CASE STUDY

Aquatech Waves Goodbye to Costly Egress Fees and Slow-Performing Cloud Storage

September 25, 2023By Ben Bonadies

Aquatech International provides water treatment solutions for a variety of industries around the world, from power to automotive, food and beverage, and more. As a leader in engineering and technology innovation, the company collects and crunches mountains of data. Storing all this valuable data using traditional on-premises or cloud offerings can quickly get costly.

With limited space and budget for on-premises storage, Aquatech needed a cost-effective, robust, and secure storage solution.

No hidden egress charges

Brian Fraley, senior enterprise infrastructure architect at Aquatech, follows the storage industry’s 3-2-1 rule for backup. His team had been backing up data weekly to a SAN and used USB external drives for a third backup copy. “This was our air-gap scenario,” Fraley said. “Since we’re an engineering firm with tons of AutoCAD and 3D modeling drawings, we also set up a storage blob on Microsoft Azure for our main file server.”

When Aquatech migrated its Veeam server to new hardware, a surprise bill arrived the following month. “We had thousands of dollars in egress charges when we never requested any data. We just weren’t very happy about that level of unpredictability,” Fraley said. “So, if we made any changes like moving to new equipment, we were going to get a massive bill.” Another time when a local backup copy was lost, Fraley turned to Azure to retrieve a copy of the Veeam backup. “We resynced about 2 terabytes of data and were charged nearly $800 in egress fees for that one restore.”

I signed up for a Wasabi free trial and was blown away by its ease of use, integration with Veeam, and amazing performance. The affordability of such a great backup storage solution, along with the immutability, has been invaluable to our business.”

- Brian Fraley, Senior Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, Aquatech International

With Wasabi, Fraley doesn’t get any surprise bills. There are no egress, ingress, or API request fees. “We can pull down both of our domain controllers from Wasabi, sync them back up with the local repository, and it’s still just $5 per terabyte per month,” said Fraley. “Plus, the bandwidth performance is better with Wasabi. It’s much faster to sync and replicate our backups than it is with Azure.”

Immutability eases fear of ransomware

Like so many organizations around the world, Aquatech isn’t a stranger to ransomware attacks. In 2021, Aquatech’s office in India suffered an attack that encrypted the Synology NAS box holding all the site’s Veeam backups. “They had no other copies or any way to retrieve backups. They lost a ton of data,” said Fraley.

Early in 2022, ransomware struck at Aquatech’s U.S. headquarters, encrypting the domain controllers and three ESX servers at the Linux OS level. To prevent other servers from being infected, Fraley and his team moved swiftly to unplug the network. After the systems were all up and running, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) worked with Fraley to identify the cause of the ransomware attack. They determined that a virus on one of the servers, which had been infected for at least a few months, was the likely origin.

In this instance, Wasabi’s immutable hot cloud storage mitigated the ransomware damage and helped Aquatech recover data quickly. “Our Veeam server was able to sync with Wasabi and retrieve older copies of data it didn’t have, to restore the domain controllers,” Fraley explained. “It was so simple. I just pulled up Veeam and was able to browse the backup disks as if they were stored on site. With the bandwidth, the speed, everything about Wasabi, it took less than an hour to restore each server.”

What’s more, Wasabi’s Object Lock immutability feature allays fear of future ransomware attacks. Object Lock secures critical data from being accidentally or intentionally altered or destroyed by anyone. When creating a Wasabi storage bucket, Fraley can opt to make any data written to that bucket immutable for a retention period that he sets, anywhere from days to years. “The immutability feature is important,” said Fraley. “When you have the flag set, it’s great to know that even a mistake we might make can’t hurt the backups.”

Integration is a snap

Integrating Wasabi with Veeam couldn’t be easier. “It’s extremely seamless, like they were built to be integrated together. All you do is click four steps through a wizard to add the Wasabi bucket as a repository inside Veeam,” Fraley said. “It’s like Wasabi is part of the whole Veeam backup infrastructure.”

Today, Aquatech backs up nearly its entire core infrastructure with Veeam and replicates it to Wasabi. It stores backups of all critical systems for a year with Wasabi, which is significantly longer than it can keep backups on-premises.

“Veeam users and anyone looking for affordable long-term backup storage or facing ransomware attacks like us should sign up for Wasabi,” Fraley said. “The way it integrates, the ease of use, and its ability to protect your business’s backup data is unrivaled.”

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