In today’s fast-moving transportation business, the digital highway is just as important as the asphalt one. Heisterkamp relies on data to keep its far-flung cargo transport operation running smoothly and meeting customer demands. To maintain its competitive edge, the company’s IT group undertook in 2019 a major retooling of its systems environment based in the Netherlands, moving from its legacy three-tier VMware infrastructure to a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) running Nutanix AHV.
While the switch to Nutanix offered Heisterkamp significant improvements in flexibility and efficiency, continuing to use their existing backup solution was problematic. “To continue using the solution with Nutanix, we would have to buy a more expensive license,” explains Tom van Noort, Heisterkamp’s IT Manager.
The search was on for an easy-to-use backup and recovery solution that worked well with Nutanix, while reducing their cost of ownership.
In collaboration with NEXXT, Heisterkamp’s IT solutions partner and a certified Nutanix reseller, the IT team evaluated several possible backup and recovery solutions.
“We needed a solution that would be fast in creating backups and restoring files, was reliable and proven on Nutanix and, first and foremost, was easy to use,” van Noort says. “This led directly to HYCU, which offered all of these advantages.”
As Bart Donders, Pre-Sales Consultant at NEXXT, points out: “We suggested HYCU to Heisterkamp due to three major points: cost efficiency, ease of use and native integration with Nutanix AHV. Switching to HYCU was therefore definitely a win for them.”
Heisterkamp’s environment comprised two Nutanix clusters, including an active cluster of nine nodes (configured for three-factor redundancy) with 8TB at the company’s headquarters and a passive cluster of three nodes located in a separate facility and linked via a fiber ring. HYCU was deployed to back up the active cluster to the passive cluster. The most mission-critical VMs are backed up every four hours. Initially, HYCU was deployed to back up Heisterkamp’s server-based resources.
However, based on the company’s positive experience over the past two years, the IT team is now considering using HYCU Protégé for O365 backup as a service to protect the company’s Microsoft Office 365 data.
- Fast backup and restore times
HYCU leverages the full efficiency advantages of the Nutanix HCI environment, significantly reducing backup and restore times. “With HYCU, backup and recovery time is next to nothing,” says Bas Bonvanie, System Engineer at Heisterkamp. “We recently had to restore a server and it took just 10 seconds. With our previous backup solution, it would have taken at least 15 minutes.”
- Reduced costs
As a true backup as a service, HYCU avoids the high license costs of many backup solutions. “The financial impact of switching to HYCU was significant,” van Noort says, adding that spending less on backup and recovery means more resources available for strategic imperatives.
- Simple operation
With a small IT team, van Noort appreciates how simple HYCU is to use. “With HYCU, any of our Help Desk employees can easily restore a file for a user. They don’t need help from a systems engineer to do it,” he explains, noting this frees up engineers to focus on higher-level tasks.
- Rock-solid reliability
The Heisterkamp IT team also appreciates HYCU’s reliable operation, inspiring confidence and peace of mind. “When we need to restore a file, we don’t want any unpleasant surprises,” van Noort says. “With HYCU, we know the backup is there and we can restore it quickly and easily.”
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About the customer
Heisterkamp Transportation Solutions has been on the road for more than a century. The company provides international transportation solutions around the clock with its fleet of more than 750 trucks and 4,500 trailers, equipped with the latest tracking and monitoring systems. Heisterkamp’s 1,500 specialists serve customers across Europe from the company’s headquarters in The Netherlands and locations in Germany, Poland, Latvia and Romania.