KDDI deploys Veeam to protect its cloud infrastructure and enhance customer experience

By deploying Veeam to secure our internal cloud environment, we were able to enjoy many benefits such as simplifying backups, reduce operational management loads, improve user experience and ensure immutable data. We were also able to use these benefits to develop new services for our corporate customers.
Mr. Takeshi Maehara
General Manager, platform technology department
KDDI Corporation

The Business Challenge

 As Japan’s leading telecommunications carrier, KDDI develops a variety of solutions for individuals and corporations. Supporting these business activities is the company-wide private cloud platform for internal use, called ‘CKKB’.

“In the past, infrastructure for various services was individually created. However, in such a siloed environment, there was a cost aspect to consider, plus it was inefficient in terms of operation management and not possible to respond quickly to changes in the market environment,” said Mr. Takeshi Maehara, General Manager, platform technology department, KDDI Corporation. Therefore, from around 2010, KDDI started to standardize their CKKB company-wide platform and today have more than 200 service applications in a cloud environment for various internal requirements.

Many of these are important services that support social infrastructure, therefore, KDDI must pay close attention to data protection. Mr. Maehara states, “For example, the number of members of our payment service, au PAY and au PAY Prepaid Card, is about 37 million (as of March 2022). If a problem occurs, it will have a huge financial impact and effect people’s lifestyles. And in the event that a problem does occur, we are preparing an environment that can be restored quickly in case of emergencies.”

Under these circumstances, the challenge was rebuilding the backup system. The direct trigger was the end of support for the VMware standard backup tool that KDDI had been using, so we started to introduce a new solution.

“In addition to our in-house cloud platform, we also provide a cloud service platform called ‘KCPS (KDDI Cloud Platform Services)’ for corporate customers. When selecting a new backup system, I wanted a product that can utilize the experience and knowledge cultivated internally, by introducing it to the cloud services we provide for corporate customers,” said Mr. Masashi Nakamura, Group Leader, platform engineering department, KDDI Corporation.

The Veeam Solution

KDDI selected and deployed Veeam® to continue to meet the companies’ evolving needs. “Veeam can be used in the VMware vSAN environment and has a high affinity with our VMware virtualization infrastructure. We also appreciated the excellent operability, abundant backup/restore functions and the richness of various APIs,” said Mr. Takuya Uchiumi, Core Staff, platform engineering department, KDDI Corporation.

KDDI uses Veeam to backup about 200 virtual machines. It has a great advantage compared to other vendors in the market, such as a flexible licensing model that is portable and transferable and can be used on both internal and corporate cloud platforms. “In addition, Veeam’s generous service and support, included a successful proof of concept, which was also a decisive factor,” said Mr. Nakamura.

As an in-house platform, KDDI provides multiple platforms such as IaaS and HaaS to meet various business needs. However, these backups are performed by different methods for each platform, which has been a factor in increasing the operational management load, therefore, KDDI moved the backup of the management server group to Veeam.

“As a result, we have been able to unify the backup methods for each platform, and the cooperation between development/operation teams has become smoother,” says Mr. Uchiumi. “In addition, a new script for users has been created so that each service person can use Veeam themselves. We have realized multi-tenancy in which each user can freely perform manage backup and restore jobs.”

Another thing that cannot be overlooked is the ‘3-2-1-1-0’ rule advocated by Veeam, that is, maintain at least 3 copies of your data, on 2 different types of media, with 1 copy being off-site, 1 copy offline and verify backups have 0 errors. With this best practice, KDDI will in the future, be able to secure off-site storage, that is immutable and could not be tampered with, while seeing zero backup errors.

Great results have also been achieved in expanding Veeam to the cloud for corporate customers, which is a key objective. As the first step, we are developing a service that backs up virtual servers. In addition, we can respond to the growing demand for remote working during the pandemic, with a new menu for backing up Microsoft 365 data.

“Even in the cloud for corporate customers, Veeam can backup according to the 3-2-1-1-0 rule, so it will be more effective with the continuing trend of data growth,” says Mr. Nakamura.

Veeam has brought many capabilities that the company intends to utilize in the future. “Internally to help evolve our cloud transformation, a Kubernetes-based container platform is also in operation, so we would like to expand this project, by considering Kasten K10,” Mr. Maehara concludes. “Also, as we are now in the 5G era, we want to provide a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) service. In this case, how to backup various resources scattered on the network will be a big issue, so I have high expectations that Veeam’s product evolution can support us.”

The Results

  • Combine backup methods and reduce operational management load and increase resiliency
    KDDI have been able to unify the backup methods for each platform such as IaaS and HaaS. In addition, a new script for users has been created so that each service person can use Veeam themselves. They have realized multi-tenancy in which each user can freely perform manage backup and restore jobs.
  • Advanced integration for VMware vSAN Storage Data Protection
    Mr. Uchiumi states, “Veeam can be used in the VMware vSAN environment and has a high affinity with VMware virtualization infrastructure. We also appreciated the excellent operability, abundant backup/restore functions and the richness of various APIs.”
  • Expand the internal usage of Veeam’s cloud protection capabilities to the corporate cloud offering for corporate customers
    Due to the growth of remote working during the pandemic, KDDI needs to be able to provide our corporate customers the ability to backup their Microsoft 365 data in the cloud.

Company:

KDDI is Japan’s leading telecommunications carrier and is a Global Fortune 500 company. The company provides offerings including commerce, finance and entertainment. Its business centers on smartphones, with one example being a local Japanese mobile phone brand called “au”, as well as FTTH (fiber to the home)/CATV (community antenna television) services. In addition, KDDI offers services including networks, clouds and data centers. KDDI also develops solutions that aim to create added value through 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities.

Challenge:

At KDDI, various businesscritical systems and applications are integrated into a private cloud platform architecture. In the past, backups were performed using VMware but with the end of support, it was necessary to introduce a new tool. The company needed to introduce a new backup solution that could be used for corporate cloud services, while modernizing and standardizing KDDI’s internal data protection strategy.

Results:

  • Combine backup methods and reduce operational management load and increase resiliency
  • Advanced integration for VMware vSAN Storage Data Protection
  • Expand the internal usage of Veeam’s cloud protection capabilities to the corporate cloud offering for corporate customers