The Business Challenge
From forklift manufacturer to solution provider: Jungheinrich has undergone an amazing transformation since the first machine factory was founded in 1953. Today, the family-owned company is one of the world’s top three intralogistics brands, serving customers in over 120 countries.
A key to Jungheinrich’s success is the innovative potential of its 18,000 employees. The company’s technological developments are aligned with the three major trends of Industry 4.0: automation, digitization and networking. With innovative product, IT and software solutions, Jungheinrich takes its customers’ intralogistics to the next level. Partially and fully automated vehicles, state-of-the-art materials handling technology, intelligent assistance systems and an advanced warehouse management system make it possible to optimize all workflows in the warehouse.
Furthermore, Jungheinrich’s energy expertise is unique in the industry and the company is a pioneer in the field of lithium-ion technology. In 2011, Jungheinrich was the world’s first company to launch a series-produced forklift truck with a lithium-ion battery. By 2025, 70 percent of all new forklifts sold are to be equipped with lithium-ion technology.
In order to be able to respond more quickly to new business requirements, Jungheinrich set up a private cloud with a colocation provider. The IT organization not only migrated the data and applications from the existing data center to the new environment, but also implemented technological innovations.
Among other things, Jungheinrich now relies 100 percent on server virtualization with an underlying storage concept based on an all-flash architecture. In total, Jungheinrich’s private cloud comprises around 2,500 virtual machines and more than one petabyte of data. The approximately 40 sites that still have their own IT use HCI systems today. However, these servers are also to be integrated into the central cloud environment in the near future.
“Originally, we didn’t even want to touch the topic of data backup when we rebuilt our IT,” reports Frank Seemann. “Yet we quickly realized that the backup solutions we had been using up to then had reached their capacity limits in the new environment. That is why we were looking for a solution that could handle the increased requirements. Our goals were primarily to simplify the complexity of administration, automate processes and significantly reduce recovery times for vast systems.”
The Veeam solution
Following a formal bid process, Jungheinrich decided to rely on the Veeam Availability Suite for data backup in the future. “It relatively quickly became apparent that only the Veeam solution could meet our technical and commercial requirements,” says the project manager. “Veeam embraced virtualization from the beginning, enables largely automated operation and can easily cope with very vast virtual machines.”
During planning and implementation, Jungheinrich worked closely with specialists from Veeam and Bechtle. Together, they devised a solution architecture that could cope with the enormous dimensions of the private cloud environment. Jungheinrich had to ensure that backup processes do not interfere with ongoing operations and that critical data and applications are available without interruption. “With Veeam, we achieved this right away,” said Seemann. “Even 20 terabyte databases for our SAP applications can be made available again immediately with Veeam in the event of a failure.”
Jungheinrich’s private cloud applications and data are initially backed up to a backup repository based on x86 servers. For performance reasons, the primary backup storage uses SSDs that are almost as fast as the SSDs of the production systems. Via backup copy, all backup data is then additionally copied to an S3-compatible object storage. This not only offers very good scalability - the backup data stored there is also write-protected, which protects this copy pool from unauthorized changes.
To further increase IT resilience, Jungheinrich plans to store a third copy of backup data in the public cloud in the future. This would allow continued access to all data even in the event of a complete failure of the colocation provider. The backup in the cloud will then also be controlled via the Veeam Availability Suite.
The administrators at Jungheinrich are extremely satisfied with the Veeam solution. “The tools we used previously were in some cases cumbersome and time-consuming to operate. With Veeam, on the other hand, restoring virtual machines or even individual directories and files is child’s play,” says Seemann. “Via the monitoring solution Veeam ONE, we also have an overview of the status of the backup processes at all times and can immediately take countermeasures if something doesn’t work as planned.”
Jungheinrich has just started to back up the decentralized HCI systems at its globally distributed sites with the central Veeam solution as well. The aim of this measure is to standardize the backup processes in the company and thus also save resources.
The Veeam solution also helps the intralogistics provider meet global compliance requirements. Veeam’s SureBackup technology automatically checks whether the backed-up virtual machines can actually be restored.
To do this, SureBackup starts the VM in an isolated environment, runs a series of tests and documents them in a report. “This helps us in internal and external audits as we always have proof that our data backup has been successful and that business data cannot be lost due to corrupt backup files,” explains Seemann.
For these reasons, the Head of Cloud Platform Operation is convinced that the decision to go with Veeam was the right one. “With Veeam, we have to worry less and less about the security of our data and have more time again for the strategic development of our IT. It is evident that we have opted for what has become the techology standard when we conduct job interviews: Almost all of the administrators we speak to today already have know-how about the Veeam Availability Suite.”
- Improvement of IT availability:
Jungheinrich uses Veeam Availability Suite to secure its private cloud environment with more than 2,500 virtual machines. The company thus ensures that employees around the world have reliable access to their applications and data at all times.
- Recovery of critical applications within minutes instead of days:
With the solutions previously used, Jungheinrich’s IT team needed considerably more time to fully restore failed services. The Veeam solution enables recovery in the shortest possible time - even when dealing with terabyte-sized SAP databases.
- Protection of backup data from manipulation attempts:
Thanks to automated recovery tests, the intralogistics provider can prove at any time that the backed-up data can actually be restored. In addition, there is a copy pool whose WORM properties (Write Once Read Many) protect the backup data from unauthorized manipulation attempts. Jungheinrich thus meets the requirements of internal and external audits.