The Business Challenge
Rock Field contributes to the Japanese food culture as a leading company in the take-home and prepared foods industries, under the corporate philosophy of “We will contribute to the creation of a prosperous lifestyle with our passion for SOZAI and our ability to transform ourselves.” Currently, they are developing stores nationwide with brands that have unique characteristics, such as “RF1”, which offers healthy, safe and freshness-focused salads.
Although the company has grown steadily since its inception, it has faced various difficulties in its half-century history. In particular, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995 caused serious damage ― such as the suspension of production operations at the head office factory. “The office computer was in a state of collapse even in the machine room, so I made a lot of effort to recover it,” recalls Yoshiaki Ota, IT System Group Leader, Rock Field. Based on this experience, Ota began to put more effort into protecting important business systems/data.
As part of this, a DR system using a dedicated application device was built in 2014. The equipment was installed at another base within the company, and the core business system and data that are indispensable to business continuity were transferred remotely on a daily basis. As a result, Rock Field createdan environment that could reliably respond to large-scale natural disasters.
However, in recent years, there have been problems with this DR system as well. Mr. Ota said, “With the upgrade of the Windows server, the data to be backed up is increasing yearly. Since the device needs to be upgraded, the disk capacity is gradually exhausted. The number of backup cycles has been reduced from three days’ worth of data to only one day. Also, when DR was activated,various business systems would be operated on the device, so there was concern about whether it was really okay in terms of performance.“
The Veeam solution
The opportunity to solve these problems came from the encounter with VeeamBackup & Replication. Mr. Ota said, “When I was conducting a survey of Amazon Web Services (hereinafter referred to as AWS) in anticipation of future cloud utilization, I learned that cloud backup by Veeam for AWS is possible. You can do the same thing, and you don’t have to worry about running out of disk space.”
He also highly evaluated the fact that it can handle both physical and virtual environments, that backup/restore can be verified and that the license form is easy to understand. Since the effectiveness was proved by the preliminary verification by FUJISOFT, which was in charge of this introduction, the company decided to switch to cloud backup by Veeam for AWS.
- Increased the number of backup target systems by 10 in a cloud environment with the flexibility to expand capacity
In the conventional environment, it was necessary to pay close attention to the maintenance of the dedicated application device. This is because if maintenance work such as disk replacement and updating are not performed properly, recovery may be hindered in the event of an emergency. However, by migrating to Veeam for AWS, they were able to eliminate such hardware-related work. In addition, since the cloud environment can be flexibly expanded as needed, the problem of insufficient capacity has been resolved. Mr. Ota says, “We took advantage of this and increased the number of backup target systems from 25 to 35. In addition, we were able to perform the backup of data for three generations as before.”
- Reduced backup/DR operation management load with user-friendly operating and reporting function
Currently, the company’s in-house information infrastructure has both physical and virtual system environments. Backup for DR is performed for each virtual machine in the virtual environment. As for the physical environment, Veeam agents are installed on each server for backup for DR. Since all the components including the backup server are implemented on AWS, which is the DR destination, the configuration is similar to BaaS (Backup as a Service). “The basic operation is the same as before, but Veeam is easy to operate, so it’s easier to work. If something goes wrong, you’ll be notified, so you’ll have less need to check the console,” said Mr. Ota. In the DR test, which is conducted once every six months, the DR test can be performed more efficiently by utilizing the test automation script created by FUJISOFT.
- Succeeded in strengthening BCP and reducing operation management costs by about 30%
Cost is often a problem when building and operating a DR system. A solid DR system is absolutely necessary to ensure business continuity. However, many companies find it difficult to invest a large amount in a system that is not used in normal times. In that aspect, the company succeeded in reducing costs by about 30%, by reducing capital investment costs in DR-compatible systems with the migration to Veeam for AWS. Mr. Ota also said, “With keeping costs to a minimum, we were able to expand the scope of backup and improve the efficiency of DR tests. We believe that we have created a fully satisfactory environment in case of an emergency.“
Mr. Ota highly evaluated Veeam when it was introduced for the first time, “I think that it is a backup tool that is easy to understand and very easy to use. It is convenient to be able to meet various needs including DR.” The company will accelerate the migration to the cloud for business systems that are operating on-premises in the future. The scene where the new DR system is used is likely to expand more and more.