The Business Challenge
With its early beginning dating back to 1875, American Standard Brands pioneered many of the plumbing innovations we take for granted, such as built-in bathtubs, one-piece toilets and combination faucets that mix hot and cold water to deliver a temperate stream. American Standard Brands was a pioneer in virtualization too. Virtualization improved efficiencies and reduced costs in the company’s IT infrastructure, which serves as the foundation for the entire supply chain.
When American Standard Brands began its virtualization journey, the company immediately sought disk-based storage for virtual machine (VM) backup. Its physical machines were backed up to tape, and American Standard Brands wanted to eliminate the complexity of tape handling as it moved toward a lights out data center. The company had additional requirements. It wanted agentless data protection to avoid overhead on the VMware vSphere environment, and it wanted fast recovery to avoid data loss. For these reasons, American Standard Brands became an early adopter of Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and ExaGrid disk-based backup appliances (later the company implemented Cisco Unified Computing System to further streamline data center operations).
“Everyone had limited knowledge about virtualization back then,” said Ted Green, SAN and Backup Administrator at American Standard Brands. “We chose Veeam because it was agentless, and we chose ExaGrid because it was disk-based. We had no idea they would integrate so easily and provide fast backup and recovery.”
The Veeam Solution
Veeam Backup & Replication and ExaGrid disk-based backup appliances provide American Standard Brands with fast backups, quick recovery and efficient backup storage. Together, Veeam and ExaGrid provide high availability of applications and data to support round-the-clock manufacturing at American Standard Brands.
Veeam backs up 10TB of data on 176 virtual machines (VMs) to ExaGrid appliances in two data centers. The backup window with Veeam is six hours, compared to nearly 24 hours before virtualization. Veeam and ExaGrid complement each other in another way: Both have built-in deduplication. By combining deduplication (and Veeam’s built-in compression), American Standard Brands shrinks 10TB of raw data to 3TB of backed up data. Gone are the days of spending $1,300 in new tapes each year.
As data grows at American Standard Brands, ExaGrid’s scalable architecture enables easy plug-in of additional ExaGrid systems to create a larger virtual pool of storage. Veeam Backup & Replication is built for enterprise scalability and engineered to back up and recover thousands of VMs and petabytes of data.
“Backup and recovery with Veeam and ExaGrid are convenient, fast and easy,” Green said. “ExaGrid keeps the most recent Veeam backup in its native format for 24 hours before deduping and storing it. If we have to do a restore, we have the latest backup available for quick recovery.”
ExaGrid retains the most recent Veeam backups on its landing zone, enabling super-fast recovery. Veeam restores whole VMs, individual files and application items in minutes.
“Veeam gives us peace of mind,” said Harsha Reddy, Manager of the IT Infrastructure at American Standard Brands. “If a VM fails, we know we can recover it with Veeam; we don’t worry about data loss. We’ve used Veeam to successfully recover a VM that failed twice in one day, and we’ve recovered files from a Microsoft SQL Server backup. Veeam Backup & Replication is the best solution for business continuity in a virtualized environment.”
American Standard Brands also praised Veeam’s technical support. Veeam Software offers various support plans to meet customers’ needs and maintains a customer satisfaction level of more than 95%.
“Veeam’s technical support is awesome,” Reddy said. “I open a ticket and get responses fast and dead-on.”
Backups are 75% faster and require less storage
Backup is faster with Veeam and ExaGrid for several reasons. Not only is Veeam Backup & Replication agentless, it also takes advantage of VMware vSphere thin-provisioned disks and changed block tracking. ExaGrid uses post-process deduplication, so nothing slows down the data being written to disk.
Veeam backups require less storage than most backup tools because of built-in compression and deduplication. American Standard Brands combines Veeam’s compression and deduplication with ExaGrid’s deduplication to shrink backups.
High-speed recovery improves data protection and avoids data loss
ExaGrid’s landing zone maintains copies of the latest Veeam backups in their original, non-deduplicated formats. This allows American Standard Brands to instantly recover and run a VM from the landing zone for fast recovery. Veeam and ExaGrid help companies recover whatever they want and whenever they want it.
Scale-out architecture manages data growth within backup window
Veeam Backup & Replication and ExaGrid are built for enterprise scalability. Veeam can back up and recover thousands of VMs and petabytes of data, while ExaGrid’s scaleout grid architecture (processor, memory, network bandwidth and disk) automatically adjusts to growing data without lengthening the backup window.