In recent years, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group has experienced significant business growth as it diversified operations and expanded its footprint across Asia. They have seen rapid growth in overall data use, which was further fueled by accelerated technology adoption as the group deployed digital solutions to enhance customer experience and transform the business.
This growing data volume has been identified as a major source of potential business insight, since CRM and operational data is constantly being stored and backed up.
“The new data generated brings additional use cases and long-term value to the business with the potential use of AI and machine-learning, giving us valuable customer and operational analysis to improve business decisions,” said Elton Tsang, Lead of Infrastructure & Governance and Group Information Technology at Hong Kong Maxim’s Group. “Data is among our most valuable assets, so data protection is critical to our organization.”
As the company started to leverage more digital technology and applications, it became vital to achieve timely, efficient and reliable data backup and recovery. Hong Kong Maxim’s Group needed more assurance and confidence in its business continuity capability by providing fast and easy access to historical data. In short, Tsang and his team set a target to significantly improve the backup performance, recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) to ultimately minimize service outage and data loss from legacy data backup solutions.
Having used Veeam’s backup solution for its server farms since 2017, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group was doing daily backups on over 600 virtual machines (VMs) and databases, which added up to 200+ TB of compressed data that included critical systems like ERP. Their backup process involved saving daily copies to SAN storage and monthly copies to tapes, which were then moved to an offsite location. In late 2020, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group found that its SAN storage began to hit limitations in capacity and throughput, so a revamp of the storage architecture was conducted.
In 2021, Hong Kong Maxim’s Group upgraded to the latest version of Veeam Availability Suite during its storage architecture revamp, and this switch brought about two key changes. First, the centralized SAN storage was redesigned as a scale-out architecture to ensure sufficient throughput for huge data volumes and to facilitate future expansion in multiple geo-locations. Second, offsite tape backup was replaced by cloud object storage to improve efficiency. An added benefit was a more environmentally friendly model that helped reduce waste and resources used during the tape backup and offsite transport process.
The solution implemented included data protection for VMware hybrid cloud and backup to Oracle Cloud. Tsang noted the selection process for a suitable backup solution involved scrutinizing each vendor’s product maturity, reliability, richness of functionality and overall vendor support. Veeam was also selected for their well-suited fit to Hong Kong Maxim’s Group environment and its technology stacks and roadmaps to support future growth.
“Veeam’s backup and recovery solution meets our needs for data protection due to rapid-growing IT demands,” said Tsang. “It also aligns with our mission to create high-resilience digital solutions backed by hybrid-cloud infrastructure. Veeam is the ideal option for scale-out and off-site backup strategy in hybrid cloud VMware and Oracle Cloud environment.”
Veeam’s support for the cloud was crucial, since Hong Kong Maxim’s Group adopted a cloud-first approach even before the pandemic hit. The company’s ERP ecosystem, including its core ERP platform and related internal applications, run on hybrid-cloud infrastructures that are built across onpremises server farms and Oracle Cloud. Hong Kong Maxim’s Group needed to find a way to futureproof their business for an increasingly cloud-driven IT landscape — hence the need for a cloud-ready backup solution. Veeam ticked all the boxes and met the company’s current and future needs.
“In today’s landscape, it’s crucial that the backup solution we use can support a hybrid-cloud infrastructure,” said Tsang.
Cloud backup gives Hong Kong Maxim’s Group tapeless approach for the company’s multiple locations across Hong Kong, China and Southeast Asia. This allows them to standardize a group-wide DR approach that utilizes a consolidated DR environment with a centralized offsite backup repository on the cloud.
Hong Kong Maxim’s Group can also now make use of Veeam’s direct restore feature to the public cloud, with Veeam’s workload mobility being a key feature to enabling the company’s hybrid cloud adoption. Tsang noted that Veeam solutions are multi-cloud-ready and Hong Kong Maxim’s Group is looking to adopt it for Microsoft 365 and container technology to meet their future data protection needs.
Managing operational risk was another factor in the company’s adoption of Veeam cloud backup, which is more reliable than magnetic backup tapes. Having a reliable backup and recovery solution is required to comply with industry standards, including ISO 27001 and PCI DSS. The risks surrounding growing cybersecurity threats cannot be ignored, and the reliable backup and recovery performance by Veeam provides an additional safeguard in the event of a disaster like site failure, data breach and data loss.