DATAGROUP covers all IT aspects for its medium and large sized customers, including cloud enablement, leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure environments. An increasing number of DATAGROUP customers rely on SAP implementations, and the support and management of entire SAP landscapes is DATAGROUP’s core competence.
Managing data storage requirements for a diverse set of customers presents its own challenges, as Jesko Dirting, Lead Architect Backup Solutions at DATAGROUP, explains: “Depending on the agreement we have with individual customers, we backup their SAP data either to their own datacenter environment, or to ours. We could be managing huge amounts of data, or simply a local, single drive, backup. We work in constantly changing IT environments, have to comply with different Service Level Agreements (SLAs), balance scheduling and resource requirements, and ultimately need to guarantee data restorability in a heterogeneous and stable environment.”
DATAGROUP needed a data backup and disaster recovery solution with a flexible license structure that could accommodate physical and virtual environments, offer an extensive support matrix including databases, operating systems and advanced support for SAP/HANA data protection.
When investigating the market, it was clear to DATAGROUP that Micro Focus Data Protector has key features that could help simplify and standardize data protection across these complex environments. Mr. Dirting comments: “Data Protector enables backup to the cloud with native integrations, cloud gateways, and seamless integration with backup appliances such as HPE StoreOnce.”
An example of an environment DATAGROUP manages on behalf of a customer includes approximately 1,000 host systems, running a mixture of AIX, HP-UX, Linux, and Windows. Data from the hosts flows into a multi-tenanted database environment with some 650 instances, including SAP/HANA, MaxDB, SQL, Oracle, and Sybase. This landscape requires daily backup volumes of over 250TB, consisting of over 4,000 backup jobs.
With Data Protector, backup targets can be changed dynamically in case of an outage or maintenance issue. Mr. Dirting on Data Protector’s flexibility: “Having one solution in Data Protector that can manage the full scale of our data storage and backup requirements, means we don’t have to spend time and budget training staff on multiple tools. It also gives us a full overview so that we can provide our customers with a clear status at all times. Data Protector automatically generates customer SLA reports. As each customer has unique requirements, the SLA information is an important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for us.”
With so many different environments to support, Data Protector’s flexible license structure has been helpful. When an environment changes, as it invariably will, the capacitybased license can easily scale up or down to match this.
As a service provider, backup is important but data restorability is critical. Data Protector provides sophisticated disaster recovery tests, representing various scenarios, including Recovery Point Objective (RPO), or Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Many of DATAGROUP’s customers deploy SAP/HANA, Oracle, Microsoft, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Sybase, and DB2 environments. Instant recovery via native application integrations accelerates availability for them, with granular recovery and automated point-in-time recovery.
The integration of Data Protector into DATAGROUP’s environment has many benefits, according to Mr. Dirting: “Data Protector enables us to run a stable backup environment, covering a wide range of requirements, and fulfilling our customer needs.”
He concludes: “Ultimately, our customers are not interested in data backup. However, they want to know that we can restore their data if the worst happens. At no additional cost, Data Protector provides automated physical and virtual disaster recovery from any existing file system or image. This gives us full confidence in the service we provide our customers.”