Belhasa International Company is a family-run consortium headquartered in Dubai. With more than 10,000 employees in 40 locations across the Arabian Peninsula, the organization was challenged to protect its systems from IT disasters, particularly as staff and the number of offices grew.
- Protect critical data at 40 locations
- Simplify backup management
- Support the company’s strategic plan
- 1,200 users
- 40 locations
- Two data centers
- 42 Windows servers
- Critical applications: ERP, Payments, CRM
- Reduced RTO by 50 percent while providing greater control over recovery locations
- Achieved RPOs for each business unit
- Slashed data communication costs
- Improved the IT user experience with a centralized management console
- Met the company’s five-year IT strategy objectives
Syed Abbas, Group Senior Systems Engineer at Belhasa International explains, “For backup, we needed multiple remote sessions, but dedicated connectivity between locations is expensive. This made it difficult to manage backups and ensure that we could recover from disasters at each office location.”
Many of the challenges Belhasa faced were the result of the speed and nature of the company’s growth. From its origin as an import company founded in 1960, the company has grown into a highly diversified business. Today, it has associate companies and representative offices across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) region and in several countries abroad. Its dozens of subsidiary and associate companies operate in areas as diverse as real estate, construction, automotive, technology, education, trading, insurance, investment, travel, and tourism.
Abbas recognized that he needed to get backup under control. “We needed centralized management across all business verticals, with systems and data backed up both locally and to a secure remote location,” explains Abbas. “This also meant that all backups needed to be controlled from a single management console.”
Abbas believed the solution was obvious: perform initial backups at each site, then centralize and consolidate them in the cloud. Yet when Abbas investigated the solutions on the market, he was in for a shock. Most of the prominent backup solutions supported either local backup or cloud backup — but not both. And, he discovered that for the few solutions that did support hybrid cloud backup, the cloud element appeared to be an afterthought, with limited features and no connectivity to services such as Amazon Web Services® (AWS) or Microsoft Azure®. And where connectivity was available, it was at an additional cost.
Fortunately, Abbas discovered Acronis Backup Advanced – a single, fully integrated solution that maximizes accessibility and security by combining local and cloud backup. Abbas comments, “Not only does the solution provide the essentials, such as support for both physical and virtual environments and application-aware backup and recovery, it also includes reliable cloud storage that I am confident will protect our company’s business-critical data. Even better, the cloud eliminates our dependency on dedicated connections between offices reducing our data communication costs, which are rather expensive in the GCC region.”
The Belhasa team engaged Acronis Platinum Partner, FixIT Computer Technologies, to plan and size the Acronis installation. “We needed to understand how the core features supported our five year IT strategy,” Abbas explains. “FixIT guided us through the various Acronis offerings to help us size the best solution that would ensure business continuity and operational clarity across our companies.”
Belhasa’s IT team then tested the platform for six months to understand its flexibility and reliability and acclimate the team with the user interface. “Now that it is deployed, Acronis Backup Advanced performs well, gives us better control over how and where we recover data and decreased our two hour Recovery Time Objective (RTO) by 50 percent,” comments Abbas. With Acronis Backup Advanced, Belhasa now controls the backup of critical systems and data across all.
With Acronis Backup Advanced, Belhasa now controls the backup of critical systems and data across all of its business verticals using a single management console. In addition, it has eliminated the need for direct connectivity between the head office and branch offices for backup management. Most importantly, the organization now has a secure place in the cloud to store its critical data and can store multiple copies of data as well.
“In the event of a physical disaster or total system loss, Belhasa can restore systems from backups or run the backups as virtual machines,” explains Abbas. “It is also easy to install and configure systems, along with multiple activity logs and all of this is achieved using a single console and a single solution. We are delighted with the reliability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use that Acronis Backup Advanced provides.”
Belhasa continues to expand the scope of a deployment. For example, the company plans to implement application-aware backup for the company’s Oracle® database applications, add support for Sun Solaris®, and enhance security access to the backup console.
“We can say with confidence that the Acronis solution gives us the maximum leverage with the lowest cost footprint on our existing platforms and the platforms that we tested,” he concludes. “Acronis has intelligently addressed our major pain: the protection of our valuable, complex, and distributed volume of data.”
Acronis sets the standard for cyber protection and hybrid cloud storage through its innovative backup, anti-ransomware, disaster recovery, storage, and enterprise file sync and share solutions. Enhanced by AI-based Active Protection technology, blockchain-based authentication, and unique hybrid-cloud architecture, Acronis protects all data in any environment, including physical, virtual, cloud, mobile workloads, and applications.
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