The business challenges
MFG is a composites expert. For more than 70 years, the company has served customers in industries ranging from automotive to construction to renewable energy. MFG is also a pioneer. In addition to manufacturing the original fiberglass body for the iconic Corvette that debuted in 1953, MFG scored more fiberglass firsts: boats, concrete forms, bakery trays, satellite dishes, and high-volume truck and tractor components.
Several companies manufacture composites in North America, but a singular focus on know-how and capacity sets MFG apart. Not only is MFG the market leader in composite development, but the company also offers the industry’s most extensive network of manufacturing facilities that optimize customer logistics.
“Our competitive advantage is identifying and solving customers’ core challenges in record time, accelerating their time to market,” said John O’Neill Sr., CIO at MFG. “We also provide value-added services like in-line sequencing for enhancing assembly line operations. For instance, after we manufacture automotive parts, we deliver them to customer assembly plants in the exact order and at the exact time required. Serving customers is fundamental to our success, and technology is fundamental to serving customers, so protecting technology is critical.”
Protecting technology became a challenge when MFG’s backup solution (Avamar) neared the end of its lifecycle. O’Neill said the solution could no longer meet the company’s evolving disaster recovery (DR) needs.
“We wanted to replicate data between all locations for DR readiness,” he explained. “Deploying nodes at each location was cost-prohibitive with Avamar. Another issue was ongoing support fees. Beyond the expense, we often waited months for help. A good example is when we wanted to move a physical server to another location. We weren’t allowed to do it on our own under the terms of our contract, so we asked for assistance. It took six months to move that server one mile.”
O’Neill said it was clear MFG needed to replace Avamar, so he contacted TriCon Elite Consulting for advice. TriCon recommended Veeam Availability Suite and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365.
“Our number one reason for switching to Veeam was agility, followed by operationalization and then support,” O’Neill said.
The Veeam solution
Veeam provides MFG with agile data protection and DR, including support for immutable and air-gapped backups protecting against ransomware. Veeam also transforms DR into an operational resource supporting business initiatives. Additionally, Veeam reduces the total cost of ownership for data protection and DR.
“Our strategic advantage is responding to customers faster, stronger, and better than our competitors, so protecting data is crucial,” O’Neill said. “If you want a data protection solution and a business partner that will adapt as your DR strategy and cybersecurity needs change, Veeam and TriCon Elite Consulting might be for you.”
TriCon provided Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) as MFG transitioned from legacy backup to Veeam. Veeam backs up petabytes of data onpremises for fast, local recovery while replicating off-premises for DR. Veeam also backs up hundreds of Microsoft 365 mailboxes and data.
“Protecting Microsoft 365 is extremely critical because constant communication between MFG and customers ensures manufacturing and delivery exceeding expectations,” O’Neill said. “Having the ability to do quick item-level restores for Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business is indispensable. Like many companies, we rely on Teams more than ever because of COVID-19, so that data must be protected and available.”
O’Neill said Veeam became more than a DR solution for MFG — it’s become an operational resource.
“Moving Microsoft Hyper-V workloads between different hardware was an ordeal requiring multi-hour outages, but not anymore. Veeam fails over to replicas in minutes, with zero impact on the business. From a C-level perspective, when your DR solution provides an operational advantage, that’s a big win.”
Another big win is the cost savings. O’Neill said the total cost of Veeam over its lifetime is significantly less than the total cost of legacy backup over its lifetime.
“Veeam isn’t married to a hardware vendor like the legacy solution,” he explained. “Freedom to use any hardware results in huge savings because buying commoditized hardware is always less expensive than proprietary hardware. Another reason we saved money with Veeam is we’re not paying a large support fee each year. The amount we would have paid in annual support for the legacy solution covered all hardware and software costs for Veeam. That’s pretty amazing.”
- Delivers agile data protection and transforms DR into an operational resource
“Protecting data is critical to our company’s competitive edge,” O’Neill said. “Not only does Veeam protect our data, but it also transforms DR into an operational resource for the business. I can’t think of a better example of leveraging IT strategically.”
- Supports immutable and air-gapped backups to protect against ransomware
“Veeam helps ensure we get our manufacturing processes up and running as fast as possible after a physical disaster or ransomware attack,” O’Neill said.
- Reduces the total cost of ownership for data protection and DR
“Veeam is considerably more cost-effective, and it leverages IT strategically,” O’Neill said. “That’s a huge value add.”