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Horizon Food Group sweetens the BCDR strategy with Veeam and ExaGrid
We went from a shoestring solution for data protection to an enterprise solution. The peace of mind Veeam and ExaGrid provide is indescribable.
Roger Beard
Director of Information Systems
Horizon Food Group

The Business Challenge

Americans are serious about snacks.

How serious? Seventeen percent would shave their heads for a lifetime supply of snacks, while 18% would forgo all of their electronic devices for one month. Snacking is so prevalent that the average American spends nearly $30,000 on snacks in a lifetime.

Horizon Food Group helps satisfy the nation’s craving by manufacturing more than 130 million snacks annually. To keep up with demand in all 50 states, two manufacturing plants operate 24 hours each day and six days each week.

Several IT systems support manufacturing. Microsoft Business Central (NAV) is an on-premises enterprise resourcing planning powerhouse that integrates warehouse management, purchasing, operations, sales, marketing, electronic data interchange and financial management. Microsoft SharePoint, which is also on-premises, collects quality and assurance data for manufacturing and distribution analysis.

“If our critical systems aren’t backed up successfully and can’t be recovered, we could be one of the unfortunate companies that loses data and goes out of business,” said Roger Beard, Director of Information Systems at Horizon Food Group. “That is not an option, so we replaced our backup solution and storage appliance when they no longer performed as promised.”

Horizon Food Group was using Veritas Backup Exec and PHD Virtual Backup Appliance to back up to external hard drives, which were swapped out manually every day to ensure backup copies were in sync. Beard said backup was slow, taking at least 20 hours each day, and recovery was slow too, taking at last one hour. Storage capacity was inadequate too.

“We couldn’t predict when backups would finish or how long recovery would take, and our backup retention was only 10 days because neither solution offered deduplication and only one offered compression,” Beard explained. “Data protection was becoming a crapshoot, but more important, the two solutions weren’t supporting our business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy effectively. We wanted stronger solutions that aligned and integrated with each other, so we chose Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and ExaGrid.”

The Veeam Solution

Veeam and ExaGrid strengthen Horizon Food Group’s BCDR strategy by protecting the IT systems supporting snack manufacturing and boosting defense against ransomware attacks. Veeam and ExaGrid increase backup speed by 85%, recovery speed by 92% and data retention from 10 days to 30 days. They also support the 3-2-1-1-0 rule for best data protection practices.

“We went from a shoestring solution for data protection to an enterprise solution,” Beard said. The peace of mind Veeam and ExaGrid provide is indescribable.”

Veeam backs up and replicates to ExaGrid on-premises and off-premises. Backup and recovery are lightning fast because they take place on ExaGrid’s disk-cache Landing Zone, which avoids inline processing and rehydration. Horizon Food Group extended data retention from 10 days to 30 because Veeam and ExaGrid both offer built-in deduplication and Veeam also offers built-in compression.

Veeam and ExaGrid boost ransomware protection too. Veeam SureBackup® scans backups for malware and verifies their recoverability, while ExaGrid’s Retention Time-Lock prevents restore points from deletion.

“One thing I really love is that Veeam and ExaGrid are never static,” Beard said. Both companies are forward-thinking and progressive, so their integration delivers the best data protection possible.”

Beard said Veeam and ExaGrid help Horizon Food Group follow the 3-2-1-1-0 rule too (3 different backup copies on 2 different media with 1 copy offsite, 1 copy air-gapped, immutable or offline and 0 backup recovery errors).

“We are super confident in our BCDR strategy because we regularly test our ability to restore the IT systems supporting manufacturing, and they work flawlessly every time. The Veeam and ExaGrid alliance is second to none.”

The Results

  • Protects every IT system that supports snack manufacturing nationwide
    “Our systems and data are priceless, so Veeam and ExaGrid help us protect them,” Beard said. “They work together like a well-oiled machine, and we appreciate their value every day.”
  • Helps Horizon Food Group defend against disaster and ransomware attacks
    “Backups and replicas are super critical — you hope you don’t need them, but when you do need them, you are so grateful you have them,” Beard said. “I can breathe easy knowing Veeam and ExaGrid support our BCDR strategy.”
  • Increases backup speed by 85%, recovery by 92% and follows the 3-2-1-1-0 rule
    Veeam and ExaGrid deliver high-speed backup and recovery, cost-efficient long-term data storage, as well as replication to an offsite location for disaster recovery that meets the needs of any enterprise.

Company:


Horizon Food Group makes life sweeter. The company manufactures a wide variety of single-serve snacks including cakes, pies, cinnamon rolls, specialty cookies and biscotti. Horizon Food Group also makes private-label foods for grocery giants such as Walmart, Kroger, Safeway and Trader Joe’s. Based in San Diego, California, the company employs nearly 300 people.

Challenge:


America is a nation of snackers. Snack consumption follows a daily rhythm in most U.S. households, so Horizon Food Group keeps pace with that rhythm by manufacturing snacks day and night. When the company questioned the efficacy of its backup solution and storage appliance protecting the IT systems driving manufacturing, both were replaced.

Results:

  • Protects every IT system that supports snack manufacturing nationwide
  • Helps Horizon Food Group defend against disaster and ransomware attacks
  • Increases backup speed by 85%, recovery by 92% and follows the 3-2-1-1-0 rule