The business challenge
Mohawk, which Unilin is a part of, is the global flooring leader. Manufacturing
facilities worldwide produce ceramic tile, carpet, rugs, laminate, wood,
sheet vinyl and luxury vinyl tile for sale in 170 countries. Manufacturing, like
most operations at Mohawk, is vertically integrated, enabling the company
to control every step of the process. Vertical integration reduces lead times,
controls quality requirements and helps keep costs low.
Vertically integrated manufacturing benefits Mohawk’s business in multiple
ways. It allows the company to extend continuous process improvements
and advanced technologies including automation across facilities quickly.
It also allows the company to strategically shutter high-cost assets and shift
production to newer, more advanced facilities. With today’s technology,
Mohawk can effectively deliver the same capacity as 10 years ago, but
with a manufacturing footprint a fraction of the size, creating additional
Warehouse management contributes tremendously to operational efficiency.
Unilin uses two systems: SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) and
Locus Warehouse Management System (WMS).
“Our challenge is making sure our IT systems are available all of the
time,” said Jo Desplenter, infrastructure solutions manager, global IS,
Mohawk International Services, a division of Mohawk that provides IT
services for the Flooring Rest of World business unit (of which Unilin is
a part). “Data protection with our legacy backup solution was unreliable
and extremely time-consuming, putting our systems at indirect risk. If for
instance our warehouse management systems aren’t protected and fully available, we would be in serious trouble. We might lose visibility into
the supply chain, which could slow down or even stop manufacturing —
potentially costing the company millions of dollars in downtime.
If we lost data in our warehouse management systems, we’d struggle
to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).”
Desplenter said he and his colleagues spent six months working directly
with their vendor’s technical support team to resolve unreliable backup,
replication and recovery with the legacy solution, but every workaround
failed or prove to be insufficient. Since IT failure isn’t an option, they sought
a replacement. They tested Veeam Backup & Replication™ first.
“We were in the middle of proof-of-concept testing with Veeam when we
had an urgent request from a member of the executive team,” Desplenter
said. “He needed us to restore a corrupted file fast, but our legacy solution
wasn’t cooperating. Our backup administrator was growing more and more
frustrated, so he tried using Veeam to restore the file. It took 30 seconds.
Veeam accomplished in 30 seconds what our legacy solution had failed
to accomplish, even after help from the vendor’s technical support team for
six months. Veeam recovery is amazing, so our next thought was ‘We have
to extend fast, simple recovery to Microsoft Azure.’”
The Veeam solution
Unilin replaced the legacy solution with Veeam to ensure critical business
systems are available nonstop and can be quickly restored in case of
a disaster. Veeam dramatically simplifies and reduces backup management
time, freeing up one full-time employee to standardize IT processes for
companies acquired by Mohawk. Veeam also makes compliance with SOX
easier and extends reliable, stress-free data protection to Microsoft Azure.
“Veeam makes life in IT so much simpler, getting the job done with minimal
effort,” Desplenter said. “Veeam is an enterprise-grade solution for
enterprise-size companies protecting a lot of critical data.”
Veeam backs up 1.3 PB of data across 550 virtual machines and 85 physical
machines on-premises to Dell EMC Data Domain. Veeam also replicates offpremises
and sends backup copies to a disaster recovery (DR) site. Veeam
will send backup copies to Azure in the future.
“Veeam is future-ready; that’s one of the things we like best about it,” Desplenter
said. “Veeam Cloud Data Management will play a major part in our transition
to the cloud — something we knew our legacy solution couldn’t manage.”
Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise lets companies securely send copies
of local backups to any public or private cloud. For Unilin, that will be Azure.
A built-in, automatic-tiering feature called Veeam Cloud Tier offloads older
backups to more affordable storage, such as Azure Blob. Veeam Direct Restore
to Microsoft Azure restores on-premises virtual and physical machines in
Azure, ensuring constant availability of Unilin’s critical IT systems.
Granular recovery is fast and easy with Veeam too. Veeam Explorer™ for
Microsoft SQL Server recovers individual items in SAP EWM, and Veeam
Explorer for Oracle recovers items in Locus WMS.
“I can’t express how fast and simple it is to recover data with Veeam,”
Desplenter said. “That’s how we reduced backup management by 95 %
(from 40 hours each week to two hours), freeing up one full-time employee
to focus on standardizing IT processes for the companies Mohawk acquires.”
Desplenter said Veeam also makes it easier to comply with data
requirements in SOX. Mohawk is a publicly traded company, so SOX
compliance is mandatory. Not only does Veeam ensure backup and
replication are reliable, it also verifies the recoverability of backups
(SureBackup®) and replicas (SureReplica).
“Companies need solutions they can rely on, and Veeam is reliable — plain
and simple,” Desplenter said. “Technical support is excellent too. We’ve
opened a few support tickets, and Veeam provides solutions almost
immediately. Veeam even solved a data domain integration issue that had
existed for quite some time but never got solved. That blew my mind. Now
we’re at a point with Veeam that we’re looking at additional functionality
that will further improve IT processes, including high bandwidth mode for
WAN Acceleration and flexible NAS backup.”
- Delivers consistent, reliable backups of critical IT systems for manufacturing
“Shortly after installing Veeam, we began replicating backups of our IT
systems to our DR site — a key component of our DR strategy that legacy
backup had failed to deliver reliably and that required a lot of follow-up
and management from our backup administrators. On top of that, we
started replicating production-critical IT systems. Veeam delivers this
make-or-break component right out of the box. We were floored.”
- Provides a cloud data management strategy to extend availability
to Microsoft Azure
Veeam Cloud Data Management will ensure virtual and physical machines
running Unilin’s critical systems are recoverable and available in Azure
in the event of an outage or crisis.
- Frees up one FTE to standardize acquisition IT processes; supports SOX
“By decreasing backup management time by 95 %, Veeam freed up one
full-time employee to standardize the IT side of acquisition,” Desplenter
said. “Veeam also supports SOX compliance by verifying our backups and
replicas are recoverable.”