The business challenges
Canon’s continuous innovation has kept the company at the forefront of imaging excellence for more than 85 years. Canon develops industryleading technology supporting the future demands of photographers, videographers, office workers, professional printers, medical imaging experts and more. Products range from digital cameras, lenses, printers and scanners to medical imaging solutions.
Canon Europe is responsible for marketing and selling these products in EMEA. Microsoft Active Directory, SQL Databases and application servers support marketing and sales efforts, so protecting them and their data is crucial. The challenge was legacy backup. VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) was reaching the end of its lifecycle and becoming obsolete.
“Our IT priorities are simplification, centralization, cloud migration, cost reduction and optimization,” said Frank Buiskool, Hosting and Cloud Operations Manager, Canon Europe. “We looked for a backup solution that would match our priorities and offer scalability, license portability and hardware and storage neutrality. We didn’t have to look far because Veeam set the gold standard.”
Canon Europe replaced VDP with Veeam Availability Suite. Next Veeam replaced Commvault, which backed up Active Directory.
“Active Directory is critical to the business because it connects employees with the resources they need to do their jobs,” Buiskool said. “It’s fundamental to just about every business process, so backing it up with Veeam was a good decision. Our Veeam deployment was triggered by VDP but we quickly expanded Veeam’s scope to include ransomware protection.”
Ransomware is an ongoing threat for Fortune 500 companies such as Canon. In 2020, 22% of Fortune 500 companies were subjected to malware. Companies in the technology sector experienced the highest attack rate.
“It’s not a matter of if your company will be attacked,” Buiskool said. “It’s a matter of when.”
The Veeam solution
Canon Europe protects critical business systems and data from ransomware attacks with Veeam. Veeam creates immutable backups that can’t be changed or deleted and offers staged and secure data recovery. Veeam also supports compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and provides Continuous Data Protection (CDP).
“Veeam is the industry standard for data protection, but the real value for us is assurance that we’ll always have access to our backups in a ransomware situation,” Buiskool said.
Veeam is deployed on Lenovo ThinkSystem SR630 servers in a VMware Software-Defined Data Centers. Veeam backs up 150 TBs across 500 virtual machines (VMs) and 100 physical machines on-premises to a VMware vSAN and off-premises to IBM FlashSystem 5030. To make backups immutable, Veeam uses object lock technology provided by S3-compatible storage providers to prohibit deletion of data. Canon Europe airgaps these immutable backups on-premises for fast recovery.
Prior to recovery, Veeam DataLabs Staged Restore ensures sensitive data is removed from backups before they’re restored, which supports compliance with regulations like the GDPR. Veeam DataLabs Secure Restore scans backups to verify they are safe and free of malware.
Veeam also identifies potential ransomware activity by tracking indirect signs of ransomware — typical activities and behavior that occur in a data center when malware is present. A good example is a machine with high resource usage. Veeam monitors, analyzes and reports on CPU usage, disk I/O and network activity, to name just a few.
“Another Veeam feature we like is CDP because it takes data protection one step further for our most critical workloads like Active Directory,” Buiskool said.
Veeam CDP saves a copy of every change made to data so files can be restored from any point in time. CDP reduces recovery point objectives from minutes to seconds.
“Our Veeam experience has been very good, and that’s due in part to the people behind Veeam,” Buiskool said. “The knowledge level and proactive approach taken by our sales team are noteworthy, and that’s not something you see in a lot of vendors.”
- Protects critical business systems and data from ransomware attacks
“We chose the industry leader that set the gold standard for data protection,” Buiskool said. “Veeam’s biggest value-add for Canon Europe is ransomware protection.”
- Creates immutable backups and offers staged and secure data recovery
Immutable backups prevent encryption and accidental or malicious deletion from ransomware. Veeam Staged Recovery removes sensitive data from backups before they’re restored, and Veeam Secure Recovery scans them for malware.
- Supports compliance with the GDPR and provides continuous data protection
Veeam provides assurance that Canon Europe will always have access to backups, which are often the last line of defense in a disaster situation.