OSN is the ultimate destination for the widest choice of brand new premium Western, Arabic, South Asian and Filipino entertainment in the Middle East and Africa. OSN is home to over 150 channels and services, offering viewers in the MENA region exclusive access to the latest blockbuster movies, top rated series, sports, documentaries, news, kid’s entertainment and live talk shows.
OSN is at the forefront of innovation and has been the first in the region to offer several services including the regions first online TV platform, OSN Play and the first video on demand platform.
About five years ago, the company decided to virtualize 80% of its IT environment. While this undertaking was largely successful, the company’s legacy backup solution which was not purpose-built for virtualization needed an overhaul.
“The virtual environment hosts our business intelligence, database, finance, development infrastructure, business automation, information security systems and most importantly our CRM and contact center applications. Any issues with the virtual infrastructure can have a direct impact on our business critical services, our customer support and the operations of our business units,” explained Ronald D’sa, IT Director at OSN.
“As a 24x7 operation that is constantly broadcasting to scores of subscribers, every second of downtime can equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses and irreparable damage to our brand. We simply couldn’t afford that, therefore we needed not just backup, but a comprehensive solution for availability which would keep our business up and running,” said Ronald.
OSN is one of the key premium content providers in the MENA region, the position retained by the ability to attract new customers backed by strong customer retention. “Our primary drive is the customer,” — said D’sa. “For our organization availability means customer satisfaction while broadcasting to every single subscriber around the clock. Basically, always-on availability is key to our business”, he added.
Aware of Veeam’s success and strong customer references in the region, OSN evaluated the Veeam® Backup & Replication™ solution. Ronald stated, “We conducted a POC and our entire IT team liked it. It was very easy to use, flexible, easy to restore and demonstrated the ability to increase the speed of our backup and recovery by over 200%.”
Solidly convinced by the POC, the IT team steamed ahead with deployment and finally managed to meet and even exceed the management’s RTPO objectives. Whereas the legacy backup tool took 24 hours to complete its backup of about 10TB of data, Veeam’s solution managed to shrink this window to only 2–3 hours. “Not only did we achieve our backup objectives, we got a host of ‘extra features’ that we never expected like instant VM recovery, instant file-level recovery, and advanced replication,” stated Ronald.
He also advocated the solution’s simplicity and user-friendliness. “We used to buy agents to back up every service such as Oracle, SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint. This meant spending a lot of money on licensing and a lot of time for day-to-day backups,” he explained. “With the earlier solution every day, 2 to 3 of our engineers would dedicate between 4 to 5 hours each for the management of backups.”
Now, it takes just one engineer no longer than 5 to 6 hours to manage all the day’s backups, ensuring combined savings of 50% on licensing and manpower with the advantage that the health of backups can be tested.
The IT team is now capable of firing 4 backups a day, with some essential services continuously backing up data. Thanks to compression and deduplication, OSN has benefitted from a 30% reduction in its storage requirements. The broadcaster has also been able to leverage low cost disk storage in place of tape backups. With the amount of data being backed up now hitting the 20TB mark and constantly growing, the move to disk based backup has led to an overall 90% reduction in the cost of storage.
OSN’s IT team has always been forward thinking and tech savvy, thus Instant VM Recovery™ was of a particular importance to avoid any instances of VM failure.
Explaining just how vital rapid remediation is, Ronald said, “Broadcasting is a 24.7.365 affair. Consider our contact center. If either the CRM system or contact center application fails, our agents lose access to vital customer information. This greatly increases the time to resolution and increases customer frustration. With thousands of in-bound calls and out-bound calls a day, the impact of failure cannot be overstated. We value our customers’ loyalty and simply can’t afford such a risk. We need to be always equipped.”
Another feature, Virtual Labs, has played a pivotal role in helping the IT team achieve compliance. A management regulation stipulated that the team conduct restoration tests on a quarterly basis. “Thanks to Virtual Labs, today we can test as and when required. So in addition to frequently testing backups and achieving compliance, we also test every new application prior to deployment”.
All these technology benefits are complimented by the professionalism and support of Veeam’s team. “They are constantly in touch and ever ready to assist us in any way necessary,” said Ronald.”