Inchcape taps Veeam to end crippling outages

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Inchcape taps Veeam to end crippling outages

Scraps tape archives for hybrid cloud.

Automotive retailer and distributor Inchcape Australia has revamped its tech estate to eliminate “frequent” outages that would often last up to 36 hours, costing it millions in revenue due to transactional downtime.

With 35 brand including Subaru Australia and over 200 business applications running to support multiple lines of business from distribution and logistics through to retail and inventory, the company struggled to maintain its revenue and reputation due to the regular outages and poor disaster recovery setup.

IT operations manager Darren Warner said that, prior to joining the company, the team IT team “considered the business to be in a state of high risk” because there were no service level agreements in place, no disaster recovery strategy and systems were failing regularly”.

“This resulted in Inchcape being unable to process any customer transactions or complete deliveries within this window. The blackouts cost the company millions of dollars in financial losses, not to mention customer trust.”

The first step for Warner’s team was to establish service level agreements to the business, categorising all applications into tiers and setting corresponding Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

Inchcape’s executive team found that in order to reach its RPO and RTO goals the company would need to immediately shift from tapes to a hybrid cloud environment, especially for Tier One applications that demanded faster recovery speeds.

Warner’s team also introduced disk-based backup with over 200 virtual machines across Inchcape’s main office and office facilities with 98 percent of its environment VMware and Veeam’s integration with Microsoft Azure and AWS cloud platforms.

This helped bring RPO and RTO down to just four hours - nine times faster than some of the worst outages.

A host of Veeam services were implemented to meet those times, including Backup for Microsoft Office 365 to over 1000 staff and partner accounts, and Backup and Replication for data migration, and Availability Orchestrator for increased data security and transparency to meet compliance standards.

“Because of the speed of recovery and ease of management, no one is now managing data on a day-to-day basis. With these time savings, we can now focus on improving cybersecurity for the business,” Warner said,

“In fact, we were able to defend our business against recent cybercriminal attacks that
took our industry peers offline for two weeks!”
Aside from the savings associated with fewer outages, the move away from tape storage has drastically cut Inchcape’s spend on data management.

The company had accumulated over 10,000 tapes which costs $8000 a month to purchase and store, with one fulltime position dedicate to manual tape backup and maintenance.

Since moving to the hybrid cloud setup, more than 50 percent of these tapes have been securely destroyed after their data was migrated, saving $166,00 a year on storage.

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