Falkirk Council delivers a wide range of government services to approximately 73,000 households across 112 square miles. Services include housing, social care, transportation, environmental management and education in 55 primary schools and eight high schools.
To meet the needs of every resident, Falkirk Council embarked on a hybrid cloud and modern workspace project that aligned with the Scottish government’s cloud-first initiative. The goal was a comprehensive digital transformation, and one of the first steps was deploying Microsoft 365.
“One of our first challenges was choosing the best solution to protect data in Microsoft 365,” said Murat Dilek, Network, Infrastructure and Cybersecurity Team Leader at Falkirk Council. “Roughly 3,500 employees use Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate on services impacting our residents. Maintaining access and control of this data is critical to our success.”
Dilek and his teammates considered three data protection solutions including Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365. Their goal was cost-effective, easy-to- manage backup and recovery to protect all data, including historical data.
“Microsoft’s data retention policies didn’t meet our business needs,” he said. “If employees need fast access to data, we need to ensure they have it, so we deployed Veeam.”
Following the Microsoft 365 deployment, the IT team began the next step of its digital transformation — a physical-to-virtual (P2V) project. The council had been backing up 600 physical machines to disk and tape, so the plan was to virtualize many of them and move the files to a new data center. However, the legacy backup solution wasn’t hardware agnostic (or cost-effective), so it wouldn’t support the P2V project.
“Our ultimate goal was standardizing data protection across the IT infrastructure, so the obvious choice was Veeam Backup & Replication for our virtual and physical machines,” Dilek said. “Veeam met every requirement — it’s affordable, hardware agnostic, simple to manage and provides ransomware protection. Veeam also offers portable licenses so we can back up any workload anywhere. As it turned out, Veeam even enabled our P2V project by backing up our physical machines and replicating them to virtual machines in the new data center, saving us one headache after another. Can you imagine unplugging servers, putting them on a lorry and driving them to a new data center while trying to avoid potholes?”