The Business Challenge
Hendrix Genetics, headquartered in Boxmeer, Netherlands, is a leading multispecies
animal breeding company. The company is dedicated to helping the world meet
a growing demand for food by supporting the animal protein value chain with
innovative and sustainable genetic solutions. Founded in 2005, Hendrix Genetics
has evolved through natural growth and the acquisition and integration of leading
Animal breeding is not a new concept. By choosing which animals will be the parents
of the next generation, humans have been trying to change the characteristics of animals,
like cats, dogs, horses and livestock for thousands of years. In modern breeding,
intelligent software helps gather and process specific data in order to calculate the value
that an animal is expected to pass on to their offspring. With DNA information it’s possible
to link traits to genes. As a result, the desired direction of a population of animals
can be changed much faster and more accurately.
Over the last few years, Hendrix Genetics has cataloged over 25 million animals in its central
research center. Since 2008, DNA samples have become part of the set of measurements.
These samples are extensively analyzed and studied using a range of methods
and software tools, many of them proprietary.
“The data in our breeding system is the most important asset we have,” said Harry
Geurts, ICT-Manager Infrastructure at Hendrix Genetics. “It is the result of millions
of hours of work. And with innovative technologies such as IoT, blockchain and intelligent
vision control, we are constantly collecting even more data. The volume of data
in our company is growing by around 40 percent annually.”
To keep pace with the growth caused by new methods for big data analytics,
the company decided to move its IT to the cloud. All production systems are currently
being migrated to Microsoft Azure and at the same time, the company is also
introducing Office 365 for all IT users.
We are fully convinced that this is the right strategy for us,” said Geurts. “We must
also be prepared for the unlikely event that data in the cloud is compromised by
a security incident. We were looking for a reliable solution for offline backup and
disaster recovery of our critical applications and data.”
The Veeam Solution
Hendrix Genetics spoke with several IT vendors about its goal of securing critical
data from the cloud back into an on-premise infrastructure.
“For many vendors, our approach was unusual – Veeam was actually the only company
that listened carefully and asked questions to understand our requirements,”
said Geurts. “And finally, only Veeam offered the right solutions for our needs.”
During its cloud migration, Hendrix Genetics relocated around 180 server systems
to Microsoft Azure. The virtual machines today run partly under Microsoft Hyper-V
and partly under VMware vSphere. With Veeam, Hendrix Genetics is able to regularly
back up all cloud-based workloads to a protected local infrastructure. In the event
of a disaster or security incident, applications can be quickly restored on premises
or to any public cloud provider. Critical applications such as the ERP system would
therefore be available again in the shortest possible time and business processes
could continue to run without major interruption.
Geurts goes on to emphasize that even more important to Hendrix Genetics
than short recovery times is the integrity of their data.
“We absolutely must prevent data in the cloud from being accidentally deleted
or compromised and with it the valuable knowledge stored in it.
With Veeam’s SureBackup® capabilities we have the confidence that we can recover
any information lost or deleted by mistake,” said Geurts.
With the switch to Office 365, Hendrix Genetics also introduced Veeam Backup
for Microsoft Office 365. With this solution, Hendrix secures all data from Microsoft
cloud services like Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and OneDrive
for Business. The data is continuously retrieved from the Microsoft cloud and stored
in a protected local infrastructure at Hendrix Genetics.
The IT team at Hendrix Genetics can use Veeam backup and recovery mechanisms
that are not standard in Office 365. For example, accidentally deleted emails, SharePoint
documents or files from a user’s personal OneDrive folder can be granularly restored
at any time. Even if an Office 365 account is shut down because the employee
has left the company, that person’s data remains available.
“We benefit enormously from the simple usability of Veeam solutions in our day-to-day
operations,” said Geurts. “Our administrators have access to all workloads and data
through a central management console and can recover individual application
objects with just a few clicks.”
Hendrix Genetics also wants to integrate remaining local IT systems with Veeam
into a holistic data management platform. For example, in the company’s breeding
facilities, there are systems which must run uninterrupted so that the business
can run efficiently. IT managers, therefore, plan to back up these systems into the cloud
with Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux.
“The step into the cloud has no alternative for our company,” said Geurts. “With local
infrastructure alone, it was no longer possible to cope with the enormous data growth.
Veeam helps us take advantage of the cloud’s opportunities for our business
without taking possible risks on our valuable intellectual property.”
- Comprehensive protection of Office 365 data and workloads in Microsoft Azure
Hendrix Genetics is migrating almost its entire IT infrastructure to the cloud.
With Veeam, the company secures its most important data workloads in a local
infrastructure, protecting its intellectual property from accidental data loss.
- Fast and flexible recovery options, both on-premise and in the cloud
Veeam enables Hendrix Genetics to restore complete business applications as well
as individual application objects in the shortest possible time. The company can also
benefit from flexibility and can decide at any time whether to make data available in
its own infrastructure or to any public cloud provider.
- Protecting data volumes that are growing by more than 40% annually
At Hendrix Genetics, there’s a rapidly increasing amount of data in the hybrid cloud
environment throughout the animal breeding lifecycle. Veeam’s high level of data
protection gives the company a reliable and solid infrastructure that supports
the worlds growing demand for food.