The business challenge
The IKK Group operates a centralized IT department that oversees
technology services for all IKK lines of business. One of the key
concerns of this central IT team is to guarantee uptime of services for
all users and customers.
“If our data is compromised, or if our services are unavailable, a tremendous
number of users and end customers are impacted,” said Ayman Mansour,
IT Infrastructure Department Manager, IKK Group. “Service downtime
translates to a direct loss of productivity and business.”
With so much at stake, Mansour and his team knew that the IKK Group’s
legacy backup solution presented a significant business risk. The solution
would frequently throw up errors during the backup process. Due to
the vendor’s lack of local support, attempting to resolve these issues
inevitably translated to lengthy interactions and follow-ups with channel
partners, which introduced complexity and waste of valuable time. Given
the Group’s rapidly scaling geographical footprint, 24/7 regional support
was no longer optional.
“Besides a solution that could meet our technical requirements, we needed
better support and communications from the vendor itself,” Mansour
explained. “Going through partners and facing long delays was no longer
viable for us. It was time for a change.”
The Veeam solution
After careful market analysis, the IKK Group selected Veeam® Availability
Suite™ to address the technology and support shortcomings it was facing.
An instant appeal in the evaluation process was Veeam’s innovative licensing
model. “Instead of basing fees on terabytes, Veeam pioneered the persocket
licensing model. The per-socket costs only grow as your environment
grows, not as your storage grows and so, we found this far more costeffective
in the long run,” explained Mansour. With the IKK Group’s
environment expanding as its business grows, Veeam’s licensing model has
proved to be 30% more cost-effective than the previous solution.
Further resources savings have been made possible by Veeam ONE™,
which provides the centralized IT team with comprehensive monitoring
and analytics for their virtual and physical environments. This has enabled
them to optimize resource planning and maximize utilizations of existing
investments as they scale their IT infrastructure.
Highlighting the value of Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery®, Mansour described
how this feature “saved the day” when his company’s portal (Microsoft
SharePoint) service, failed. Despite this being almost two terabytes (TB)
in database size, the team could restore the portal service shortly because
Veeam’s solution enabled them to load an image while the full restore
proceeded smoothly in the background. As a result, users were barely aware
of any issue and could carry out all functions without major impact.
Similarly, most similar services for IKK Group companies, has been streamlined
thanks to Veeam. “Whereas our old solution took days to restore data, and
demanded considerable time and effort from our IT team to address errors,
Veeam’s has transformed this experience,” said Mansour. “End users don’t
realize things are happening and their experience remains seamless.”
Equally beneficial has been the relationship that the IKK Group’s IT team
shares with Veeam. From their very first engagement, the commitment and
expertise of Veeam’s regional team was evident to IKK Group’s centralized
IT team, who appreciated their ability to deliver dependable, 24/7 support.
“With Veeam, it isn’t just their solutions but also their support that can boost
customer satisfaction - you get 24/7 support for incidents whenever needed.
If we had to rate Veeam’s regional support, that would be a 5 stars service
most of the times; still we are eager for better cooperation and success
stories with Veeam’s team in the future” , Mansour said.
Given that they no longer spend long times addressing issues or following
up on support tickets, Mansour states that the efficiency of his IT team has
“increased”. Systems admins have seen an “improvement” in their ability
to deliver business continuity and availability of services, and annual data
restoration downtimes have dropped “The beauty of Veeam is that when you
come in in the morning, every light is green. So, you’re assured that backups
are taking place smoothly,” he said.
The IKK Group’s centralized IT team have been quick to turn the new
solution features, and the rapid access to quality support and expertise
they receive from Veeam, into an opportunity to focus on initiatives and
enhancements that deliver business values. One such avenue has been the
strengthening of data and storage security. “Veeam is working with us to
implement best practices and enhanced features for data protection. This
will enable us to greatly strengthen our resilience to possible malwares,
which are very significant threats to any business,” explained Mansour.
Under direction of the Group’s chairman Sheikh Hassan Al Kabbani and the
corporate management, leaded by IKK groups’ CIO Mr. Zohdi El-Saadi, the
centralized IT team is currently preparing an off-site backup center. During
the transition, the Group has been utilizing (as a pilot phase) cloud storage
option to manage data migration through the cloud. “Veeam’s compatibility
with the offerings from major cloud vendors has meant that integration is
seamless, allowing a rapid and effective data migration,” said Mansour.
On completion of this project, the Group may expand its off-site backup
facility into a partial Disaster Recovery (DR) site based on management
needs and decision. “Today, Veeam is one of the pillars of our service
availability and business continuity strategy. If the corporate management
decides to establish a DR site, we shall use it an opportunity to extend our
relationship with this reliable technology provider,” said Mansour.
- Increased efficiency, enabling the system engineers to focus on highvalue
By reducing backup and recovery process time, errors and issues, Veeam’s
solution enables the IKK Group’s IT team invest efforts and time into
enhancement projects that deliver major business benefits. This includes
implementing production and backup data security best practices and access
control strengthening to mitigate the threat of malware and cyber risks.
- Introduced instant recovery and cut restore times
Recovery of large terabyte (TB) sized VM servers in short time is
now possible, services are restored in minutes as backup images can
be instantly loaded while the full restore smoothly executes in the
background. This delivers a seamless experience for thousands of users,
across the Group’s entities, who rely on the availability of data and
services to carry out their job functions.
- Proved 30% more cost effective than legacy solution
Instead of basing fees on TB, Veeam pioneered the per-socket licensing
model in which costs only grow as the IT environment grows. With the IKK
Group’s environment expanding as its business grows, Veeam’s licensing
model has proved to be 30% more cost effective.