeds our expectations each time we restore a VM, file or individual item in an insanely short period of time.”
When the VM running Microsoft Exchange—a critical system that supports order taking and communication with customers—failed to restart after a software update, Patow used Instant VM Recovery® to restore Exchange in minutes. Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange restores emails and mailboxes in minutes.
“Veeam is reliable, intuitive and easy to use,” Patow said. “I am 100 percent confident that if Veeam had been deployed when malware struck, we would have recovered every file share quickly—with no data loss.”
Veeam supported the digital transformation of file shares from physical servers to VMs by ensuring their Availability 24.7. Veeam also laid the groundwork for Electric Mirror’s first comprehensive DR plan and helped the company master the 3-2-1 rule (three copies of data, stored on two types of media, with one copy being off site). Veeam creates several backups for each VM, stores them on site for local recovery and transfers copies offsite using a feature called Veeam Cloud Connect.
Veeam Cloud Connect gives Electric Mirror a fully integrated, fast and secure way to transfer back copies to the cloud. Veeam encrypts data before it leaves Electric Mirror’s network, in flight and at rest. Electric Mirror chose one of Veeam’s select platinum cloud providers for offsite backup: phoenixNAP.
“Like most of our customers, Electric Mirror considered renting space in a data center and building an offsite repository for backup copies, but the cost and complexity of constructing and maintaining an offsite infrastructure is cost-prohibitive,” said William Bell, Vice President of Products for phoenixNAP. “Pointing backup copies to our private cloud is fast, easy and 10 to 20 percent less expensive.”
“Most of our virtualization customers choose Veeam Cloud Connect as their conduit to our cloud,” Bell said. “Veeam makes it easy for them to connect efficiently, maintain offsite backup copies and restore quickly. Veeam is a winning solution for our customers. Electric Mirror is absolutely right —Veeam delivers on its promises.”
Electric Mirror’s DR plan includes one more component: backing up executives’ laptops to the Veeam repository. Veeam Endpoint Backup™ FREE backs up Windows-based desktops and laptops to an external hard drive, network-attached storage (NAS) or a Veeam backup repository.
“Each time our executives connect to our network, Veeam backs up their laptops,” Patow said. “If a file gets corrupted or they accidentally delete an email, we can recover in minutes. The confidence Veeam gives us to restore is amazing.”
Electric Mirror’s next step is considering replication to phoenixNAP’s cloud as an additional DR strategy and Veeam Availability Orchestrator for automated, nondisruptive DR testing.
“Our IT team is small — four people — so we’re always looking for ways to simplify and expedite data center processes,” Patow said. “We trust Veeam and phoenixNAP to help us maintain 24.7 Availability in the most efficient and cost-effective ways possible.”