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FirstLight provides a complete portfolio of fiber-optic data, Internet, cloud and managed services to enterprise and carrier customers in New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. The company owns and operates 12 geographically diverse data centers and a network spanning approximately 14,000 route miles.


There was one thing missing from FirstLight’s product portfolio: An availability solution that met its high standards of delivering customers’ critical data around the clock.


  • Delivers 24.7.365 Availability of customers’ data
  • Grows the BRaaS line of business by 400 percent
  • Exceeds the high standards that customers demand

The Business Challenge

FirstLight has extremely high standards for service delivery. This includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), backup and recovery as a service (BRaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). Business was booming for FirstLight, but customers began placing a greater emphasis on ironclad availability of data in their increasingly sophisticated configurations.

“We needed a stronger availability solution in order to deliver on our promise that customers will have access to their critical data and applications 24.7.365,” said Maura Mahoney, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at FirstLight. “We built our cloud infrastructure and fiber optic network to support the always-on enterprise. Bolstering our availability solution was the next logical progression.”

FirstLight has thousands of customers in industries such as health care, government, higher education, manufacturing, logistics and financial services. Customers vary greatly, but they have one thing in common: They operate around the clock.

“Data availability impacts their ability to fully function,” Mahoney said. “If medical centers don’t have access to data 24.7.365, patients’ electronic health records may not be available, which can be a matter of life or death. Our customers require solid DR and business continuity plans, and we needed to ensure that we met their highest expectations.”

Eric Halse, Data Center Technical Services Manager at FirstLight, said FirstLight’s legacy solution had several unacceptable limitations.

“We had challenges with onsite backup of our customers’ on-premises virtual machines, as well as compatibility issues sending their backup copies to our cloud,” Halse explained. “We didn’t want to leave lucrative deals on the table because we couldn’t rely on legacy backup, so the time came to seek a better option, one that met the high standards of our organization. It was time to deploy a true availability solution.”

The Veeam Solution

FirstLight replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Backup & Replication™. Veeam delivers 24.7.365 Availability of customers’ data.

“We have extremely high standards of service, and Veeam helps us meet those high standards,” Mahoney said. “Veeam helps us deliver premium cloud services to customers so they can operate without interruption. Veeam delivers on its promise of 24.7.365 Availability every time.”

Halse said FirstLight customers have embraced Veeam wholeheartedly.

“One of our customers had a tough time restoring Microsoft SQL Server with legacy backup,” Halse said. “Recovery took hours, which is unacceptable to an always-on company. We switched them to Veeam and their recovery time decreased by 80 percent. Now they’re able meet their internal service level agreements.”

Veeam helped FirstLight shine with another customer.

“Shortly after switching from legacy backup to our BRaaS offering powered by Veeam, the IT Manager at a food distribution company called to say he’d accomplished more in two hours with Veeam than he ever imagined,” Halse said. “In addition to configuring onsite backup of his on-premises virtual machines and offsite backup to our cloud, he uses Veeam to verify the recoverability of backups. He knows—without a doubt—that his data is available all the time.”

FirstLight’s BRaaS offering grew 400 percent the first year it was deployed, and customers reported experiencing significantly fewer problems compared to their legacy backup solutions.

“Not only is Veeam the gateway to cloud services for our customers, it’s also a setand- forget availability solution,” Halse said. “We’re selling a Ferrari, and everyone wants to drive a Ferrari. Veeam has opened more doors than we expected.”

The Results

  • Delivers 24.7.365 Availability of customers’ data
    FirstLight built its cloud infrastructure and fiber optic network to support the always-on enterprise. “We replaced legacy backup with Veeam because Veeam delivers on its promise of 24.7.365 Availability every time,” Mahoney said.
  • Grows the BRaaS line of business by 400 percent
    “Veeam is so highly regarded in the industry that our BRaaS offering grew by 400 percent in one year,” Halse said. “When we tell prospective customers that Veeam supports BRaaS they say, ‘Sign me up.’”
  • Exceeds the high standards that customers demand
    “Veeam is an easy-to-use, set-and-forget solution,” Halse said. “Veeam is the reason we can exceed the high standards our customers demand.”
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