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WWF-Australia

Company:

WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world’s leading, independent conservation organisation. Founded in 1961, WWF is active in over 100 countries and has over five million supporters internationally. In Australia and throughout the Oceania region, WWF-Australia works with governments, businesses and communities so that people and nature can thrive within their fair share of the planet’s natural resources. As the seventh largest member of the WWF Network, WWF-Australia has a challenging brief. It is striving to conserve biodiversity within Australia and the Oceania region. WWF-Australia employs around a 100 people nationwide, excluding volunteers and temporary staff.

Challenge:

WWF-Australia used to enjoy its legacy backup and disaster recovery software, including technical support, free of charge from its incumbent vendor, until 2015. The software became outdated and any advancements and technical assistance would come at an additional cost, which WWF-Australia did not have budget for, being a notfor- profit organisation. The software was also complex in terms of usability for WWF-Australia’s requirements.

Results:

  • Reduced risk of data loss with rapid, reliable backup capability; restoration in under 30 minutes (for an average restore request – mostly file server data)
  • Availability of relatively cost-effective support/expertise in the market
  • Saved upfront investment of AU$16,000 (≈US$12,200); clawed back around AU$6,400 (≈US$5,000) annually

About Dancrai:

Dancrai is an Australian IT Services firm specialising in the design, building and support of IT&T systems. Dancrai has the processes and discipline necessary to ensure customers’ IT systems reliably meet their business needs. Its experienced team and methodical approach produces a high degree of visibility and makes customers’ IT spend and the expected outcomes more predictable.

The Business Challenge

WWF-Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, on a mission to halt the decline of threatened species and their habitats and to support their recovery. The organisation does this by addressing the threats that affect plants and animals using the best available science while working in partnership with communities, Indigenous groups, government and business.

Vital to such organisations’ continued growth are partner and community donations, as well as internal ICT services run by WWF’s IT department, especially challenging to deliver considering how WWF-Au’s staff are so widespread in five state offices and numerous regional/home offices around Australia (including remote areas). Protection and peace of mind knowing that these critical business systems are successfully backed up and available, is critical. WWF-Australia is a charity organisation, relying on the support of staff, interns and volunteers within the community. The list is endless in terms of workload for the staff at WWFAustralia, and with people volunteering their time, the organisation wants to ensure systems are running productively and efficiently. There is simply no time for downtime, and any instances of downtime would result in potential loss of reputation among our volunteer community. Furthermore, there are remote work sites which do not have physical access to IT resources.

WWF-Australia needed a solution that guaranteed IT availability. In addition, IT infrastructure needed to be cost-efficient, from both a backup and support standpoint, and expertise in market needed to be available. When looking to upgrade its existing backup and recovery solution, WWF-Australia was confronted with exuberant costs from its legacy solution vendor, with little to no support included. As an IT department consisting of only two people, support was a crucial component of a backup and recovery solution upgrade.

Semir Hasanbegovic, IT Manager at WWF-Australia, works with his team mate to provide seamless data availability and IT infrastructure for all employees and ensures nightly backups on and offsite for the organisation’s 100% virtualised software environment. WWF-Australia employees rely heavily on Office365 email, as well as the internal server to access files to do their jobs productively. “When it came time to upgrade our hardware system, I wasn’t confident we could successfully transition from the old to the new hardware, and successfully backup using our incumbent disaster backup and recovery vendor. We needed a solution that would enable us to transition from HP to Dell EMC hardware systems seamlessly, without fear of loss of data, while also remaining cost efficient.”

The Veeam Solution

In searching for a solution to their problems, Hasanbegovic praises the support they received from their local IT consultant. After going to tender, Dancrai was chosen to help WWF-Australia replace its old hardware and migrate all VMs (virtual machines), getting the organisation up to date with a newer backup solution. “As a small organisation, we needed an IT system that was simple and easy to use – something we didn’t need to worry about, which was cost-effective and supportive. Dancrai had no hesitation in recommending Veeam.”

Hasanbegovic recalls how Veeam increased productivity within the organisation, enabling the IT department to focus their resource on developing the IT infrastructure within the organisation. “File servers, remote desktop servers, application servers, mail gateway and support systems are being backed up via Veeam. Our staff don’t have to worry about IT anymore. If they lose a file, they can be confident that we can deliver their recovered files in a matter of minutes.”

Adrian Simpson, Technology Manager at Dancrai Pty Ltd has worked closely with the team at WWF-Australia to drive its evolution in IT infrastructure. “WWF-Australia has an important job to do in preserving Australia’s natural habitat and biodiversity and like all businesses today, the core at which this operation exists is via its IT infrastructure. We wanted to help provide them with the right platforms to ensure staff could do their jobs easily and effectively, while also providing the most costeffective solution to address their needs.”

“We proposed a Veeam solution due to its reliability, simplicity and financial viability. We recognise the fact that WWF-Australia is a charity, therefore cost efficiency was one of the most important factors. Veeam is considered a market leader, with a range of tailored availability solutions to suit any businesses’ needs and has to date demonstrated success for WWF-Australia by cutting costs and freeing up IT resources.”

The Results

  • Reduced risk of data loss with rapid, reliable backup capability; restoration in under 30 minutes (for an average restore request – mostly file server data)
    “The primary application of Veeam software is for nightly backups in our near 100% virtualised environment. We can backup double the data in the same amount of time, which doesn’t impinge on other operations,” affirms Hasanbegovic. Supported by the IT team, the Fundraising and Database teams who deal with donor data, as well as the field teams based in remote areas, can now be assured of availability of their data and systems, and that there will be no work disruptions.
    “Since the implementation of Veeam, we now test copies of our nightly replicas at least once a quarter from our Canberra backup site and don’t need to rely on hardware-based snapshots and backups as Veeam takes care of all of this for us.”
  • Availability of relatively cost-effective support/expertise in the market
    “WWF-Australia’s IT department is a small team, so we needed a lightweight tool with ample support when and if needed. In my personal research, as well as through consultancy from our IT partner, Dancrai, it was evident Veeam is the market leader in delivering first-class availability solutions, seamlessly and fit all WWF-Australia’s IT requirements,” said Hasanbegovic.
    “Having the ability to go to market for expertise if you really need it, is another plus. I feel part of the Veeam community – there’s a lot of people you can lean on globally and nationally to help you navigate the software, which is all inclusive of the overall cost.”
  • Saved upfront investment of AU$16,000 (≈US$12,200); clawed back around AU$6,400 (≈US$5,000) annually
    By switching from the legacy software vendor to Veeam, WWF-Australia made a cost saving of AU$16,000 in the first year of implementation. Ongoing cost savings from the second year forward have been approximately AU$6,400 per year.
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