The Business Challenge
No matter what time of day, Mansfield delivers fuel to customers nationwide. Healthcare organizations, government agencies and corporations rely on Mansfield to remain operational. Without fuel, transportation comes to a standstill, and in worst-case scenarios, lives could be at stake. If Mansfield can’t recover business operations quickly and deliver fuel 24x7x365, millions of people could be affected.
To safeguard business operations, Mansfield modernized its data center by updating and replacing legacy systems with solutions designed for virtualization including HP servers, Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 and NetApp FAS for tier 1 storage. One of Mansfield’s key considerations was the lifespan of each solution.
Next Mansfield focused on deploying tier 2 storage and consolidating backup for 600 virtual machines (VMs) running critical systems such as Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint. Multiple backup tools were in play, which meant additional training, decentralized management and excessive administration—actions that are not acceptable in a modern data center.
“We had to re-evaluate what was important and where we saw the business going,” said Hercu Rabsatt, Director of Infrastructure and Service Management at Mansfield. “We were spending 80% of our time running and maintaining backups and only 20% of our time focusing on data center projects that would move the business forward. We needed a single, easy-to-use data protection strategy that integrated tightly with our nearly 100% virtualized environment.”
There were other problems associated with multiple backup tools. Backup jobs were unreliable, making more frequent backup a contradiction in terms, and recovery of critical systems could take up to one day. There was no way Mansfield’s IT team could offer service level agreements (SLAs) to internal customers because it was impossible to meet recovery time and recovery point objectives (RTPOs).
“Instead of considering our options from a backup perspective, we considered them from an enterprise perspective,” Rabsatt said. “How could we guarantee the business in a disaster situation, reduce administration time and save the company money?”
ProSys Information Systems knew how. An IT solutions provider and Veeam Gold ProPartner, ProSys had worked closely with Mansfield for years and knew exactly how to decrease costs while improving data center availability and recovery. ProSys recommended Veeam® Backup & Replication™ for data protection and HP StoreOnce for tier 2 storage.
“Veeam and HP integrate well and share the same four attributes: affordability, performance, reliability and ease of use,” said Jenny Woodruff, Account Executive at ProSys. “Given how heavily virtualized Mansfield is and their desire for a low-maintenance solution that meets their backup and tier 2 storage needs, Veeam and HP are the best fit.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup & Replication and HP StoreOnce aligned perfectly with Mansfield’s strategy to leverage virtualization in its modern data center, centralize backup management and reduce administration time. Together with NetApp, which was already part of the modern data center, the trio helped Mansfield accomplish two major business goals: reduce data center expenses and offer SLAs to internal customers for the first time.
Mansfield reduced operating expenses by simplifying and centralizing backup management with Veeam. Instead of spending 80% of the time troubleshooting backups and 20% of the time working on other data center priorities, Mansfield shifted the ratio to 40% and 60%.
“Veeam’s return on investment from a personnel perspective is unmatched in the business,” Rabsatt said. “We reallocated people in different positions and backfilled them, enabling us to recoup operating expenses.”
The combination of Veeam Backup & Replication, NetApp FAS and HP StoreOnce helps Mansfield save on capital expenses too. Each solution has built-in deduplication; therefore, the backup footprint in NetApp FAS decreased by 30%, and the backup footprint in StoreOnce decreased by 20%. Plus, the combined purchase price of Veeam and HP StoreOnce was 72% less expensive than other backup and storage solutions.
Mansfield’s second goal was to offer SLAs to internal customers, which is now possible because the company can meet RTPOs.
Meeting recovery time objectives (RTOs) is now possible because Veeam offers highspeed, granular recovery. Veeam Explorers™ provide visibility and item-level restore in backups of Mansfield’s most critical systems: Active Directory, Exchange, SQL and SharePoint. Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots helps Mansfield recover individual items, guest files and VMs from NetApp Snapshot, SnapMirror and SnapVault.
To maximize the number of recovery points, Mansfield uses Veeam to back up 12TB of tier 1 data and applications to NetApp FAS. Because Veeam creates backups from storage snapshots with little to no impact on the production environment, backups can be made as often as every 15 minutes. To maximize the number of recovery points for tier 2 data and applications, Mansfield uses Veeam to back up 125TB of data to HP StoreOnce. As Veeam is agentless, backup is fast and frequent backup is feasible, ensuring multiple recovery points.
Rabsatt said Mansfield has the best technology in place for an enterprise environment, but success is based on how the company executes technology specific to business operations.
“We tie technology to metrics specific to our industry—cost per gallon and lift to turn—to demonstrate quantifiable savings,” he explained. “If our data center suffered a catastrophic disaster, we could lose millions of dollars per day. With the SLAs we put into place with Veeam, we know we can recover our entire data center within two to four hours. Before Veeam, recovery might have taken several days. If you’ve virtualized all critical systems and you’re not using Veeam, you’re in a shaky situation.”
Rabsatt said he had terrible nightmares about VM backup before Veeam, but now they’re gone. Mansfield’s modern data center has delivered benefits in spades because it is rooted in technology that supports availability.
“For the first time in the history of our company we have enterprise data protection,” he explained. “When the CEO says, ‘You can feel the difference,’ that’s a big deal. The IT team has earned a new level of respect within the company.”
The ResultsEfficient, centralized backup and recovery reduce data center expenses
The combination of Veeam Backup & Replication, NetApp FAS and HP StoreOnce helps Mansfield save on operating expenses because backup and recovery times decreased from hours to minutes, freeing up administrators to work on other data center projects.
“We wouldn’t have been able to recoup those operating expenses without the simplified, streamlined protection that Veeam gives us,” Rabsatt said. “We reallocated people to different positions and backfilled them, which moves the business forward and saves money in the long run.”
The trio helps Mansfield save on capital expenses too. Built-in deduplication decreased the backup footprint in NetApp FAS by 30% and in StoreOnce by 20%. Furthermore, the combined purchase price of Veeam and HP StoreOnce was 72% less expensive than other backup and storage products.Single enterprise data protection solution delivers SLAs for the first time
With Veeam, NetApp FAS and HP StoreOnce, Mansfield achieved its business goal of delivering SLAs for critical systems. Today’s RTPOs are 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the application or database.
“No backup tool can keep up with Veeam from a data protection perspective,” Rabsatt said. “Veeam provides solid expectations for frequent backup and amazingly fast recovery.”Modern data center delivers quantifiable savings through decreased downtime
Mansfield could lose millions of dollars per day during a data center disaster; however, the IT team provides solid expectations to the business regarding recovery.
“The business trusts us because the solutions we’ve deployed have shown immediate value,” Rabsatt sad. “The IT team has become a valued partner in business decisions; we have a seat at the table because we earned it.”