Customer Story

Greater Anglia Leaves Veeam and Veritas, Transports to Druva for SaaS Data Protection

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Time saved compared to administration of Veeam and Veritas


Faster to restore with Druva compared to days with Veeam and Veritas

About Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia operates public transport services in the UK as part of one of the franchises operated under its parent company UK Transport Limited. The franchise began operating in  2016. It provides intercity, commuter, and rural services throughout Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire, including the Stansted Express service. 

The team of over 3,000 employees operates 1,300 train services per day at 133 stations, delivering rail services to over 1.2 million passengers.

The Challenge

Himesh Patel is the head of IT for Greater Anglia. He’s been leading the IT organization through operational transformation, including how their data is protected. Patel is responsible for IT operations, including IT infrastructure, network, security applications, and end-user compute. 

Patel has a lean team of ten people providing IT services for 3,000+ personnel. The team does everything from managing the IT systems and applications to responding to support calls. There is always an on-call rotation, which means if the person on-call doesn’t have the necessary skill set, there may be a delay in the restores.

Patel is always looking for ways to better use the lean team’s time given its IT estate has grown significantly over the last five years. Patel says, “The best way to relieve my team is to deploy better tools and technology, better manage services, or potentially hire temporary fixed-term contractors."

Greater Anglia is well along in its cloud journey; it relies on cloud services for around 80% of its IT infrastructure. The initial priority was to remove any on-premises file share services and move that type of data to Microsoft 365 and Azure. The organization had to rapidly implement a hybrid work model, so Patel also wanted to eliminate the requirement of using VPNs to the corporate network to access key resources.

But the question of security still loomed large. Patel explained, “If you've got anything on-prem, yes, it's secluded, segregated, you can protect it a lot better. Once it gets into that cloud environment you could have multiple points of failure with a multitude of solutions. We want to ensure our cloud data is always easy and efficient to manage and protect.”

Of course, on top of that, the team also had to keep in mind government regulations from the UK Department for Transport (DfT). In fact, Greater Anglia has an IT security plan that they work on with DfT to ensure that any new technologies meet their regulatory requirements. There are rail-specific regulations that must also be followed such as retaining data for seven years, and of course, retaining long-term contractual data. 

Another challenge is that employees still use email as a repository archive and the IT team is often asked to retrieve emails going back several years. Not only is it a challenge for eDiscovery, but Patel worries about data governance. He wondered, “How do we cross-check things that were last used, never been touched or archived through our policies, or documents that have been duplicated?” 

The Greater Anglia environment used Veeam with cloud Infrastructure via 11:11 Systems (formerly known as iland) and Veritas to protect their data for Microsoft 365 accounts and their data centers and remote offices, respectively.

The Solution

Patel relied on technology forums, trade shows, and industry research like the Gartner Magic Quadrant to understand trends and evaluate different data protection vendors.

Patel realized the new solution would require several things. Firstly, he wanted immutability for backups in the necessary storage regions. His reasoning was “If one data set gets compromised, we’ll still have clean copies elsewhere.” He also needed to find something that was easy to deploy and maintain so he could bring relief to his overworked team. 

Patel also realized that going with an OpEx model, which would not require installing hardware on-premises, would help with business case approval during tightened deadlines brought on by the global pandemic.

The Greater Anglia team decided to proceed with Druva and partnered with Intuitive and Arrow to complete the purchase. The cost, simplicity, and scalability of the cloud-native solution would reclaim time and serve as a single pane of glass for several of their data protection challenges.

Greater Anglia has enjoyed the benefits of one data protection solution for its multiple needs. Now, rather than combining two disparate legacy solutions and expecting them to work effectively as they had done with Veritas and Veeam, they enjoy efficient protection for Microsoft 365 accounts and their enterprise workloads.

With Druva, the management time of Greater Anglia's backup operations has decreased by nearly 70%. This frees up time to focus on business plan activities rather than mundane backup operations.

The Results

Greater Anglia needed a data protection solution that would not only immediately protect their business better, but also in the long term, and Druva has been the perfect solution so far. 

Just a few months into using Druva, Patel and the Greater Anglia team are thrilled with the improvements that are already noticeable within their IT organization. He shared, “Restores with Druva are happening extremely fast, almost 100x quicker compared to the manual processes we endured with both Veeam and Veritas. At times it could take days to restore with each of them.”

Patel was pleased that his personnel saw how easy it was to navigate the Druva console. As Patel builds out the automation processes, he reports, “With Druva, the management time of Greater Anglia's backup operations has decreased by nearly 70%. This frees up time to focus on business plan activities rather than mundane backup operations.”

Another advantage of using Druva’s SaaS platform is Patel now has the metrics to assign a monetary value to Greater Anglia’s data. As he requests information about retention and archival requirements for the business, he’s able to educate leadership about the costs of meeting those requirements.


  • One solution to manage all data protection needs across Microsoft 365 and enterprise workloads such as Hyper-V
  • Druva’s SaaS solution allows for scalability, simplicity, and cost/time savings as Greater Anglia’s needs fluctuate