Hong Kong-based Tontec International (Tontec) has evolved over the last three decades into a global multinational business with operations in China, Thailand, France, Tunisia and Mexico. Today it currently serves clients from around the world with industry-leading plastic molding products and tools. In the last three years, Tontec had also opened manufacturing sites in Thailand and in Chengdu, China, while also undergoing a major modernization of its IT infrastructure. This revamp occurred in light of changing market needs, expansion plans and with strong IT background and interest of Nelson Lam, President at Tontec International, to build sound technology foundations for future success.
The need to address these foundations was also triggered by a major security incident involving a ransomware attack during a holiday period in January 2021. The incident impacted data on primary servers and backup files. The group’s Microsoft 365 accounts were also down as a result.
Veeam® was not being used to back up Microsoft 365 accounts when the time the attack happened. This situation made them realize that the ultimate responsibility for data protection in the cloud lies with the user and not with the cloud provider.
Fortunately, at the time of the attack, the Tontec team was able to recover much of the impacted data as the company had from time to time performed a data copy of key systems to a USB-attached hard disk which contained much of the company’s core data. By quickly installing Veeam Availability Suite™ on an unaffected server the team was able to gradually recover 70-80% of the affected data from the USB hard drive. Not only did Tontec recover much of its critical data, but it also avoided taking the option of paying the demanded ransom to regain access to the data.
“This security incident made it clear that having a resilient backup system and process was critical for the business,” said Johnson Chiu, IT Manager, Tontec. With the company’s growing use of cloud services in Microsoft 365, having a copy of all cloud data on its own servers would be the best practice going forward.
Nelson Lam quickly initiated the infrastructure transformation to improve operational resilience and data security. From a backup and recovery perspective, the past practice was to simply back up data to another server which was at the same site as the primary servers. Today, Tontec uses Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365, implemented in December 2021 and Veeam Availability Suite™ for SAP and its core systems, which backs up and replicates all critical data to multiple locations including the main data center and other office locations.
With Veeam enabling off-site backup and replication the company is moving all servers to its main data center in Hong Kong while retaining office servers to act as DR sites for business continuity purposes. Veeam now provides protection for over 900 users of Microsoft 365 at around 18TB of data, plus another 80TB of core systems data like SAP and its management systems in Hong Kong and China which has also been using Veeam to backup around 60 Nutanix virtual machines.
With Veeam automating the process and removing manual elements such as the physical carrying of tape backups to the off-site location, less resource hours are needed to support backups. Backup errors has also been reduced with the automated process. Tontec is now able to do full weekly backups with daily incremental backups to provide more up-todate availability. Compare this with the past where backups were not always successful and the RPO was inconsistent and not dependable.
“We used to take four to five hours to fully restore an Exchange server, now it takes one to two hours,” said Chiu.
“Overall, Veeam has provided a more comprehensive, convenient and faster backup process which improves our ability to minimize downtime and our ability to recover from any security event,” said Chiu. In fact, Chiu has been impressed by the sheer range of capabilities from Veeam and Tontec is looking forward to fully utilize those features.
With Veeam running across the majority of Tontec’s infrastructure from Hong Kong to, China, Thailand, France and Mexico, backup operations are today more reliable, smoother and faster.
“Ultimately, we selected Veeam based on the platform’s user-friendly interface, rich features, simplicity and overall reliability,” Chiu said.
Robust reliable data protection to safeguard critical systems and boost resilience in face of ransomware and other security threats
Veeam helped Tontec recover much of the impacted data in a ransomware attack, while adoption across all critical systems has boosted overall data protection capability and ensured ability to restore critical data in event of future disruptions and security attacks.
Faster backup speed and up to four times improvement in RTO
Improved backup speeds and reliability means regular weekly and daily incremental backups are achieved. While it used to take four to five hours to fully restore an Exchange server, it now takes one to two hours — resulting in a more predictable and improved RTO.
Increased automation helps reduce needed resources during backups, resulting in time savings and reduced errors for the IT team
Optimization of IT resources has enhanced the previously time-consuming backups which were unsuccessful, resulting in frequent errors or wasted valuable resources. Veeam’s automation capabilities have freed up resources to deliver value creation for the business.