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application coverage, including virtual, for consistent automated backups
Restore trust and support new backup strategy to encompass a very diverse IT environment, including virtual machines
Fujairah National Group (FNG) is one of the leading diversified business entities located on the East Coast of United Arab Emirates. It is structured into eight operational divisions: Construction, Real Estate, Healthcare, Education, Oil Storage, Aviation, Trading, Services, and Hotels. FNG maintains a decentralized approach, giving individual businesses flexibility and versatility to maintain a competitive edge.
Although the general business strategy is decentralized, IT takes a different approach. Within FNG, one datacenter serves all companies with centrally managed backups of their Exchange, SQL, Oracle, VMware, and SAP HANA environments, as well as various file sharing platforms. Micro Focus Data Protector had been in use for many years, but unfortunately the team encountered issues, as explained by Mirza Baig, IT Infrastructure and Team Lead for FNG: “Due to a lack of local support, before Data Protector was acquired by Micro Focus, we were not able to make the most of this solution. There was a persistent backup error which unfortunately meant that we regularly had to intervene during the nightly backup session. Losing sleep to ensure effective backups is not an optimal position at all, and we had started looking for alternative backup solutions. Thankfully, it was at this time that Micro Focus took over ownership and management of Data Protector and we were contacted by a solution consultant who was committed to showing us that Data Protector could serve our purposes, and more.”
Abdul Tabrayz – GROUP IT AND SAP MANAGER
Fujairah National Group
A successful upgrade to a more recent Data Protector version protected FNG against the threat of ransomware and provided options to modernize the backup process and respond better to compliance requirements. Micro Focus introduced the FNG team to HPE StoreOnce to provide a single, high-performance backup architecture that spans the entire enterprise. FNG had always backed up to tape devices with different tiered tape libraries. They were aware that although this was a very safe method – tapes cannot be tampered with or hacked – it was not the most efficient way. With guidance from Micro Focus they moved to disc backup, with a second tape copy that could be kept off-site for compliance reasons. Full integration between Data Protector and HPE StoreOnce means that up to 40 databases are backed up concurrently, rather than in isolated processes.
An additional benefit is the integrated VMware backup, which previously had been a manual effort. Data Protector integrates with the VMware vSphere virtualization platform providing full backup and restore for the entire virtual environment. Having all systems centrally managed through Data Protector gives the team the visibility required for its annual ISO certification audits.
“We have seen great advantages with our new Data Protector-driven backup strategy,” says Mirza Baig. “Over 90 percent of our business-critical systems is now covered by Data Protector. With data deduplication and compression rates of up to 25:1 we realize cost savings and can do more with less. We have the flexibility to apply different backup criteria to different applications. Our SAP HANA environment for instance contains very sensitive healthcare data, which is backed up continuously, whereas other applications may only require a nightly backup cycle. We can also specify different data retention levels by system, according to government or ISO requirements.”
Mirza Baig – IT INFRASTRUCTURE AND TEAM LEAD
Fujairah National Group
After each backup session, Mirza Baig receives a summary email notification from Data Protector giving a full status. A complete report can provide backup statistics, licenses, sessions, configurations, schedules, and much more, to effectively monitor the backup environment. “We are now in a position where, in the event of a disaster, we could restore data and rebuild our systems within 1–2 hours. This knowledge alone makes me sleep better at night.”
Abdul Tabrayz, Group IT and SAP Manager for FNG, concludes: “As we worked through our backup challenges, we developed comprehensive internal compliance standards. Our new version of Data Protector, expertly supported by Micro Focus, fits into this best practice strategy. We can see many opportunities and enjoy the partnership we have built together.”