SSOE designs unique buildings and processes tailored to a range of specific client requirements. From food processing plants to battery manufacturing to medical facilities, the company’s clients look to SSOE for specialized expertise in engineering and architecture.
“Excellent design is at the heart of our offering, making data-intensive tools such as the 3D computer-aided design applications our employees use each day absolutely essential,” said Dominic Torres, IT Manager at SSOE. “The designs represent our clients’ intellectual property, and the availability of that data is a key driver of success. However, growing business volumes and project complexity sent our data soaring from 5TB to more than 200TB — making data protection a high-priority challenge.”
With the ever-increasing risk of cyberattacks, SSOE aimed to simplify and enhance its data protection measures, boosting resilience and operational efficiency.
“Previously, most data backup and restore tasks came down to a handful of people,” said Dan Clark, Senior System Administrator at SSOE. “It was time-consuming and complex, and we weren’t able to easily share roles and responsibilities. With a more automated data protection solution, we could eliminate silos of knowledge and accelerate our recovery in the event of a ransomware attack.”
SSOE recognized that laying the right foundation was essential to make its cybersecurity strategy a success. The company opted for Veeam® Backup & Replication™, attracted by its powerful built-in security features and ease of use.
“Veeam allows us to create immutable backups that cannot be changed after they are written, which was a key factor in our decision,” said Torres. “Another factor was how straightforward it is to use Veeam with little to no training. The user interface is intuitive and simple to navigate.”
The company soon found that Veeam was an ideal fit for its diverse IT environment, which includes storage systems from a range of vendors, plus servers hosted on-premises and in the cloud.
“Once I had implemented the Veeam architecture, the rest of the team was able to integrate it seamlessly with our existing set-up,” said Clark. “One of the best things about Veeam is that it’s storage-agnostic. It integrates seamlessly with VMware, so we can protect virtual machines across a hybrid environment with minimal effort.”
Today, SSOE uses Veeam to back up approximately 46TB of compressed data on a weekly basis. The company’s 400 virtual machines and 65 physical machines, at more than 20 different locations around the world, are now protected comprehensively.
“We are a global company, and Veeam gives us the flexibility to back up data from any location,” said Torres. “Thanks to Veeam, we’ve now added a WORM [write once, read many] repository where backups can be stored immutably for a pre-configured period of time. That adds an extra layer of resilience to our cyber security posture that gives us peace of mind, allowing us to pass those assurances on to our clients.”
SSOE can now also restore data more quickly and efficiently using Veeam technology. As a result, the company is better able to ensure service continuity — even in the event of a ransomware attack.
“Veeam’s restore capabilities are already making a huge difference to our productivity,” said Clark. “Recently, we restored a single database table with Veeam, which meant that we didn’t have to take an application offline. Our employees got the data they needed in seconds, so they could get back to their innovative design work. In the past, we would’ve had to recover from tape, which could take hours or even days. Veeam is intuitive, allowing any of our IT team members to handle requests like this, so a few team members are no longer the only port of call.”
Since deploying Veeam, SSOE has unlocked multiple efficiencies, enabling the company to protect its clients’ intellectual property while reducing the administration burden on its IT team.
“Using the Synthetic Full Backup feature from Veeam, we can now keep more restore points on local storage,” said Clark. “Currently, we’re expanding our restore points from 14 days to 28 days and anticipate that we’ll move to 45 to 60 days in the future, all utilizing the same storage as before. As a global business, this is a key advantage.”
“Veeam enables reliable, consistent backups — instilling confidence in us, our users and our clients that our data is protected from emerging ransomware threats,” said Torres. “At the same time, by moving from a socket-based to instance-based licensing model with Veeam, we’ve reduced our cost and complexity profile. It’s a win-win scenario for us.”