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British Columbia Forest Practices Board Replaces Legacy Backup Solution and Optimizes Cloud Data Management with Veeam

Veeam Software, the leader in Backup solutions that deliver Cloud Data Management, today announced that British Columbia's Forest Practices Board, an independent, public watchdog for sound forest and range practices, has chosen Veeam Availability Suite to replace its current legacy backup system. The Forest Practices Board opted to upgrade its unreliable and outdated system and implement Veeam with NetApp ONTAP along with tape-based backups in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier to transform its business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.

Overseeing Canada's western and most biologically diverse province where forests account for 24.3 million hectares, the Forest Practices Board was established by the government in 1995 to conduct periodic audits of forest practices, investigate complaints and report results to the public and government. It completes up to 10 audits per year, capturing data on tablets and sending it back via secure network connections to the headquarters in Victoria where it could be compared with legacy information. The organization experienced issues when data was lost during the transfer process, resulting in incomplete or inaccurate analyses.

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"We can't risk losing field data," said Tim Slater, Manager of Corporate Services and Information Systems at Forest Practices Board. "Lost data means staff and contractors making a second trip to the field, requiring them to rent a helicopter again. The cost could double to tens of thousands of dollars. Our organization is government-funded, so we are very aware of every cost."

In addition, the Forest Practices Board faced issues recovering legacy data as its system was unreliable, leaving only a 50% chance it could be used due to corruption or it couldn't be restored in its full form. "We found that our legacy backup wasn't designed for virtualization and didn't integrate with NetApp ONTAP. Configuring the legacy backup solution with NetApp SnapVault and NetApp SnapMirror was cumbersome and the replication never worked. As a consequence, our business continuity and disaster recovery readiness were on the line," said Slater.

The Forest Practices Board selected Veeam Availability Suite in part due to its direct integration with NetApp ONTAP which eliminated many of the issues with the legacy system. Now, it backs up 69 virtual machines with 9TB of data from NetApp FA2650 Storage Snapshots every hour and replicates them to an off-premise DR site every four hours. Recovery time objectives decreased dramatically to mere minutes and the group can finally set recovery point objectives.

Also, the Forest Practices Board archives secondary tape-based backups in Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier with Veeam's Virtual Tape Library (VTL) integration. This practice, along with the NetApp and Veeam integration, saves the Board 12 to 15 hours a week. "Veeam has been backing up our data to tape for years, so now Veeam is backing up our virtual tape library to Amazon S3 and Glacier for long-term storage," Slater said. "It's an infinitely scalable, cost-effective solution that will help us ensure our data is available forever."

According to the 2019 Veeam Cloud Data Management Report, application downtime costs organizations a total of $20.1 million globally in lost revenue and productivity each year. "Data availability brings significant business benefits in terms of brand reputation and customer confidence," said Paul Strelzick, Senior Vice President of Americas at Veeam. "With proper cloud data management, the Forest Practices Board is assured that its reports are fully available on its website to encourage education, communication and dialogue about forest practices and conservation. It's our pleasure to assist the organization in its mission and eliminate data challenges that might impede its work."

"The best way to conserve forests is to apply sustainable forest management practices," Slater said. "The best way to apply sustainable forest management practices is to have access to current and historical data. Veeam, NetApp ONTAP, Amazon S3 and Glacier help us to optimize data management across our hybrid cloud environment."

For more information and the full success story, visit https://www.veeam.com/success-stories/veeam-customer-story-bc-forest-practice-board.html.

Published Thursday, September 05, 2019 1:06 PM by David Marshall
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