This article first appeared in the Autumn 2016 issue of The Record.
Barloworld Automotive meets the transportation needs of customers in a range of markets, from renting cars to fleet management to vehicle sales.
The company’s three business units rely on a shared IT infrastructure to support their operations. If key business systems aren’t available on a 24/7 basis, the company risks not meeting the delivery expectations of its customers.
To help prevent these types of scenario arising, the company decided to replace its legacy backup tool, which didn’t have built-in replication and WAN acceleration for disaster recovery.
“If your plane arrives at the airport at 2am and you need to rent a car, our booking engine must be up and running, or you’ll rent from another company,” explains Brian Smith, operations manager of IT shared services at Barloworld Automotive. “If your business wants control of its fleet’s toll spend, including the E-Toll system, our systems have to be available around the clock.”
To ensure availability for an always-on enterprise, the Barloworld Automotive IT team required a fast and reliable way to replicate virtual machines (VM) in 71 branch offices to the data centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ready-to-use replicas would enable failover and failback in case of emergency.
Barloworld Automotive addressed these challenges by deploying Veeam Availability Suite to enable the 24/7 availability of critical systems. Veeam not only centralised VM management but also simplified recovery and improved service level agreement fulfillment.
“With centralised VM management, we no longer have to burden anyone in the branch offices for backup and recovery,” Smith says. “We can achieve 24/7 availability from the data centre.”
Barloworld Automotive uses Veeam for local backup of 230 VMware vSphere VMs in the data centre and 291 Microsoft Hyper-V VMs in the branch offices to HP 3PAR StoreServ. Veeam replicates VMs in the branch offices to the data centre using Built-in WAN Acceleration, which is advantageous for branches with limited bandwidth.
“At any given time, I have a complete view of our virtual environments,” says Smith. “I know if a backup needs to be rerun and if we have over- or under-provisioned central processing units and memory. We’re proactive with capacity planning and issue resolution, not reactive.”
By replacing the legacy tool with Veeam, Barloworld Automotive has saved money and time.
“We saved nearly 40% in cost and 120 hours each month in troubleshooting backup and recovery issues,” Smith adds. “Veeam also ‘saves the day’ every time our engineers are alerted to an issue that might have developed into a problem and impacted business operations.”
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