The Business Challenge
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.”
The Veeam Solution
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.”
- Consistent availability of digital services such as the global car configurator
With Veeam, Porsche Informatik ensures that tens of thousands of wholesalers and retailers in 27 countries can access their business-critical applications at any time. The solution also improves the availability of online services such as the Car Configurator, which are used by millions of customers worldwide. With Veeam, IT systems can be restarted within minutes in the event of a failure.
- Increased IT efficiency
The Veeam solution relieves Porsche Informatik of many tasks. Individual application objects such as SQL Server databases can be restored with just a few clicks. Thanks to tight integration with Porsche Informatik’s storage solution, backups can be created 50 times faster than with conventional methods. In addition, deduplication and compression reduce storage space by 50 to 70 percent.
- Faster development of smart, customer-centric solutions
Cloud Data Management also offers benefits for application development. With Veeam, Porsche Informatik can easily provide test systems to examine new functions in its software solutions and eliminate errors. This enables the IT service provider to shorten the time to market for smart digital applications for the automotive industry.