The Business Challenge
The Kodiak Island Borough operates under a manager form of government,
combining the leadership of elected officials with the guidance
of administrative employees. It’s the most popular structure of local
government in the United States.
Like most local governments, the borough levies property taxes on residents
and businesses to fund public services such as education and infrastructure such
as roads. During fiscal year 2020, Kodiak collected $1.4 billion in property taxes.
For more than 20 years, the borough’s IT Department used Backup Exec
to protect government data. Paul VanDyke, IT Supervisor for the Kodiak
Island Borough and a long-term Veritas customer, said the solution was
reliable — until it wasn’t.
“Backup failed for two weeks straight, making our backup infrastructure fragile
and dysfunctional,” he said. “I wasn’t getting the help I needed from the vendor,
and I was about to leave for a conference. Our data was in jeopardy.”
VanDyke installed a free trial of Veeam® Backup & Replication™, ran a backup
and left for the conference. Twenty-four hours later, ransomware infiltrated
the borough’s IT infrastructure.
“I immediately returned to the office to begin disaster recovery,” he said. “Veeam
saved the day and my career, but that was only the beginning of our Veeam story.”
Before moving to Office 365, the IT Department deployed Veeam Backup
for Microsoft Office 365 to protect historical emails. Elected officials use
Exchange Online to communicate, and since their emails are public record,
the borough must maintain access and control of emails for decades.
“Microsoft didn’t offer suitable backup, but Veeam certainly does,” VanDyke
said. “Once you’ve been through ransomware, you have a new appreciation
for what it means to have total access and control of your data.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam protects all government information, including data generating
$1.4 billion in annual property tax revenue and data in Office 365. Veeam
provides total access and control of historical emails going back decades and
simplifies data protection, saving 20 hours weekly and $57,000 annually.
“Veeam just works, and it works well — every time,” VanDyke said. “Backup
is reliable, and recovery is fast. Veeam supports success in the IT Department.”
The IT Department is responsible for the provision, maintenance and instruction
of technology applications for the borough. Microsoft SQL Server supports many
of these applications including Esri for Geographic Information System (GIS)
mapping, PACS for property assessment and data collection, and New World ERP
for financial and administrative management.
“One of our complaints about Backup Exec was it didn’t offer granular recovery
for our applications, so one of the benefits of using Veeam is fast, easy granular
recovery,” VanDyke said. “We’re big fans of Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft
Exchange. When an employee was leaving the borough for another job and
deleted his email box (employee email is in Microsoft Exchange, not Exchange
Online), I used Veeam to restore it in minutes. I placed it an offline repository
we keep for archived data because it’s public record too. Recovery doesn’t get
any easier than that.”
Veeam backs up 30 TB across 40 VMware vSphere virtual machines onpremises
for fast, local recovery and replicates off-premises for disaster
recovery and business continuity. Veeam also backs up the borough’s
Quantum tape library to comply with the 3-2-1 Rule.
“Veeam dramatically simplifies data protection, saving 20 hours each week,”
VanDyke said. “Our department is very small. We have two full-time people
and one part-time person, so saving 20 hours is a big deal. Veeam gives
us time to implement cost-saving technologies for the borough.”
Saving money is always priority, and Veeam helps with that too.
“No matter how much money we dumped into legacy backup, it still wasn’t
100% reliable,” VanDyke said. “We considered Commvault as a replacement, but
it was very expensive. Veeam was far more affordable, saving us $57,000 each
year compared to Commvault, and Veeam is 100% reliable.”
- <Protects all government information, including data underpinning
“Backups are your best friend,” Bekas said. “As long as you have a reliable
backup, you know data is protected, available and resilient. Veeam is the icing
on the cake for backup.”
- Ensures complete access and control of historical emails going back decades
Veeam eliminates the risk of losing access and control of Office 365 data,
giving Kodiak Island Borough peace of mind knowing data is always
protected and available.
- Simplifies data protection, saving 20 hours weekly and $57,000 annually
“Simplicity is Veeam’s best attribute,” VanDyke said. “We live in a complex
world with complex systems, so when backup is as complex as the systems
it protects, you have very little time for anything else. Veeam is easy to use,
and it’s affordable. It’s a great product.”