Since it was established in 1992, VSK Insurance House (VSK) has been developing its IT infrastructure. The company added servers, applications, and storage to manage increasing volumes of operational and financial data.
Denis Yafyasov, Deputy CIO at VSK, says, “VSK has steadily turned into one of the leading insurance companies in Russia. A key part of that evolution is down to using the latest technology to provide clients with the highest quality of service.”
To streamline its IT environment and clear the path to further growth, VSK chose to consolidate multiple servers by introducing virtualization. With the existing backup solution already nearing capacity, the change in IT strategy was the ideal time for the company to look for new backup capabilities.
VSK saw an opportunity to resolve challenges such as the overrunning of overnight backup windows, which risked affecting operations. The company’s previous backup solution struggled to cope with new and updated applications and low network bandwidth. It did not offer granular recovery technology, affecting VSK’s ability to bounce back in the event that of a production systems failure.
Yafyasov adds, “One of the main goals of our IT infrastructure is to prevent interruptions to our services, as this goes against our obligations to our customers. To protect our reputation for high quality customer experiences, we needed to make a change. The aim was to find ways to streamline operations, cut costs, and reduce risk, and simultaneously adopt a backup strategy that would support VSK’s future growth.”
VSK chose Veeam Backup & Replication to enable comprehensive backup for its mix of virtual and physical workloads. The solution encompasses around 12,000 user accounts on virtual and physical servers. The infrastructure includes 14 on-premises servers with total storage of nearly 1.5 PB, as well as SQL and Oracle databases – one of which is 20 TB.
Grigory Kondratyev, Senior Administrator, Servers Infrastructure Subdivision, IT Department at VSK, explains, “We explored different solutions, and the Veeam offering stood out because of ease of use and cost-efficiency. It allows us to back up large amounts of data across multiple virtual and physical servers from one point of control and at a highly competitive price.”
According to the VSK team, deployment and configuration of Veeam Backup & Replication was straightforward. Within just a few days of implementation, the company was using the new technology to set up daily, weekly and monthly backups of its entire IT environment.
Kondratyev comments, “We were up and running with the Veeam tools quickly and easily. Veeam provides excellent, clear guidance that enables us to take full advantage of the powerful new capabilities at our disposal.”
Using Veeam’s synthetic backups functionality, VSK resolved its issues with limited network bandwidth. By taking advantage of the built-in storage consolidation feature, VSK merges hardware server backups into a single repository where possible, reducing data storage requirements.
VSK also gained greater transparency and control for backups. The team relies on the Veeam solution’s self-service portal to enable flexible role management. For example, backup administrators can now delegate permissions to database administrators, saving time and boosting efficiency.
Thanks to the Veeam solution, VSK can now complete backups and recover from disaster much more quickly and effectively in the event of a disaster. In this way, the company is protecting the quality and reliability of services for customers.
Kondratyev continues, “Veeam Backup & Replication enables us to shorten backup windows, so that there’s no risk of them affecting he next day’s operations. We can also restore essential systems in less than two hours with no data loss. The advanced granular recovery capabilities offered by Veeam Backup & Replication means we have the ability to restore specific files and data in a way we couldn’t before, significantly enhancing business protection.”
To build on its success, VSK is planning to extend its backup capabilities further. Yafyasov explains, “Next, we’re implementing automated testing of backups, plus a group of servers at a site that’s far from our current data center to host copies of all our backups. Working with Veeam, we’re making VSK and the services we deliver to our clients more resilient than ever. By better protecting our critical data and systems, Veeam technology contributes to our competitive edge.”
VSK Insurance House offers auto, health, property and travel insurance. Based in Moscow, Russia, the company serves 30 million Russian citizens and around 500,000 businesses.
VSK has developed into one of the top 10 insurance companies in Russia, and has its sights set on further expansion. To drive this growth without allowing service levels to drop, the company scaled up its IT infrastructure, and soon found its backup solution at capacity. VSK began looking for a new data protection offering that could remove barriers to its ambitious growth plans.