The Business Challenge
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) in New Zealand’s North Island has a
strong focus on environmental matters. Situated in an area which has experienced a
series of devastating natural events in recent times, its IT infrastructure is crucial to
ensure consistent service to the community during times of crisis.
“The business of the Council revolves around looking after the environment. This
includes managing the effect of people on our coastal waters, land and air,” Bay of
Plenty Regional Council Senior Systems Administrator Aaron Dalgleish said.
“It is important we have data availability so we can deliver a consistent service to
our community, especially during times of crisis, and also to comply with legislative
In early 2016 Dalgleish said the BOPRC identified concerns around their aging legacy
“The backup didn’t work well and was unreliable. The backup to tape was also
a manual process,” Dalgleish explains. “When we conducted the full back up on
the weekend, it was taking longer and longer, and in the end it was still going into
The existing legacy solution had high administrative overheads and the storage
capacity of the existing storage hardware was also running low on space. There were
also unexpected licencing costs associated with maintaining the legacy solution due
to the increase in backup storage.
BOPRC was utilising the legacy software for all server backup requirements and
VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for disaster recovery replication. All backups
were retained on two existing HPE StoreOnce storage appliances in two separate
geographical locations, before being archived to tape.
The HPE StoreOnce Catalyst appliances provide de-duplicated storage for backup
copy jobs. They are located in Tauranga and managed by the production backup
server in Whakatane.
Long-standing IT partner INFX, who works with a number of local councils across
New Zealand, recommended that the Council move to Veeam.
“We have been working with Veeam for some time, it is a leader in our minds in
terms of disaster recovery and availability solutions,” INFX Technical Director Dax
“We have experience working with many vendors, but other competitive products
didn’t do as well as Veeam in terms of price, portability and results at the end of
The Veeam Solution
The introduction of Veeam Backup and Replication™ made it possible at BOPRC
to re-architect the HPE StoreOnce platform and retire the legacy software and
VMware Site Recovery Manager. This reduced costs and complexity.
Since roll-out wrapped up in October 2016, Dalgleish said Veeam has been a lot
“easier” to use than the previous software and more “reliable”.
“Veeam has also brought us cost savings -- the extra licencing costs for the legacy
software was around NZ $100,000, but we paid NZ $42,000 for Veeam for three
years – a 58% saving.”
In terms of manpower savings, Dalgleish said the backup to tape process is now
automated and saves him some 83% of time when it is conducted once a month.
“My mental stress has reduced, I am a lot more confident now that backups are
working. I don’t have to worry about backups still running Monday morning.
“I usually start the backup at 9pm at night, I am not sure what time it finishes but
it is well before morning. It now takes around 8 hours to complete compared to an
entire weekend for a full backup.”
Dalgleish added that for the incremental backups, these are usually completed in
half the time it used to take using the legacy software.
In terms of features Veeam offers, Dalgleish is particularly happy with the Veeam®
Explorer for Exchange for restoring Exchange backups.
“This was quite a major pain point with the legacy software, in fact we tried to avoid
doing email restores. With Veeam it is nice and simple, and easy to restore down to
the individual level.”
Veeam Backup and Replication also adds some future-proofing to the business with
WAN acceleration and cloud-based backups being built into the product suite.
- Greater reliability throughout the business with visibility of backup process
The Veeam dashboard has been a valuable improvement to the Bay of Plenty
Regional Council’s IT setup. It gives a good summary of how the backups have
gone or if anything has failed in the past 24 hours. On the whole Veeam has given
peace of mind to Dalgleish: “It’s good to know backups are reliable if we did need
to restore something quickly.”
- Value-for-money solution which brought cost savings of 58%(NZ$ 58,000 ≈
Bay of Plenty Regional Council was facing a large renewal cost with its previous
backup solution. The move to Veeam saved the Council close to NZ $60,000. It
has also been easier to use and more reliable.
- Delivers continual 24.7.365 availability of data
The previous backup solution in place at Bay of Plenty Regional Council did not
work well and was unreliable. The weekly full backup on the system was taking
longer and longer to complete, often ending sometime on Monday morning.
Restoring Exchange backups were avoided with the previous solution, however
with Veeam the process is simple and easy to restore down to the individual level.