The Business Challenge
One of the reasons Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. is a leader in the highly competitive interactive gaming sector is because its IT team plays a pivotal role in its business strategy.
“The goals of the IT team align perfectly with the goals of the executive management team,” said Drew J. Como, Senior Manager, Global Datacenter Platform Services at Take-Two. “All decisions made are bi-directional. There are drivers in IT that steer the business and drivers in the business that steer IT.”
Take-Two operates multiple global data centers that support the business and more than 2,500 users worldwide. More than 95% of its infrastructure is virtualized on VMware vSphere. Take-Two looked for a virtual machine (VM) backup solution that would heighten availability.
“We work in a very competitive industry, so we have to make sure our intellectual property is safe and available at all times,” Como said. “One of our paramount applications is Perforce—it provides enterprise collaboration on projects and source control. Outside of Perforce, email and financial system availability are top priorities. Our employees count on having access to information whenever they need it.”
In addition to recoverability, Como said he and his colleagues worried about scalability. “We needed a backup solution that could scale with us,” Como said. “We need to know our systems are protected and available.”
The Veeam Solution
Take-Two deployed Veeam® Backup & Replication™ because it met the 24x7 availability demands in a large and growing VMware vSphere environment. Veeam provides the backup, recoverability and scalability Take-Two requires to ensure the business is always on.
“I’ve never come across another software product that does exactly what it’s supposed to do—right out of the gate. Veeam just works! You install it, run your nightly backups and complete restores as necessary. It works every time!”
Veeam’s high-speed restore features such as Instant VM Recovery® help Take-Two meet recovery service level agreements (SLAs) with internal business units. Instant VM Recovery enables the IT team to restart a failed VM from a regular backup in minutes.
Como said Instant VM Recovery is particularly beneficial when a software upgrade corrupts a VM and downtime is outside the scope of an SLA.
“Knowing Veeam can get me back to ‘before’—back to data in the last backup— ensures stability and availability for Take-Two,” he said. “I know if anything happens to our VMs, Veeam can restore them, giving employees 24x7 access to information. Veeam helps eliminate the risk of data loss entirely for Take-Two.”
Shortly after deployment of Veeam Backup & Replication, Take-Two moved to Cisco UCS infrastructure.
“Our migration to UCS combined with 10Gb Ethernet upgrades resulted in even better backup and recovery performance—up to 30% faster in many cases—plus time savings,” Como said. “The decision to move almost exclusively to UCS was based on its tight integration with NetApp technology. When you pair the two, the result is FlexPod converged architecture, which adds stability, scalability and flexibility to the infrastructure. When Veeam is part of the infrastructure, you get even faster backup and recovery because the three are so tightly integrated.”
Como said scalability is key for Take-Two because enterprise companies must be able to scale efficiently as they grow and invest in new applications and technologies to support their businesses.
“Executive management depends on us to recommend and provide the most efficient and effective applications for each business unit,” he explained. “Within a short timeframe, we virtualized 18 new applications, bringing our VM count to 500. With Veeam, backup is fast and easy. We trust Veeam to be scalable, no matter how many applications and VMs we add.”
Como said Take-Two trusts Veeam to secure its backup data too. Veeam has built-in, end-to-end AES 256-bit encryption, giving organizations the ability to encrypt backup files and data at source, in flight and at rest.
“In the interactive entertainment industry, we are highly protective of our intellectual property, so encryption is critical for us,” Como said. “Veeam meets all the demands of our virtualized environment. We’ve found Veeam to be everything everyone said it would be and more—Veeam is also cost-effective and a timesaver.”
With Veeam, Take-Two found a solution that not only met all of its requirements but also saved thousands of dollars in licensing agents and 720 man-hours of agent installation and maintenance during a three-year period.
“Overall, Veeam is best-of-breed and delivers on all promises,” Como said. “Backup takes a fraction of the time, recoverability is perfect, and scalability is a breeze as our VM deployment grows. For us, Veeam is the right availability solution.”
Recovers 89% faster than other backup tools
With Veeam Backup & Replication, Take-Two recovers in fewer than 10 minutes. Veeam’s high-speed restore features help Take-Two meet recovery SLAs with internal business units, ensuring 24x7 data availability globally.
Meets security and scalability demands of a growing virtualized
Within six months, Take-Two virtualized 18 new applications, bringing the number of VMs to 500. Designed specifically for virtualization, Veeam is scalable and secure. Veeam can back up petabytes of data on thousands of VMs, and built-in, end-to-end encryption protects backup data at source, in flight and at rest.
Reduces risk of data loss; saves thousands of dollars in operational costs
and 720 man-hours
Veeam has a 100% restore record at Take-Two and has proven to be cost-effective. Veeam saved the company thousands of dollars in licensing agents and 720 man-hours of agent installation and maintenance during a three-year period.