Workloads migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS) in three months
Faster workload and application migration to AWS facilitated by Druva
Virtual machines (VMs) now protected by one cloud-native solution
About Katz Media Group
Over its long history, the Katz name has been synonymous with leadership in the media industry. Founded in 1888, Katz was the nation’s first media representation firm. Today, Katz Media Group comprises three divisions: Katz Radio Group, Katz Digital, and the Katz Television Group. Collectively, the company represents both the on-air and online assets of more than 4,000 radio stations, 800 television stations, 5,000 audio and video streams, and 100,000 podcasts making Katz Media Group the largest media representation company in America.
For years Katz Media Group used Veritas NetBackup, Veeam, and Dell EMC Data Domain to protect its data center workloads of 125 VMware VMs and 50 physical servers, including SQL database and NAS file servers, across its 16 US locations. It replicated the backups to a Verizon colocation facility for disaster recovery (DR), but suffered performance and capacity issues with Veritas and dealt with too many manual, error-prone processes.
Katz Media Group’s CTO, Robert Lyons, said, “With Veritas we had to maintain physical servers and disk storage arrays at our headquarters, but it didn’t work well for the VMs. We switched to Veeam for the VMs, but managing multiple backup technologies required our staff to spend a lot of time doing major platform upgrades.”
Due to complexity, the team found that it was often severely lagging in performing version upgrades. Additionally, the four-to-five year refresh costs for servers, storage, and software from its legacy vendors was escalating. Though Katz IT had concerns about moving to the cloud and the impact it could have on the team, Robert said, “We wanted to get out of the business of managing hardware, simplify our backup and recovery implementation, and move towards a subscription-based model that would scale when needed.”
A few years before it decided to evaluate cloud-based data protection for its data center workloads, Katz started using software-as-a-service (SaaS) with Druva inSync after replacing Veritas NetBackup for endpoints. With it they were able to simplify backup, archival, compliance, and device management, which lowered costs and eliminated manual processes.
This gave Robert the confidence to evaluate Druva Phoenix to migrate DR to the cloud for data center workloads. After a successful proof of concept (POC) Katz replaced Veritas NetBackup, Dell EMC, and Veeam with Druva Phoenix, which it centrally manages from a single control plane and can recover server data down to the file level.
Ultimately, Druva helped assuage IT’s concerns about the cloud, facilitating its alignment with Katz leadership’s goal, which was to follow the industry’s lead and launch a corporate cloud strategy.
After using Druva Phoenix for a year to protect its data center workloads, the team confidently leveraged it to lift and shift VM backups and facilitate the migration of business-critical workloads and applications into AWS.
Marc Almodovar, manager of network and systems engineering for Katz said, “Druva’s DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) enabled us to rapidly migrate about 52 production workloads into AWS during the COVID-19 pandemic. It drastically simplified the process of making the jump from on-premises to cloud.
“Because we were already leveraging Druva Phoenix for VM backups, Druva DRaaS simply copies the VM snapshots to our AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket. When we need to failover, those synced snapshots in AWS S3 are then used to spin up AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances of our production VMs.”
Robert added, “We cut over and migrated 125 VMs, production and transactional SQL servers, our reporting environment, and our business intelligence environment. We were confident that Druva would enable us to easily recover on-premises system backups in AWS.” said Lyons.
“What we accomplished with Druva in just three months probably would have taken us a year and a half to do before. COVID-19 motivated everybody to have a singular focus on our cloud strategy and Druva has been a catalyst of Katz achieving that 5X faster,” he added.
Marc added, “Druva has done a great job of simplifying the migration process while enabling business continuity. Since migration, we have also taken advantage of Druva Cloud Ranger. It allows us to manage snapshots and Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) of our EC2 instances and set retention policies. We can also set schedules to power instances up or down, helping Katz lower its monthly AWS costs.”