The business challenge
To steer its meat and dairy business, Frimesa depends on data. The company’s 8,500 employees rely on a range of information systems to carry out their day-to-day activities: from manufacturing management applications for its factory workers to accounting platforms for back-office teams.
“In 2021, Frimesa recorded gross annual revenues equivalent to one billion USD,” said Thiago Algeri, CIO at Frimesa. “Like any large enterprise, it’s crucial to ensure that our employees can always access the data and systems they need to do their work.”
Frimesa operates a heterogenous IT estate, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris and Oracle environments that run on-premises and in the Azure cloud. In total, the company manages approximately 20 bare metal servers and 150 virtual machines (VMs), which all host the company’s core business applications and databases.
To protect mission-critical systems, Frimesa creates regular backups of its production data. However, the company’s previous approach to data protection relied on a patchwork of tools from different vendors—making it complex and time-consuming for the IT team to verify that backups were successfully completed.
“As our business data grows, so do our backup jobs,” said Algeri. “Backing up crucial systems like our production database and file server used to take up to 24 and 48 hours respectively. Even though we scheduled the backup jobs during planned downtime windows, the processes often overran, which risked disruption to the business.”
Frimesa identified its storage medium—tape—as one of the main causes behind slow backups. However, process management was also a challenge. With no single point of control to monitor backup status, manage data retention policies or verify that backups were successfully completed, Frimesa realized that it faced increased risk of data loss in the event of a recovery scenario.
“We decided to replace our slow tape drives with high-performance disk storage,” said Algeri. “At the same time, we looked to replace our multiple backup tools with a single, proven data protection solution.”
The Veeam solution
After working with its technology partner to evaluate several potential data protection solutions, Frimesa narrowed down its options to a shortlist of two vendors. The company selected Veeam Availability Suite: a solution that combines the monitoring capabilities of Veeam ONE™ with the powerful data protection features of Veeam Backup & Replication™.
“Veeam delivered on all our key criteria,” said Algeri. “In particular, Veeam was the only provider we evaluated that offered native support for Solaris Oracle that ran on SPARC-based systems. This is very important, because it allows us to perform live backups on an 8 TB environment production database with over 1,500 concurrent business users. This capability is a game-changer for the company—we no longer worry about backups running over into production hours and disrupting operations.”
Working with its technology partner, Frimesa configured Veeam ONE to perform automated backups of its on-premises and cloud-based VMs. Today, the company uses Veeam SureBackup® technology to rapidly test its VM backups. This helps ensure that its entire IT infrastructure is protected in the event of a disaster scenario.
“Veeam covers backups for our Windows, Linux, Solaris and Oracle environments through a single license, whether they run on-premises or in the cloud, which simplifies the support process and makes the solution very cost-efficient,” said Algeri. “Veeam also brings backup status information, infrastructure monitoring and operational reporting together through a single pane of glass. As a result, it’s now much more straightforward to ensure that we are complying with our backup objectives for each system. We can also keep track of infrastructure usage, which streamlines our planning process for future hardware investments.”
Looking to the future, Frimesa plans to accelerate its move to the cloud. As part of its cloud-first initiative, the company needs to be able to protect its business data wherever it resides, whether that be on-premises and or in Microsoft Azure. Thanks to Veeam, Frimesa has the confidence that it can restore VMs to any location.
“One aspect of Veeam Availability Suite we greatly appreciate is the ability to restore local VM backups to the cloud,” said Algeri. “With the click of a mouse, Veeam takes care of everything: from setting up the VM with the appropriate storage, RAM and CPU resources to restoring backups and starting the machine up on the cloud. Veeam is much more than a backup provider to Frimesa. They’re offering us automated data recovery workflows for Azure that will facilitate our ongoing journey to the cloud.”
- Backup times cut by up to 93%, reducing the risk of business disruption.
Frimesa can now perform daily backups of its production systems in just a few hours, helping to ensure that data protection processes are completed within planned downtime windows.
- Accelerates data recovery processes, boosting operational efficiency.
“In the past, restoring mistakenly deleted objects—files, e-mails or Microsoft Active Directory entries—was a time-consuming and laborious task, which required us to restore an entire VM to locate the object,” said Algeri. “With Veeam, we can find and restore objects within minutes.”
- Enables robust backup testing, ensuring recoverability.
“Veeam solutions make it much easier to verify our backups, giving us peace of mind that we can restore all of our critical VM workloads if we need to,” said Algeri.