Customer Story

GP Batteries’ confidence in Druva facilitates its migration to Microsoft 365

10x

Reduction in time spent managing backups

10x

Reduction in the number of consoles needed to manage backups

About GP Batteries

GP Batteries International Limited develops, manufactures, and markets batteries and battery-related products. Since its establishment under Gold Peak Group in Hong Kong, GP Batteries has rapidly expanded to become one of the world’s major suppliers of primary and rechargeable batteries. It is one of the largest consumer battery manufacturers in China.

The challenge

GP Batteries is an award-winning battery manufacturer. With a globally dispersed workforce, the company relies on its 60-strong IT team to stay connected across 30 global sites. The busy IT team manages four data centers, with locations in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, and the UK.

The team maintains a hybrid IT infrastructure, running some applications on-premises, like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and a growing number of workloads, such as Shopify and Salesforce, in the cloud. Core business applications run on VMware vSphere virtual machines (VMs).

In 2019, the team decided to migrate staff from Lotus Notes to Microsoft 365 for collaboration. But, it didn’t feel comfortable migrating without a way to modernize data protection in the cloud. Initially, the logical choice was thought to be Veeam because it was already being used for on-premises backups. However, the team soon realized that Veeam didn’t offer cloud-native data protection.

That conflicted with the team’s cloud-first, mobile strategic initiative. In the past, the company’s global, remote sites had been allowed to put their own backup systems in place. However, as the business evolved and IT resources shifted, these systems often became unreliable and outdated. A single, simple, reliable cloud-native solution would help reduce cost and complexity by removing the need for IT teams to manage the operations, maintenance, and security of its backup infrastructure.

The solution

The IT team searched for a solution that could deliver a true cloud experience for hybrid and cloud workloads. It needed to be a cloud-native, software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, with transparent pricing and the ability to scale up or down as business needs change around the world.

The team’s technology partner, Cloud Ocean Technology, recommended the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud. So GP conducted a brief proof of concept (POC) to see if Druva would meet the company’s requirements.

Over the course of two weeks, it tested and restored data from Microsoft 365, VMs, and Windows file servers. Everything worked fine, said Wilson Wong, head of global information technology for both GP Batteries and KEF Audio.

“I was pleasantly surprised, to be honest,” Wilson said. “I was expecting Druva to do the job. But I didn’t know it would be so simple and easy to use.”

Wilson chose to implement the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud across the company as a third level of backup — the first two being local backup and remote physical backup. Even though Microsoft does provide a certain degree of high availability, Wilson said having Druva in place significantly boosted the team’s confidence during the Microsoft 365 migration.

“We needed a more secure way to guarantee data resiliency without data silos or complexity, especially from a compliance perspective,” Wilson said. “The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud was exactly what we needed. For the first time we have visibility into all of our backups in one console.”

Results

Now the IT team uses Druva to back up collaboration data for 1,800 global employees using Microsoft 365 (Exchange, Sharepoint, OneDrive, and Teams). The platform also backs up VMs and Microsoft Windows file server data for some of GP’s 30 sites.

This frees up more resources to dedicate to other important areas of IT operations. In fact, it slashed the time needed to manage backups from 40 hours a week to four hours, and only needs one console to manage data instead of the 10 needed before.

The team achieved its goal of reducing Opex by simplifying its IT footprint while reducing complexity. Instead of using numerous (and often outdated) backup systems on-premises, there’s one unified system in the cloud.

But it’s not just about the past. The company has new capacity for the future. “Now that we have this cloud data backup, we can implement new projects significantly faster than before,” Wilson said. “Like when we move a manufacturing site to another location, we don’t have to spend months evaluating the backup hardware in place. We already have all that data in the cloud.”

“Using Druva takes the headache out of cloud projects. We go further faster, with confidence that all of our data is protected safely in the cloud,” explained Wison.

“It was very important to our management team that we found a solution giving us flexibility to scale while keeping us compliant with strict data regulations,” Wilson said. “The Druva Data Resiliency Cloud ticked every box.”

Challenges

  • Used a variety of on-premises backup solutions across multiple IT locations, making backups inconsistent
  • No centralized visibility into backup status for data on VMs and Windows servers
  • Veeam didn’t have a cloud-native solution for Microsoft 365, and the IT team didn’t want to buy, provision, and manage hardware

 

Solution

  • A single pane of glass through which IT can manage backups and restores of VM, Windows file server, and Microsoft 365 data for 1,800 users across 30 locations
  • Ability to meet the compliance regulations across dozens of countries, providing confidence to its board that Microsoft 365 data is protected
  • A true cloud experience with the Druva Data Resiliency Cloud supports the team’s goal of accelerating and protecting cloud projects

 

Results

  • 10x reduction in time spent managing backups of VMs, Microsoft 365, and Windows file servers
  • 10x reduction in the number of consoles needed to manage data protection, governance, and compliance across workloads
  • Greatly improved workforce productivity, as IT resources can be freed up to work on other strategic projects