Companies using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems consider them one of the most critical systems in their IT infrastructures. ERP systems improve collaboration, streamline data flow, enhance decision-making, increase productivity and decrease operating costs.
Companies using ERP systems also share a common business challenge: Should they virtualize their ERP systems? Will legacy backup recover them quickly to avoid downtime and data loss?
Sudenga Industries, Inc. faced this challenge. Sudenga virtualized every system in its IT infrastructure on VMware vSphere, except ERP. Virtualizing ERP was the company’s last step in completing its digital transformation to virtualization.
“We were well aware of the benefits of virtualizing ERP, but we didn’t trust legacy backup to restore ERP if it failed,” said Jeff Carroll, IT Manager at Sudenga. “If our ERP systems can’t be recovered, business will practically stop. Losing ERP means losing synchronicity between inquiries, orders, manufacturing, shipping, invoices and payments.”
Carroll said one day of downtime could cost Sudenga up to $20,000—a significant amount for a small or medium-size business (SMB). One day of downtime could also damage the reputation Sudenga has built over nearly 130 years of manufacturing equipment for grain, feed and seed handling. Rightfully so, Sudenga has earned a reputation for service, innovation and reliability.
“Our customers rely on us to deliver our equipment on time, but if ERP can’t be recovered and we miss delivery dates, our customers will lose faith in our ability to meet their expectations, and they might even drop us as a supplier,” Carroll said. “Legacy backup put us in the precarious position of missing deadlines. Legacy backup had been reliable in our physical server environment, but it tanked in our virtualized environment.”
Sudenga contacted Integrated Solutions, Inc. for guidance. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Integrated Solutions specializes in cloud services, networking and systems integration.
Integrated Solutions recommended Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“I installed a Veeam demo and was making backups in fewer than 30 minutes,” Carroll said. “Five minutes later I realized how easy it is to recover whole VMs and individual files. I was sold on Veeam immediately.”
Sudenga replaced legacy backup with Veeam. Next Sudenga virtualized ERP and completed the company’s digital transformation to virtualization. A few months later, ERP failed.
“Veeam recovered our ERP system from a backup in minutes,” Carroll said. “Because of Veeam we suffered no downtime and no impact on productivity. That was the biggest and best return on investment I’ve seen in my 30 years of IT.”
Carroll said Sudenga’s ERP system would have been down for several days if legacy backup had recovered it. Downtime would have cost the company up to $60,000 in lost productivity. Downtime might have damaged Sudenga’s reputation too.
“That wasn’t the first time Veeam saved the day,” Carroll said. “Veeam had been saving the day each time we restored computer-aided design (CAD) files created by our engineers. CAD files get lost or accidentally deleted a few times each month and must be restored quickly to prevent an impact on business.”
CAD files support the design and production of Sudenga’s agricultural equipment. CAD files are a significant part of the company’s intellectual property, and they give Sudenga an edge over competitors. Losing CAD files, like losing ERP, would be catastrophic.
“Veeam helps us avoid catastrophes by restoring our critical systems fast; that’s what we like best about the solution,” Carroll said. “Veeam also saves money and time. Veeam was half the price of legacy backup and saves us nearly seven weeks’ worth of time each year.”
Before deploying Veeam, Sudenga’s IT team spent at least five hours every week troubleshooting failed backup and recovery. Team members use their newfound time to catch up on data center projects.