Case Study: BAM Group Ireland

BAM Group Ireland builds for tomorrow with Commvault’s advanced deduplication, virtualization, and archive technologies

The challenge

  • Address the business risk associated with multiple data management products and data silos
  • Consolidate backup and archive across email and files to provide rapid access to business information
  • Create a platform to support rapid business growth and BIM-related data expansion
  • Deliver business specific data retention and recovery policies

The solution

  • Commvault Software


  • Reduced business risk with ability to meet business continuity and disaster recovery requirements
  • Single Backup & Archive solution reduces amount of data being backed up and provides rapid access to business information
  • Business specific data retention policies enable BAM to meet changing contractual requirements
  • Scalable infrastructure supports strategic business and data growth and the move toward Building Information Modeling

The construction industry is changing. A global trend toward the adoption of Business Information Modelling (BIM) is driving the use of shared 3D models throughout the construction process-from architectural drawings to the building process to facilities management. This trend has resulted in rapid data growth and operational changes as a growing mobile workforce demands instant access to complex 3D models and the ability to share them among partners.

BAM in Ireland, a subsidiary of the Netherlands’ Royal BAM Group, is a leading construction and civil engineering business. BAM recently broadened its business model to include facilities management and engineering services, which resulted in a contractual requirement to store specific business data for up to 25 years, adding to the group’s growing data management challenges.

In addition, increasing concerns about scalability and the cost of data storage, risks associated with data loss and the use of disparate products to manage their data required a complete change in BAM’s data management strategy over the past year. While data was stored, backed up and retained, no formal data retention policies existed and the company relied on non-IT staff to manage backup jobs at remote sites. BAM addressed these issues by consolidating operations in Kildare, its central site, and by implementing Commvault Complete™ Backup & Recovery, a holistic data management solution, managed by its own internal IT staff, which includes backup to disk, rather than tape, and the adoption of formal data retention policies.

Virtual protection speeds backup, recovery of business critical applications

BAM also implemented a virtualized infrastructure in Kildare and established a mirrored environment to provide full Disaster Recovery. The flexibility built into Commvault software enables backing up both physical and virtual servers located in Kildare, which support 500 users located in three permanent BAM sites and approximately 30 construction locations.

The primary software application is the Progress-based Coins ERP
solution, which handles finance, HR, contracts and plant management. Additional applications include Exchange 2010, SharePoint 2013 and a number of point solutions for specific departments, including Autodesk 3D design software. Commvault shortens BAM’s backup windows and reduces storage costs by archiving critical application data to the ContentStore, Commvault software’s integrated virtual data repository, which provides easy data retrieval to users.

Using just 12TB of their 37TB capacity for current production data – with a 50 to 80 percent deduplication ratio – gives McCarthy confidence that BAM now has the capacity within its own IT department to move quickly to support new business requirements.

User-defined, content-based retention policies deliver storage savings, reduce risk

While the entire data consolidation and IT centralisation effort projected an approximate 20 percent annual cost savings, McCarthy explained, “The investment in Commvault software wasn’t just about saving more money but reducing risk. It’s easier to manage, more resilient and it gives BAM a level of assurance in data management that we didn’t have previously.”

The investment in Commvault software reduces risk. It is easier to manage, more resilient and gives BAM a level of reassurance in data management that we did not have previously.

-Tim McCarthy, IT Business Manager, BAM Group Ireland

Furthermore, the company is now in a position to set up user-defined data retention and recovery policies that reflect the requirements of each business unit or client contract. While week-old data has no value for some areas of the business, the data associated with a facilities management contract may need to be retained for 25 years. Rather than backing up all data for 30 days before moving it to offsite storage indefinitely, BAM is using Commvault software to create data management strategies that meet business needs and avoid unnecessary data storage and costs. The company also plans to streamline its backup and archive processes by replacing its current email and file archive solution with Commvault software’s – eliminating the current ‘double backup’ that occurs when backing up the archive. “In addition to a clear cost saving, a single consolidated backup and archive solution will also reduce the amount of data being backed up,” McCarthy stated. By adding Commvault’s content indexing solution, BAM will also provide rapid self-service access to both email and project data archives, including SharePoint, making it far easier for users to locate critical business information.

Managing changing data demands

BAM is now positioned to respond to new data demands – including 60 percent of staff using mobile technologies to access complex drawings remotely, rather than on paper. In addition, under the BIM approach, this information will increasingly be shared with third parties making it essential to track who has viewed the information and manage version control. “The entire flow of data has become faster and more complex,” McCarthy explained. “Business agility is essential. With Commvault, BAM now has the capacity and flexibility to scale rapidly to support business and data growth as the business expands not only vertically, but geographically as well.”