Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group supports hybrid-cloud strategy with Commvault

Saudi Arabian Services Group saves time and cost transforming virtualization and disaster recovery

Challenge

  • Time and complexity in backing up and restoring data from different cloud platforms due to multiple backup solutions and operating systems used by different divisions
  • Challenged to meet RPO and RTO for business-critical systems, e.g. financial applications for the leasing division, and poor data availability to users
  • Sought to quickly replicate and restore data from cloud to cloud and the disaster recovery (DR) site, while still supporting non-stop business operations

Solution

  • Deployed Commvault Complete™ Backup and Recovery as the single solution to integrate with different platform services, including Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and Amazon S3
  • Designed and built an isolated disaster recovery zone to provide warm disaster recovery copies and ensure data availability

Result

  • 60% faster speed for RMAN backup in the cloud and on-premises
  • Up to 75% reduction in completing full snapshots
  • Saved significant storage costs by using the deduplication features of Commvault for both on-premises and in the cloud, reducing data size by up to 82%
  • Ensured business continuity by integrating multiple cloud providers and gaining the ability to quickly replicate virtual machines directly in the cloud and the disaster recovery site
  • Created a unique isolated recovery zone to rapidly restore the Commvault environment directing the backup copies to the recovery site and the tapes in the event of disaster

Industry

Consumer Services Group

Headquarters

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

URL

https://naghi-group.com

At-a-glance panel

  • Operates diversified businesses across four key sectors, including automotive, consumer goods, transportation services and logistics
  • Finance arm required to meet regulatory requirements for data security

Key assets protected

  • 200TB of backup data including 80TB for Oracle Database
  • Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications
  • 200 virtual machines including Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware
  • Diverse operating systems including Microsoft Windows, AIX and UNIX across multiple business divisions

The backup environment

  • Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
  • Amazon S3
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

We have some internal protocols that require us to recover the financial server every month. With Commvault, backup and recovery is always perfect.

–Syed Zeeshan Ali, Group IT Solution Manager, Hosting Services, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group

With the superior deduplication feature from Commvault, we can add and backup more VMs without expanding the storage size for three years. The savings in storage costs are significant

— Mohammed Hadi Bafaqeer, Group Senior Technical Engineer, Hosting & Computing, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group

Our group companies run 24/7 businesses, so we wanted to ensure data availability to our users. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery offers advanced features and deduplication capabilities to support faster recovery and savings on storage.

–Syed Zeeshan Ali, Group IT Solution Manager, Hosting Services,
Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group

Ensuring data availability for non-stop business operations

Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group operates diversified businesses in Saudi Arabia across four verticals: fast moving consumer goods, luxury automotive, public and private transportation, and logistics. The data needs of each sector vary widely, and for many years the different divisions used different solutions – such as Symantec and Veritas NetBackup – to back up data to disks and tapes. But this process was slow and could not adequately replicate data from various cloud platforms, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.

As part of an effort to digitally transform its business, the IT team led by Group IT Senior Service Manager, Hosting Services, Hany Elmaghrabi, and his team members – Syed Zeeshan Ali, Amir Iqbal, Mohammed Hadi Bafaqeer, and Ibrahim Alamshan – used Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery as the main orchestration for integration with the different cloud providers, VMs replication from on-premises to the cloud or cloud to cloud, and providing warm disaster recovery copies in the disaster recovery site.

Zeeshan and his team looked at several enterprise software solutions but only Commvault met both budget and technical requirements.

“Our group companies run 24/7 businesses, so we wanted to ensure data availability to our users,” Zeeshan said. “Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery offers advanced features and deduplication capabilities to support faster recovery and savings on storage.”

Commvault is a feature-rich software. If you can’t do a job one way, there’s always another way to do it.

— Amir Iqbal, Automotives DBA Solution Manager,
Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group

Seamless cloud replication and increased storage savings

Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group has been using Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and Amazon S3 for cloud storage services and running on-premises Oracle Database and Oracle ERP applications. It also employs different operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, AIX, UNIX, Linux, as well as virtual machines, such as Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware.

With Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery, the group can seamlessly migrate virtual machines to the cloud and convert them to EC2 instances. If there is a disaster recovery need, they use Commvault to restore the data within the 72 hours RPO. This enables the team to maintain their service level agreement.

The strong deduplication features of Commvault also allowed Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group to leverage the database for both on-premises and in the cloud. One of the Oracle databases in the production site was 80TB, but reduced to 26.5TB after deduplication. Another instance was the storage size in the disk had been reduced from 200TB to 36TB, or a 82% saving.

“With the superior deduplication feature from Commvault, we can add and back up more VMs without expanding the storage size in three years. The savings in storage costs are significant,” said Mohammed Hadi Bafaqeer, group senior technical engineer for hosting & computing at Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group.

Accelerating backup speed by 60% and completing snapshots up to 75% faster

In the previous environment, it could take nine to 10 hours to run RMAN backup for Oracle Database. Another instance was taking between four and eight hours to complete a full snapshot for the company’s financial servers. In addition to speed, Zeeshan also said that backup quality was a concern, noting, “There was one server where the backup was not done completely during the migration and we went into a tough situation.”

By consolidating all the backups with Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group can now finish RMAN backup in just three to four hours and restore them in the cloud. The group also cut the time for taking full snapshot to only two hours – or up to 75% faster than before the consolidation. Commvault also took snapshots even if the VMs had multiple snapshots. When there was a missed backup, Zeeshan and his team received an alert.

“We have some internal protocols that require us to recover the financial server every month. With Commvault, backup and recovery is always perfect,” Zeeshan said.

Zeeshan and his team are also impressed with the advanced features of Commvault: 1-touch recovery feature to convert physical backup to virtual backup; the ability to quickly restore data in the cloud; and copy precedence to easily identify the backup copies to recover and store in different places.

“Commvault is a feature-rich software. If you can’t do a job one way, there’s always another way to do it,” said Amir Iqbal, automotives DBA solution manager at Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group.

Providing warm disaster recovery copies with an isolated recovery zone

Business continuity is a priority for the group’s business. By using the cloud disaster recovery feature of Commvault, Zeeshan and his team created an isolated recovery zone – which is apart from the production and disaster recovery sites – to quickly restore the media agent and pointing all the backups to the recovery site and the tapes in the event of disaster.

“We created a scenario if we lost everything, we could build a Commvault server from scratch and restore it from the cloud,” Zeeshan said. “We download the backup configuration file from the Commvault cloud, install it on our server, restore it and attach a physical tape library with it. I have recovered some critical virtual machines using this setup.”

Zeeshan added: “The other backup software companies like Dell and EMC charged a lot of money for setting up a recovery zone. Only Commvault offers the features that enabled us to quickly build a complete recovery site.”

Said Hadi: “Commvault definitely has made our job easier, even during the pandemic situation. We can send the backups to AWS and restore data in the cloud without visiting the office. The intuitive reporting and notification features of Commvault also helped us to quickly identify issues.”

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