Dr Martens goes feetfirst into cloud-to-cloud backup
Iconic bootmaker laces up for a strategy to move all applications to the cloud, beginning with cloud-to-cloud backup for Microsoft 365 apps plus on-site VMware operations
Footwear and clothing brand Dr Martens has moved large chunks of its operations to the cloud, and uses third-party backup to extend standard cloud data protection and gain ransomware protection.
The move has seen the company supplement standard retention in Microsoft 365 with cloud-to-cloud backup from US-based service provider 11:11 Systems, which it also uses as a target for Veeam backups from on-site line of business applications.
It plans to eventually move all applications to the cloud, but has so far largely stuck to backup.
Dr Martens is based at its Northampton manufacturing site, with a number of third-party overseas locations, including in the US and Vietnam. It has 158 stores in 60 countries, 4,000 employees and an annual turnover of almost £1bn.
The company uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) in the cloud, plus Microsoft 365 applications such as Exchange, SharePoint Online and OneDrive.
Dr Martens had been solely using Veeam backup on-site and targeting data at its other office locations, as well as standard Microsoft protection for 365 applications. But this was not really adequate, said global head of cloud and infrastructure Dan Morgan. “Standard Microsoft data retention is not adequate for long-term recovery,” he said. “Typically, it’s one month after which data is permanently deleted.”
Now, that data – from its 4,000 Exchange, SharePoint Online and OneDrive users – is backed up to 11:11. It incurs a standard flat rate cost per user, so costs are just added to existing Microsoft rates, said Morgan, which means costs are very visible. “It’s just x amount extra on top of the monthly Microsoft 365 fee, so it’s not something we need to actively manage,” he said.
Read more about cloud and backup
- Cloud-to-cloud backup: When native cloud protection is not enough. There is a certain amount of protection built into cloud services, but it has its limits and full data protection requires that cloud data is secured with cloud-to-cloud backup.
- The 3-2-1 backup rule: Has cloud made it obsolete? The 3-2-1 backup rule was made for small-scale use in the pre-cloud era when tape still ruled. Is it relevant in the 2020s, or can we repurpose its fundamental principles?
Meanwhile, Microsoft Dynamics also runs from the cloud, but that doesn’t need additional data protection. “With an ERP system, there’s really no likelihood of needing to roll back to, say, six months previously,” said Morgan. DayForce HR software also runs as SaaS.
On-site line of business applications run on what is largely a VMware estate, and are backed up using Veeam. That too goes to the 11:11 Systems cloud, with 240TB reserved for data from global locations.
The benefits, said Morgan, are on-site and cloud-to-cloud backup managed by a single plane of glass in 11:11, and with “excellent support”. Also, 11:11 Systems provides ransomware protection with data backed up to a separate portion of the 11:11 network, and only accessible by its engineers.
Costs-wise, Morgan said Dr Martens has bought a specified amount of storage on 11:11 Systems and could see what data is using it up via the management console. That enables the company to keep an eye on capacity usage and keep cloud costs within set limits.
He said Dr Martens plans to migrate all its applications to the cloud, but that would come through a thorough evaluation of applications, their readiness to move to the cloud and the most appropriate way of delivering them, such as by software-as-a-service or infrastructure-as-a-service.
“It will be everything in the cloud,” said Morgan. “It’s definitely our direction of travel, but we’re making sure the foundations are built properly. Over the next 12 months we’ll develop roadmaps for all applications – not just looking to shift VMs to the cloud but to whatever way is best suited to delivering them.”