Landmark Information, part of the Daily Mail General Trust, is the UK’s leading provider of land and property search information. Products and services include digital mapping, environmental-risk reports and sophisticated property-management tools. Customers include architects, surveyors, lenders, environmental consultants, estate agents and homebuyers. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Reading, England, the company employs more than 800 people.
Landmark brings property data to life, so customers can make informed decisions before buying, selling and building on both residential and commercial property. These decisions are critical and can have a major impact on families’ lives and business outcomes. If data is unavailable, Landmark can’t meet SLAs with customers and risks losing their confidence and business.
When it comes to land and property, Landmark Information Group is the expert.
Landmark identifies and translates environmental and property risk into data, giving their customers the facts, insight and opportunity to make informed decisions before buying, selling or developing land.
One of Landmark’s signature products is called RiskView. In particular one RiskView report provides property owners, buyers and legal conveyancers with information about the hazards caused by historical mining activities.
According to Landmark, one-third of residential property in England and Wales is located within close proximity of former mines, putting these properties at risk for ground instability, sinkholes and landslides. RiskView provides detailed information about potential hazards for a given property, including past insurance claims.
“Customers rely on our data to make informed decisions before buying or selling property,” said Chris Tout, Infrastructure Team Lead at Landmark. “These decisions are critical and can have a huge impact on families’ lives, health and well-being. Our job is to make sure data is available, so our customers can make educated decisions and keep their families safe.”
Service level agreements (SLAs) define data availability for each customer. Meeting SLAs became a challenge when backup slowed down. Landmark worried data delivery might be disrupted or delayed.
“If we can’t meet SLAs, we’re at risk of losing our customers’ confidence and their business, which puts revenue generation in jeopardy,” Tout explained. “We weren’t going to let slow backup impact revenue.”
Landmark replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Backup & Replication™. Veeam helps Landmark deliver data to customers without disruption or delay.
“Veeam is fundamental to the way we serve customers,” Tout said. “It enables us to consistently and reliably provide them with the data they need to make informed decisions about land and property. Without Veeam, we couldn’t guarantee SLAs with them.”
Landmark’s customers are varied. In addition to homebuyers, they include utility companies, which provides natural gas to homes and businesses. Landmark partnered with utility and flood-modelling experts to launch Great Britain’s first national flood map, providing predictive flood scenarios for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s.
This is then used to analyse future flood scenarios to determine the impact of climate change on their network used to deliver gas to 7.5 million people across Wales and the southwest of England. By assessing the potential impact of floods and river erosion on their gas network, the utility company can protect the network now, so gas delivery continues uninterrupted—far into the future.
“Millions of people depend on gas to heat their homes and businesses,” Tout said. “It’s our responsibility to make sure flood data is always available so the gas company can pinpoint risk and avoid service disruption in the future. That’s why we deployed Veeam—to guarantee SLAs with our customers.”
Veeam guarantees SLAs through high-speed backup, replication and recovery.
Veeam backs up and replicates more than 2,300 VMware vSphere virtual machines (106 TB) to a Dell EMC Data Domain 2500 on site and to NetApp SteelStore off site, which transfers copies of backups and replicas to Microsoft Azure.
“Veeam guarantees SLAs in two ways,” said Graham Smith, Infrastructure Team Lead at Landmark. “Veeam increases backup and replication speed by 25 percent, thanks to integration with Data Domain Boost software, and Veeam recovers from a backup instantly.”
Veeam also helped Landmark accomplish something that wasn’t possible with legacy backup.
“We migrated 1,500 virtual machines between data centres with zero impact on our customers,” Smith said. “If we had used legacy backup for the migration, we would have had service outages, causing us to miss SLAs. By using Veeam, we avoided service disruption. The migration went so smoothly that our managing director hardly noticed it took place.”
Smith said another benefit to using Veeam is saving time.
“Veeam is so simple to use that we save 500 hours each year,” he explained. “We no longer spend hours and hours troubleshooting backup and recovery like we did with legacy backup; and training a new colleague on Veeam takes very little time because the interface is so intuitive. Veeam affords us the time to focus on new projects relating to compute, storage and cloud efficiency.”
Another way Landmark saves time is by using Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows to back up physical workloads.
“We’re so familiar with Veeam that we wanted to extend that familiarity to our physical workloads,” Smith said. “Why use another piecemeal solution if you can use Veeam? You know you’ll have peace of mind.”