Helping a Puerto Rican Food Distributor Weather Any Storm

Helping a Puerto Rican Food Distributor Weather Any Storm

Ballester Hermanos manages a complex supply chain involving hundreds of brands and more than 5,000 customer accounts, relying on its SQL servers around the clock. Maintaining business continuity requires uninterrupted access to this critical data. Given Puerto Rico’s susceptibility to hurricanes, disaster recovery is more than a hypothetical concern.


Business Challenge

Recognizing the ease of management offered by a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), the company adopted Nutanix in 2017. They operate two production clusters and one cluster at a remote disaster recovery (DR) site. However, their existing backup solution was creating downtime during backup to the DR cluster, interrupting access to the SQL database, according to Aldwin Leon, Senior System Technology Administrator for Ballester Hermanos.

“When backing up our production Microsoft SQL servers with our former solution, we always had downtime of two or three milliseconds. That was a killer. I cannot afford to have my Microsoft SQL servers down for any length of time,” Leon explains, noting that the license fees also made it costly.



Attending .Next in New Orleans in 2018, Leon learned about HYCU, the only backup and recovery solution purpose-built for Nutanix. Unfortunately, Ballester Hermanos had just renewed the licenses with its backup vendor. But with increasing storage requirements, Leon recognized the need to find a better solution.

The following year, Nutanix Mine with HYCU was introduced and Leon requested a proof of concept (POC) demo.

“When running a snapshot backup with Nutanix Mine with HYCU, the Microsoft SQL Server is never down. That was my main reason for choosing HYCU,” Leon says, noting that Nutanix Mine with HYCU also offered a “huge savings” compared to the cost of his former backup solution.



  • Simple Deployment

Leon says he had Nutanix Mine with HYCU up and running in 15 minutes and backed up 44TB of data in just 4 hours. “It was really simple to implement,” he says, noting that he could control everything from Nutanix Prism, thanks to HYCU’s seamless integration with Nutanix. “If I tried to do this with another vendor, I would have to segregate the storage, install a third-party application to work with Nutanix snapshots and configure my backups.”

To enhance business continuity, Ballester Hermanos is adding an Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage bucket as a secondary, cloud-based DR resource. “It’s so simple to install this bucket, that’s what I love about Nutanix Mine with HYCU,” Leon says.

  • Uninterrupted server access

With Nutanix Mine with HYCU, snapshots occur in the background with no impact on the production servers. “It works perfectly, with no interruption to our SQL Servers,” Leon says. This avoids the VM “application stun” which can cause disruptive time-outs for transactional applications like databases.

  • Faster recovery

Our recovery time with Nutanix Mine with HYCU is much faster than before,” Leon says, noting that a 2TB Microsoft SQL Server can recover in less than 15 minutes. “With our old backup solution, it would take up to 8 hours to recover that server.” HYCU’s Fast Restore feature keeps local snapshots on the Nutanix cluster for a specified retention time, dramatically accelerating restore times.

  • Rock-solid reliability

I know I can rely on the hardware and software of Nutanix Mine with HYCU. That lets me focus on other projects that are important to the company,” Leon says, noting that the system has been running perfectly since its deployment.


About the Customer

Ballester Hermanos Inc. is one of Puerto Rico’s largest distributors of food, beverages, household products, and pharmaceuticals, serving thousands of retail establishments and restaurants across the island. With a proud 100-year history, the company is recognized for outstanding service and supply chain innovation.


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