Porsche Holding Salzburg is the largest automobile distributor in Europe, operating in 21 European countries as well as Colombia, Chile, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The company was founded in 1949 by Ferdinand Porsche’s two children, Louise Piëch and Ferry Porsche. Porsche Holding Salzburg has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since March 2011.
Porsche Informatik is responsible for the information technology of Porsche Holding, with 50 specialists currently managing approximately 160 IT solutions for users around the world. “The focus of our work is always on our customers,” says Christoph Buchstätter, Head of Computing & Platform Services at Porsche Informatik. “We design our solutions and processes around their needs. No matter which channel customers use to search for vehicles or services, we ensure they always benefit from the best possible user experience.”
Above all, this includes the continuous availability of digital services. Car dealerships on four continents, for example, handle their entire business via the dealer management system CROSS, which was developed by Porsche Informatik. A failure would immediately lead to a considerable loss of turnover. The spare parts supply in 27 countries is controlled by the parts logistics system ETN, and interruptions would have a major impact on service quality and customer satisfaction.
Online services such as the Car Configurator and the Used Car Programme “Das WeltAuto” are used by millions of users worldwide. “If these services are not available, even for a short time, customers can move on to another brand’s platform with just one click,” adds Buchstätter. “We were therefore looking for a solution to maximize the availability of our digital services.”
Porsche Informatik decided to use Veeam® Backup & Replication™ as the data management solution for its VMware vSphere infrastructure, spanning around 2,000 virtual machines. “The development of a sports car is all about converting performance into speed in an intelligent way. With Veeam Backup & Replication, we’re successfully applying this on a digital level,” Buchstätter continues. “Today, Veeam’s Cloud Data Management Platform enables us to back up and restore IT resources in record time. This provides us with a reliable basis for the digital transformation of business processes.”
With Instant VM Recovery® technology from Veeam, the IT service provider can restart failed virtual machines directly from the backup. Users have immediate access to the service again while the actual data recovery is still running in the background.
Porsche Informatik was also able to significantly accelerate the recovery of individual application objects. The Veeam® Explorer™ for Microsoft SQL Server, for example, supports granular recovery of SQL databases at transaction level. This even enables point-in-time restores for individual transactions. With Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Active Directory, support staff can quickly recover accidentally deleted user accounts or other Active Directory objects. There is no need for a time-consuming recovery of the entire VM. This improves the service quality and relieves the IT specialists at Porsche Informatik enormously in their daily work.
The company also saves time in the ongoing backup of virtual IT resources. Thanks to the strong integration with the storage solution in place, backups can be created directly from storage snapshots – 50 times faster than with conventional methods. This enables Porsche Informatik to perform backups at very short intervals without affecting the production environment.
Today, the IT service provider is also better prepared for a real disaster. Porsche Informatik used Veeam’s Image-based Replication function to store copies of the virtual machines at a second data center location in Wels. “We are thus in a position to quickly restart the most important systems in the event of a total failure. This makes Veeam a crucial part of our disaster recovery strategy,” says Buchstätter.
When it comes to replicating and backing up data, Porsche Informatik benefits from the efficiency of Veeam technology. “Through deduplication and compression, we can reduce data volumes by 50 to 70 percent,” notes Buchstätter. “This reduces the load on our network and minimizes storage requirements. With over 1,500 terabytes of data to be backed up, this is a considerable cost factor.”
However, the Veeam solution doesn’t just help the IT service provider to cope with growing data volumes and availability requirements – Cloud Data Management also opens up new possibilities for software development. With Veeam DataLabs™, test and development systems can be made available very quickly on the basis of the secured data and replicas. Developers can test new functions and eliminate errors in an isolated environment that corresponds exactly to the productive system. “With Veeam, we also gain more agility, which benefits our customers worldwide,” Buchstätter concludes. “We are accelerating the time-to-market of new software releases and bringing digital innovation to the road faster.”
Porsche Informatik is a subsidiary of Porsche Holding Salzburg, the largest and most successful car distributor in Europe. Today, 550 employees develop and operate around 160 solutions for the digitization of the automobile trade. Wholesalers and retailers in 27 countries, as well as millions of end customers all over the world, use Porsche Informatik applications every day.
For the reliable operation of its rapidly growing application infrastructure, Porsche Informatik was looking for a powerful and easy-to-use data management solution. The main goals were to accelerate the backup and recovery of IT resources and to improve disaster recovery. This is the only way the company can optimally support its customers’ digital business transformation.