US Cement Company Reduces Backup Administration Time by 60% with NAKIVO
Suwannee American Cement (SAC) is the second largest cement supplier in Florida, USA. Their world-class operation based in Branford, Florida, has been manufacturing high-quality cement for the Florida and Southern Georgia construction market since 2003. The company is recognized as an industry leader in developing and producing high-quality cement, adopting sustainable practices, and reducing the environmental impact of the cement production process.
With three locations in Florida, SAC’s IT infrastructure consists of four physical servers and several virtual machines, which hold databases such as Microsoft SQL and Oracle. Moreover, virtual machines support other software like Rockwell Automation and other heavy industry manufacturing programs. All three facilities run 24/7, 365 days a year, thus, the IT environment must be available 24/7 to support the company’s daily operations. Reliable backups and fast recoveries are critical to ensure swift recovery in case of an outage. Without automation systems and manufacturing programs running, the manufacturing process cannot run safely and effectively. If systems become unavailable, not only will the business be disrupted, but also the work environment will become unsafe. That is why a reliable VM backup solution is imperative for ensuring the success of the business.
SAC tried different solutions over the years, but most of them had disadvantages in terms of pricing and difficulty of use. With previous products, backup time was long, as the whole process required manual intervention and offered no automation options. This translated into wasted administration time and high overhead costs. The company wanted to minimize the time spent on operating data protection products. Manual management as well as pricing and sizing were the main reasons why SAC decided to look for a new solution. “Our VMs are the meat and potatoes of our environment. We wanted a solution that would manage our virtual environment first. Support for physical environments was also important so there would be no gap,” says Jeremy Mayfield, Director of IT at SAC.
Suwannee American Cement chose NAKIVO Backup & Replication as the new solution for protecting its virtual environment several years ago. Now, SAC is also protecting its physical environment with NAKIVO Backup & Replication. Integration with NAS servers, especially QNAP NAS, was one of the main reason SAC decided to select NAKIVO. NAKIVO Backup & Replication and QNAP NAS provide better backup performance, consume less storage space, and are more affordable together as a backup appliance. “We had two QNAP NAS servers at our premises, thus we immediately installed the software on the servers, as it allowed us to utilize both the storage and software quickly. Installation was quite simple and the user interface is very intuitive. Being able to manage both the storage and backup software from one interface is fantastic,” says Jeremy.
Unlike previous backup products used by SAC, NAKIVO Backup & Replication installed on QNAP NAS allowed SAC to reduce administration time significantly. Moreover, NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides flexible job scheduling, allowing you to view past and current backup jobs, schedule new ones, and analyze job details. In addition, the reporting functionality provides notifications and reports by email, so that you can receive information about the status of all the jobs. “We back up VMs several times a week. We schedule backup jobs for most items at different times, so that we can monitor each backup job independently. With Calendar dashboard, we can evenly distribute the load on our production environment. Reporting and monitoring of the backup jobs are also a big plus for us,” says Jeremy.
Fast recovery of business-critical data is imperative and with Flash VM Boot achieving near-instant recovery is possible. With Flash VM Boot, you can boot VMs directly from compressed and deduplicated VM backups to any recovery location. Granular recovery with NAKIVO Backup & Replication allows you to recover any object or file within your infrastructure without recovering an entire VM first. With granular recovery, you can recover object or files at any time in a matter of minutes. “Flash VM Boot and instant granular recovery are useful additions that save us time and money,” says Jeremy.
With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, Suwannee American Cement achieved better backup performance by installing the software directly on a QNAP NAS server. SAC also improved backup management with job scheduling and reporting functionalities. The ease of installation and updates are also big advantages for SAC. With the help of Flash VM Boot and instant granular recovery, the company can recover entire VMs or files and objects at any time within minutes. Lastly, with NAKIVO Backup & Replication, SAC now spends less time on managing the backup software and frees up time and resources for other important tasks. “I definitely enjoyed being a user of NAKIVO Backup & Replication, as we have been their customer for more than two years. NAKIVO Backup & Replication helped us save 60% of our time on backup administration. The cost of NAKIVO Backup & Replication has equaled out the savings on time, however, the product is still affordable and effective,” says Jeremy.
About Suwannee American Cement
Suwannee American Cement (SAC) Company, part of CRH Americas Materials, is the second largest cement supplier in the state of Florida with two world-class cement plants – one located in Sumterville, FL, and the other in Branford, FL – as well as an import facility in Port Manatee, FL. Since 2003, SAC has been manufacturing high-quality cement for the Florida and Southern Georgia construction markets. The company is recognized as an industry leader in producing high-quality cement, adopting sustainable practices, and reducing the environmental impact of the cement production process. For more information, visit www.sacement.com