THE CHALLENGE

Our customer is one of the world’s largest data analytics and services provider, servicing over 11,000 customers and 120,000 end users in Australia and New Zealand, with growing partnerships throughout Asia.

Our client covers 98 per cent of the market, goes back more than 40 years and is constantly refreshed to provide accurate and reliable information. However, their backup environment, reliant on physical tape libraries hosted in co-location data centers, had the potential to put their reputation and valuable data at risk.

The challenges addressed in the project included:

  • A heritage of databases, information systems and platform technologies acquired through mergers and grown organically in-house over many decades slowed our client’s response to market changes
  • Data dating back more than 40 years in legacy systems such as tape was difficult to access and protect to regulatory standards.
  • The increase to 600 data sources over the past decade and the rise of new end-user platforms such as smartphones threatened to overwhelm our client’s ability to integrate into its existing information and data distribution architecture.
  • With more than a petabyte of customer-produced data each day, they needed to manage effectively to cut storage and backup costs.
  • With its data center based in a flood and blackout-prone par of Brisbane Australia, our customer needed a solution to protect and return the business quickly and completely to operation in event of a disaster.

THE SOLUTION

Venn IT Solutions and Commvault were existing trusted suppliers to this large analytics firm. The Venn IT team had senior people with a deep business and technical understanding of the customer’s environment that reached back for many years.

To initiate this project, Venn IT ran a cloud readiness assessment to provide a design, ROI information and risk profile. The guiding principles of which were to increase reliability and data backup compliance, while reducing operating costs.

Venn IT conducted a workshop at the client’s office. The workshop covered a high-level discovery of the existing backup environment, future plans and collection of information to estimate costs of maintaining a traditional backup environment versus an innovative cloud-based approach. Cost comparisons were subsequently put together for keeping the existing tape infrastructure vs moving tape backups into the cloud.

The review highlighted further pain points for the client including the amount of time spent by employees rotating tapes for the backup environment and Commvault licensing consumption and cost, with a configuration of snapshots and replication being split into separate storage policies.

Venn IT made the solution as efficient as possible to reduce running costs. This was achieved with the use of on-premise storage for immediate recovery points, plus the use of S3 and Glacier storage platforms based on data age. It provided for automation of service shutdown for on-demand servers and deployment of reserved-instance EC2 servers were appropriate. The aim is to remove all tape-based storage in the near future.

The fact that Commvault is agnostic in terms of storage medium or destination of data makes it simpler to manage, modernise and scale infrastructure as changing business demands require.

The solution involved Commvault and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and included decommissioning of the tape library on-premise infrastructure. Products employed were:

  • AWS S3
  • AWS Glacier
  • AWS EC2
  • Commvault
  • Commvault Workflow

The effort and disruption for deployment were minimal with all work completed within the time frame of one month. The same product and processes remained post-project for ongoing data backup management. Integration and support continue to be available from Commvault and AWS.

THE IMPACT

To accelerate its digital business-model transformation from a re seller of legacy data services to a provider of up-to-the-moment, actionable insights this large analytics firm engaged Venn IT Solutions. The project was completed on time and on budget and will deliver annual cost savings of around 50 per cent.

Having worked with our principals for nearly six years, our client was confident in our capability and approach to protecting their critical data assets. The solution has produced a range of benefits:

  • With the ability to move workloads around effortlessly including into the cloud, and access even backup data for production purposes our client accelerated and scaled delivery of new products and services to market.
  • Partnering with Venn IT Solutions, our client will retire its tape system and stepped its way into the cloud to receive costs and performance benefits form their preferred cloud provider, Amazon Web Services.
  • Commvault’s superior de-duplication cuts transmission and storage costs by 70-90%
  • Our customer’s management has confidence that Commvault’s solution will enable it to recover rapidly and completely from any disaster scenario without adverse impact on its business or customers.

Venn IT now provides backup as a service on the Commvault platform, which freed the customer to redeploy internal resources. Backup engineers were re-skilled to ensure that the customer had greater velocity through product releases and improved IT security.

Other benefits the client derived from its Commvault solution include:

  • De-duplication cut backups from a petabyte a day to just over a hundred terabytes;
  • Workloads now shift from on-premises to the cloud, between cloud providers, across geographies and even hypervisor and virtualisation platforms on demand;
  • Enhanced awareness and visibility of where valuable data is stored and the ability to recover quickly and completely every time; and
  • Cost savings and better agility by leveraging cloud providers to meet changing business needs.

IMPACT ON REVENUE

The Venn IT solutions provide our client with around 50 per cent reduction of cost with an almost immediate ROI. The new environment also represents savings in staffing, freeing up existing staff to undertake other projects rather than requiring new hirings.

 

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