Dubai Duty Free cashes In on 24x7 availability with Veeam

Press release
Published April 5th, 2017 - 06:17 GMT
Dubai Duty Free cashes In on 24x7 availability with Veeam
Dubai Duty Free cashes In on 24x7 availability with Veeam

Veeam® Software, the innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™, today announced that its Veeam Availability Suite delivers 24x7 availability of Dubai Duty Free’s multi-hypervisor environment. Veeam helps the duty free retail giant avoid the risk of downtime so millions of travelers can shop around the clock.

Dubai Duty Free gets more foot traffic in one week than most retailers dream of getting in one year. Nearly 1.5 million travelers walk through Dubai International and Al Maktoum International airports each week, and many of them shop at Dubai Duty Free. It is a 24-hour operation, making it a classic example of an always-on business.

“Being a 24-hour operation means zero downtime,” said Faizan Billah, Assistant Manager of Technology & Infrastructure at Dubai Duty Free. “If a critical operation goes down such as warehouse robotics or the point-of-sale system, we can’t tell the customer to wait 30 minutes while we bring them back online. Thirty minutes of downtime could cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.”

To avoid the risk of downtime Dubai Duty Free virtualised its IT infrastructure on Microsoft Hyper-V, but virtual machine (VM) recovery was slow, and item-level recovery was impossible.

“Lengthy restore was unacceptable to the business,” Billah said. “We must recover critical systems in minutes, and if we’re in a disaster recovery (DR) situation, we must guarantee business continuity. Our executives want to know that 24x7 availability is real — now and as the company grows. Our amount of data increases by 5TB each year.”

“We couldn’t see what was going on in our virtual environment,” he continued. “It took a long time to pinpoint problems, and we worried about the business being impacted.”

Dubai Duty Free selected Veeam and specifically Veeam Availability Suite as the solution to its challenges. Veeam backs up VMs in two data centers for high-speed recovery and replicates VMs between data centers for DR and business continuity.

Dubai Duty Free’s favourite restore features are Instant VM Recovery®, which restores a VM from a regular backup quickly, and Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Exchange, which restores emails in minutes. Veeam Explorers are also available for SQL Server and SharePoint.

“We couldn’t perform item-level recovery until we deployed Veeam, only database-level recovery,” said Allan Chapman, IT Manager at Dubai Duty Free. “When a colleague asked us to restore an email, it could take up to two days. Veeam’s high-speed recovery features restore whole VMs, files and individual items in minutes. Recovery is now up to 99 percent faster. With Veeam replication at the center of our DR strategy, we have peace of mind.”

Veeam’s scalability provides peace of mind too. Veeam was built to back up petabytes of data on thousands of VMs; Dubai Duty Free uses Veeam to back up 30TB on approximately 40 VMs (VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V). As data grows by 5TB each year, Veeam will scale accordingly.

Warehouse operations are critical to Dubai Duty Free’s success. Something Dubai Duty Free didn’t have before Veeam was complete visibility into its multi-hypervisor environment. Veeam provides real-time monitoring, alerting, resource optimisation, configuration tracking, capacity planning and forecasting so Dubai Duty Free can identify and resolve issues before they become problems and cause downtime.

“With Veeam we can see issues we could never see before,” Chapman added. “Being able to identify issues quickly and resolve them proactively before they impact business is one more way Veeam delivers 24x7 availability.”

Delighted with the results of the implementation Chapman said, “Our goal was 24x7 availability. Veeam gave us that and so much more including a disaster recovery solution for business operations and scalability to support business growth.”

Gregg Petersen, Regional Director, Middle East and SAARC, Veeam Software said, “Retailers, especially those having large operations like Dubai Duty Free, need to have ‘Always On, Always Available’ businesses. Any form of downtime not only cripples the business and can potentially cost the company millions of dollars in lost revenue, but moreover the risk of damage to reputation is a huge consideration and is very difficult to measure in pure financial terms. We are proud to say that we have risen to the challenge of providing Dubai Duty Free with a robust platform that provides 24x7 availability for their modern data centre. We look to build on the relationship with the company as its requirements increase in the coming years.”

Background Information

Dubai Duty Free

Founded in 1983, Dubai Duty Free recorded first-year sales of US$20 million and has grown into one of the biggest travel retail operator in the world.

2018 has been a milestone year for Dubai Duty Free which celebrated its 35th anniversary on December 20th and crossed the US$2 billion mark on 29th December.

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