Veeam Provides Always-On Availability for Study Group’s Fully Virtualized IT Environment
Veeam® Software, the Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ innovator, helps Study Group deliver near continuous access to data and applications for educational institutions across the globe. Study Group serves international students looking for quality programs for academic success, which will enable them to develop career skills that will help them fulfil their career ambitions. The company has worked with Veeam to achieve an 80 percent improvement in backup coverage while reducing IT spend on backup and disaster recovery by 11 percent, which has ultimately delivered an approximate ROI of 45 percent on an annual basis.
Study Group decided to fully virtualize their technology environment and realized its legacy backup system was no longer supporting ever-growing business needs. In a highly competitive market and with increasing globalization, the company needed to transform its business and look to modern cloud-based IT technologies in order to stay ahead of the curve. The decision to virtualize was important to give the business flexibility in how it would deal with the shifting demand in student enrolments across the globe. The business decided on a hub-and-spoke approach, employing data centers across London, Las Vegas and Sydney to balance load and ensure availability.
The virtualized concept of the three hubs is based on VMware vSphere. With the addition of the Veeam Availability Suite into the environment, providing one-click availability and disaster recovery.
Improved Disaster Recovery Capability
Prior to Veeam, Study Group had a less formal and more manual disaster recovery process. The move to Veeam has improved backup coverage by 80 percent, while the bottom line on IT spend on backup, disaster recovery and replication has been reduced by 11 percent. Improvement in other areas of the IT infrastructure are now being made as manpower can now be redirected from disaster recovery efforts.
“Availability in the Study Group business is about being able to recover data as quickly as possible and continue to do business,” said Andrew Christensen, Senior Systems Engineer, Global Data Centres for Study Group.
“The corporate business needs to work on systems with very limited downtime. This is what we’re trying to achieve with availability as a whole, limiting the amount of time when earning potential is hampered.”
Increasing Automation, Scalability and ROI
Veeam Availability Suite ticked all the boxes for Study Group; the suite’s ease of deployment enabled the company to move to a robust, disaster-proof environment, which also reduced management overhead.
Prior to the implementation of Veeam, Study Group managed disaster recovery manually. The company was reliant on the intimate knowledge of individual members of the IT team to recall where individual backups were located. The backup and recovery process relied heavily on large-scale tape drives, leading to labor-intensive operations with high maintenance costs.
“We are getting more bang for our buck with Veeam, we don’t need to invest further in our older solutions which weren’t optimized for our virtualized environment. Resourcing too has been a break-even affair. So in theory, based on our initial spend for the project, we’re thinking in a couple of years it will have paid for itself. Moving forward that is money in the bank,” said Christensen.
Significant Cost Savings
Since the rollout, the business has seen a 60 percent reduction in the cost of the retention of data and storage. Application development costs have been reduced by an estimated 15 percent and spending on hardware has reduced by 10 percent. Shifting away from legacy storage methods such as tape, portable USB hard drives and manually copying data to dedicated SAN devices for backups and protection has changed the way Study Group approaches storage. While the SAN storage requirement has increased, it’s delivering more for the business, and at lower cost. “We’ve calculated a rough return on investment of approximately 45 percent on an annual basis from [deploying] Veeam.”
“On a day-to-day basis, the workload for the IT staff at Study Group has shifted since the Veeam rollout. The infrastructure team has been liberated to work on other projects. The time that we’ve had freed up has made us a lot more effective on each project that we do take on. That’s giving us better results as a whole,” continued Christensen.
The experience of deploying Veeam has instilled a rigor in terms of documentation and policy in the IT area, which has been leveraged heavily in recent projects. Going through the steps of deciding how the software would be used, how data was going to be managed and which software would be protected put a realistic significance on prioritizing what data needs to be retained and protected.
About Veeam Software
Veeam® recognizes the new challenges companies across the globe face in enabling the Always-On Enterprise™, a business that must operate 24.7.365. To address this, Veeam has pioneered a new market of Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ by helping organizations meet recovery time and point objectives (RTPO™) of less than 15 minutes for all applications and data, through a fundamentally new kind of solution that delivers high-speed recovery, data loss avoidance, verified recoverability, leveraged data and complete visibility. Veeam Availability Suite™, which includes Veeam Backup & Replication™, leverages virtualization, storage, and cloud technologies that enable the modern data center to help organizations save time, mitigate risks, and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs, while always supporting the current and future business goals of Veeam customers.
Founded in 2006, Veeam currently has 49,000 ProPartners and more than 255,000 customers worldwide. Veeam’s global headquarters are located in Baar, Switzerland, and the company has offices throughout the world. To learn more, visit https://www.veeam.com.