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ODTH First Class Logistics picks and ships more than 50,000 customer boxes daily with Veeam

Every application has its own dynamics, and Veeam makes it easy to set up the appropriate backup regime.
Stephan Janssen
ICT Manager
ODTH First Class Logistics

The Business Challenge

ODTH prides itself on delivering innovative logistics services to customers. The company also offers a robotized warehouse staging system — the Magic Black Box — that combines elevators, shuttles, and storage channels to handle up to 1,872 pallets and prepare up to 52 customer loads simultaneously.

“Technology is a vital element in our industry, and a point of competitive differentiation for our organization,” said Stephan Janssen, ICT Manager, ODTH First Class Logistics. “Our long-standing customers rely on ODTH for safe and trustworthy storage, for fast and efficient handling and for added-value services across increasingly complex multimodal chains.

All of this increases our dependency on the smooth and reliable operation of our IT systems.”

Every day, ODTH handles the shipping and receiving of more than 60 containers and 215 trucks, and its warehouse teams pick more than 50,000 boxes (cases) on behalf of customers. To support its customers in making reliable, up-to-the-minute deliveries to their customers in turn, ODTH runs a range of critical systems, including the SAP S/4HANA suite of ERP applications.

“In a world of just-in-time processes and live consignment tracking, our customers have zero tolerance for service interruptions,” said Stephan Janssen. “If a supporting system were to go down unexpectedly, it would have both an immediate and a downstream impact, because we would need to catch up on missed activities as well as handling new ones.”

The Veeam Solution

ODTH has used Veeam technology to protect its business-critical data and systems for more than a decade.

“We first chose Veeam when we started out with VMware virtualization, and although we keep a close eye on the market, we’ve never had a reason to move off that path,” said Stephan Janssen. “Lifecycle-wise, it’s been very easy to manage the software through updates and upgrades, and we’ve always been able to add capacity as our needs grow, getting more throughput in every backup cycle.”

Today, ODTH uses Veeam Backup & Replication across seven physical servers, five in its production data center and two in a disaster recovery (DR) site. The Veeam technology protects approximately 80 virtual servers: instances of Windows Server 2019 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, as well as a large Red Hat Enterprise Linux landscape supporting ODTH’s new SAP

“We follow Veeam’s recommended 3-2-1-1-0 Rule: there are at least three copies of critical systems, including two backups, on different media, at least one of which is stored off-site and oftine,” said Stephan Janssen. “In addition to the cross-site replication performed by Veeam, we often use clustering to protect the most critical systems. For example, we have two SAP HANA databases in an active-active cluster in our main data center, and then Veeam replicates the data to the second data center, where it is also backed up.”

ODTH employs a wide variety of backup strategies based on the criticality and usage profile of each system it protects. In some cases, workloads are backed up and also replicated to the second data center every 15 minutes. For less critical systems, the frequency may drop to every two or four hours. For systems like the security camera network, where there are rarely significant changes, a weekly backup suffices.

The company is currently building and testing an application-specific backup for SAP S/4HANA that will enable point-in-time recovery while ensuring application consistency. The process involves freezing the in-memory SAP HANA database, committing the data to disk and then performing the backup.

“Every application has its own dynamics, and Veeam makes it easy to set up the appropriate backup regime,” said Stephan Janssen. “Whether it’s a system like SAP, where every second counts, or something more static and less critical, Veeam handles it all. And, as we consider our future around the cloud, it’s great to see that Veeam is ready to support a hybrid or full-cloud environment.”

The Results

  • >50,000 cases picked per day in warehouses without interruption. “Whether it’s an OS issue, a patch which went wrong or an application that started doing strange things, Veeam rapidly gets us back in business, ensuring no interruption to customer processes,” said
  • Makes sophisticated backup strategies easy to manage. “Behind the scenes, our backup environment is complex,” said Janssen. “However, the clear way in which Veeam presents our environment makes it very easy to use, even for a non-specialist.”
  • Keeps customers’ logistics processes running smoothly at all times. Avoids the delay, cost and reputational damage associated with unplanned system downtime, enabling ODTH’s customers to achieve their business


Based in Belgium and with global capabilities, ODTH First Class Logistics offers flexible, multimodal logistics services delivered by highly trained employees. Founded in 1978, the company has six sites and over 150,000 m² of warehousing. ODTH works for a variety of customers across sectors including FMCG, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, steel and coil and dry foods.


ODTH aims to maintain profitable growth through ongoing excellence in customer service and innovation in its offerings. As supply chains become more diverse, complex and time sensitive, ODTH relies increasingly on technology to ensure optimal outcomes. The company wanted to protect its businesscritical systems and data, to recover services rapidly and reliably in the event of an IT failure.


  • 50,000 boxes picked per day in warehouses without interruption
  • Makes sophisticated backup strategies easy to manage
  • Keeps customers’ logistics processes running smoothly at all times