The business challenge
To meet consumer preferences for speed and convenience, Up Group is increasingly digitizing its solutions, adding electronic cards and digital expense allowances to complement its paper vouchers (UpCadhoc gift vouchers and UpDéjeuner restaurant vouchers).
Freddy Kubiak, Head of IT Architecture at Up Group, said: “The informational intelligence and competitive advantage of our organization is increasingly embedded in our data. This naturally means that we need to work harder and smarter to protect our data from damage or loss, whether deliberate or accidental.”
Having started its server virtualization journey in 2009/10, Up Group began deploying Veeam technology to replace its previous slow and unreliable backup solutions three years later. To build on this success, the company more recently targeted a hyperconverged, hybrid cloud model.
“Hyperconvergence makes it easier to set up replication for high availability, but it’s no replacement for backing up data,” said Kubiak. “If you get hit by ransomware, it will be neatly replicated to all your systems. As we moved to hybrid cloud, we wanted to ensure that we had the right protection in place for our critical data and systems.”
The Veeam solution
Up Group reviewed multiple options before deciding that Veeam Availability Suite continued to be the best solution for its needs.
“We never just stick with the same technology; we are constantly checking to make sure that we have the right solutions in place,” said Kubiak. “When we first deployed Veeam, the results were impressive: 50% off the time required to complete a full backup and compression of backups from 12TB to 4TB. More importantly, Veeam has continued to evolve with our needs, becoming a true partner. Other vendors offer some positive points, but Veeam gives us an end-to-end platform for guaranteeing the availability of our businesscritical data.”
Up Group now has a hybrid infrastructure composed of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS solutions on the Azure cloud plus a Nutanix hyperconverged solution at an external hosting provider. The organization uses Veeam to manage cross-site backups between an on-premises storage array, an externally hosted tape library and a repository-as-a-service solution on Azure. Veeam offers rapid, reliable recovery of any backed-up data, from individual files up to the full virtualized infrastructure.
Veeam empowers Up Group to organize backup and recovery by business service, rather than at the level of individual infrastructure elements. Veeam DataLabs enables rapid, confidence-building recovery tests every week.
“From being a tool purely for backing up and restoring VMs, Veeam has transformed into a solution for protecting data wherever it’s stored,” said Kubiak. “That transformation mirrors our own evolution towards hybrid cloud — Veeam gives us the flexibility to achieve coherent and consistent backups of multi-tier applications, regardless of where they are running.”
He added: “Veeam also supports our vendor-agnostic approach to virtualization; we are currently one-third Hyper-V and two-thirds VMware ESXi, and will soon introduce Acropolis. And following a conclusive POC, we plan to use Veeam to back up some of our Microsoft 365 collaboration environment.”
- Consistent backups for effective recovery
“Thanks to its flexibility and ease of administration, Veeam enables us to ensure that backups with multiple elements — for example, an application with a frontend UI, a middleware layer and a database backend — are consistent, so that we can reliably recover working systems,” said Kubiak.
- Fast, space-efficient backups
“Using Veeam Fast Clone technology, Up Group has achieved a 33% space saving per repository and has reduced full backup time from 22 to 16 hours,” said Kubiak.
- Confidence in protection
“Statistics show that 80% of companies disappear within two years of a major IT outage — not least because of the impact on their reputation with clients and suppliers,” said Kubiak. “Veeam gives us the safety net of knowing that we can recover everything very quickly, providing confidence that we are protected against the loss or corruption of business-critical data.”