The Business Challenge
Euralis is an agricultural and agri-food cooperative from southwestern
France founded in 1936. Specialised in high-quality production, Euralis
is recognised for its GMO-free crops and the traceability and biosecurity
of its production. With a turnover of €1.4 billion, it currently employs
close to 5,000 people in France and abroad and has 7,000 active members
(farm operators). The cooperative, whose activity is structured around
four complementary divisions (agricultural division, seed production
division, agri-food division and participation and development division),
is focused on innovation, a major value driver for Euralis and its clients.
Thanks to ongoing investment in R&D, Euralis regularly identifies new
markets for its raw materials, thus seizing new growth opportunities, such
as the transformation of corn into bioethanol. The cooperative has expanded
internationally over the past twenty years, with the addition of foreign
subsidiaries and the growth of export to Eastern Europe, China and Canada.
For Euralis, governance and data protection issues are a prime concern. Data
underpins the foundations of the cooperative and helps secure its existence
in the long term. “Our plants, equipment and businesses rely on cutting-edge
technologies and are increasingly digitalised. Research-related data, for instance,
represents more than 60 years of research and expertise which makes
us the leader in our markets”, says Jean-Marc Massou, System Administrator
at Euralis. In addition to data from research and quality laboratories, there
is agronomic data, field surveys, industrial IT data, supply chain, accounting
and HR data. Given the nature of its activities and its presence on three
continents, the cooperative needs to ensure a very high level of availability.
“We must be able to prove our quality approach, as well as the safety of our
production, so it is essential we rely on a data management solution that
ensures the security and longevity of this data over time,” explains Massou.
Euralis’ IT department needed to modernize its aging backup solutions
to protect its 95% virtualized environment and ensure the availability of 100
TB of data — whilst strengthening its resilience against cyber security risks and
the rise of Cryptolocker. Due to the existing solutions’ long backup windows,
it was also impossible to perform daily backups for all VMs, meaning IT was
not able to achieve acceptable recovery times in the event of a major incident.
The Veeam Solution
Following a tender process, Veeam® quickly emerged as the solution best suited
to the cooperative’s priorities and high availability requirements. By adopting
Veeam Availability Suite™, Euralis benefitted from improved backup and
recovery functionality, as well as the advanced monitoring, reporting and
capacity planning features within Veeam ONE™. “Our backup strategies, both
physical and virtual, are very specific and fairly uncommon in the IT sector.
The Veeam platform meets our needs with great precision, which was not
the case with our previous solutions”, says Massou. With backup windows
reduced from 32 to six hours, IT can now back up the entire virtual and physical
environment and has been able to increase the frequency of some backups
to pre-empt potential user deletion occurring during the day.
Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery® feature has also been advantageous for
the cooperative. Restoring a VM used to take 60 minutes but now only
takes two, which helps prevent impact on production and ensures the high
availability of application servers. In addition, file recovery times are now
just 10 minutes, down from 30 minutes previously. All in all, this has meant
IT Support can now meet 99% of user requests for recovery, compared
to 70% with the previous solution. IT is also more efficient in its reporting
and is using Veeam ONE daily to monitor and analyse the entire environment.
The cooperative’s IT department is particularly satisfied with the solution’s
user-friendliness and ease of management. “We feel a lot of thought went into
the product and that it was designed by engineers for engineers. This is reflected
in the features as well as the interface. We feel like our needs are being truly
understood, and that everything is done to make our job easier”, explains
Massou. The team also automated most of its operating tasks using Veeam
PowerShell scripts, which reduced management time to just 15 minutes a day.
Peace of mind that Eurias’ IT estate will be resilient to cyberattacks is also
important as the cooperative expands its growth strategy overseas. Not only
does Veeam Availability Suite have the functionality of a built-in end-to-end
AES 256-bit encryption, but Veeam ensures that in the event of a major incident,
recovery will be down to 24 hours, rather than one week with the previous
solutions. Massou states, “As the cooperative continues to expand into overseas
territories with sprawling data volumes, Veeam gives IT the confidence that
the business can return to normal and deal with cyber-security threats”.
Looking to the future, it’s not only the world-class Data Management
platform that gives Euralis the confidence of having a long and renewed
relationship with Veeam. Veeam Support also plays an important role,
providing the IT Department with a community of experts and like-minded
people with which to engage. Massou concludes, “We are delighted that
we can interact with Veeam professionals and specialists on the various
forums. In addition, Veeam’s webinars, newsletters, blogs and other online
resources provide team members with a great opportunity to strengthen
their knowledge and initiate strategic thinking within the IT department”.
- Backup windows reduced from 32 to six hours
Thanks to this reduction, IT is able to increase to twice a day the backup
frequency of some files and data related to user profiles, pre-empting
deletion that may occur during the day.
- Instant restore times reduced by 97%
Thanks to Veeam’s performance, it now only takes two minutes for
IT to restore VMs, compared to one hour previously. The file recovery
process has also been improved from 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes.
In addition, the increase in backup frequency allows the support
department to meet 99% of user requests for recovery, compared
to 70% with the previous solution.
- Cyberattack resilience in the face of evolving security risks and the rise
of malware growth
The recovery time in the event of a major incident, in particular a cyberattack,
has been reduced to 24 hours, compared to one week previously, giving
the cooperative the ability to prepare, respond and recover.