Faster backup with Druva compared to NetApp Cloud Backup (AltaVault)
Less time spent managing backups
Global deduplication storage savings
About Johnson Service Group
Johnson Service Group has been established in the UK textile industry for over 200 years. It prides itself on offering hassle-free, personal, and trustworthy service that leaves customers free to concentrate on running their businesses. Its culture is reflected in everything it does, from processing workwear to delivering on time, to demonstrating first-class customer service, and doing it all with a smile.
Johnson Service Group are the experts in cleaning, maintaining, and caring for textiles. The company’s 4,500 employees run industrial laundries across the UK — supported by a 22-person strong IT team.
The IT team runs a data center on premises, which hosts 125 VMware virtual machines (VMs), NAS filers, and Oracle servers. The team was using tape to back up file server and VM data, but its backup windows were being exceeded — some backups wouldn’t finish before the next backup started. So the team moved to NetApp Cloud Backup (AltaVault) to back up data to onsite disk, and then stream the backups to the cloud. Even that wasn’t fast enough, so they started using Veritas Backup Exec alongside AltaVault to try to speed things up.
With an active acquisition strategy, the Group’s data storage needs became increasingly expensive and unpredictable. Plus, the IT team was worried about frequent backup failure, difficulty recovering data, and the risk of ransomware.
On top of the priority list was protecting the company-wide laundry management system that runs on Oracle, explained John Parry, Group IT Infrastructure Manager at Johnson Service Group.
“I don’t even want to think about what would happen if we lost that data,” Parry said.
So when Parry learned his NetApp setup was at the end of life, he seized the opportunity to find a solution that could reduce the time, cost, and risk of managing business-critical data.
Parry had briefly considered Rubrik, but was wary about adding on-premises infrastructure after paying for new NetApp hardware every few years. Instead, his reseller suggested he try the cloud-native Druva Data Resiliency Cloud.
Parry conducted a 30-day proof of concept (POC), backing up his NAS server first. “We took our time to make sure Druva would do what we wanted,” Parry said. “It was simple to set up and worked from day one.”
After seeing how reliable the NAS backups were, Parry was confident to expand the company’s Druva protection to all 125 VMs, Oracle databases, and its Microsoft Teams data in Microsoft 365.
“It’s all very simple to use,” Parry said. “There’s not a great deal of setup, and it’s easy to add extra machines as you go. With Druva, we get a centralized view of all backups in the same dashboard.”
He was equally impressed with the support he received. “Our Druva rep was a really good introduction into the journey,” Parry said. “He was quick to respond to any question we had — no matter how small.”
Now Parry’s team has the data protection tools to support company growth. “It’s so much faster to retrieve files,” he said. “Before Druva, our NetApp snapshots only kept two weeks of data at a time, so if an employee needed a file from beyond that it was nearly impossible. Now we can find files quickly no matter how far back.”
The team also spends 90% less time managing backups each day. “We get an automatic email from Druva each morning telling us what’s been backed up; it takes 10 minutes max,” Parry said. “But I almost don’t even need to check the email anymore because I’m confident the backups have worked.”
And backing up data takes 95% less time. “Before Druva, our backups were taking three days to complete, and even then we would have to stop them because they had gone on too long,” Parry said. “Now they always complete within hours.”
The team has also achieved a 55% global deduplication storage savings with Druva, so it only pays for the storage it needs, making costs far more predictable. “Using Druva has been nearly perfect,” Parry said, which is high praise from a self-described ‘cloud skeptic.’ Initially, he was doubtful sending data to the cloud could be quicker or more affordable than saving it to a disk onsite.
“Druva is faster and cheaper,” Parry said. “I’m actually shocked. We’ve been with Druva for two years now and we’ve paid nowhere near the initial cost of setting up all the NetApp equipment. We’re going to reap the financial benefits for years.”