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Veeam’s data protection helps fuel Evergy’s power production

Veeam’s data protection helps fuel Evergy’s power production

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Evergy provides energy to 1.6 million customers across Kansas and Missouri. When it needed a backup solution that protects and restores its data and systems quickly, it turned to Veeam.

The business challenges

Customers count on Evergy to power their homes and businesses and that’s a responsibility the company takes very seriously. In addition to providing safe, reliable power, the company embraces alternative energy sources – nearly half of the power Evergy provides is emissions-free.

“Evergy is focused on being a forward-thinking, sustainable energy company and that focus extends to IT,” said Rob Adams, Manager of Systems Engineering at Evergy. “We’re whittling down systems and applications to precisely what the business needs to achieve its goals and that included consolidating our backup software.”

Evergy was using two solutions. Adams said backup configuration and management weren’t as simple and automatic as he wanted for his team. Consolidating from two solutions to Veeam, which includes image-level backups, streamlined processes and recovery went from hours to minutes.

“There was a lot of unnecessary hands-on work with the legacy solutions,” Adams stated. “We spent approximately 20 hours each week managing backups when what we really needed was simpler, streamlined data protection.”

Data protection is critical in the energy industry, especially when a company is part of the national electricity grid like Evergy. In the US, the grid consists of hundreds of thousands of miles of high-voltage power lines and millions of miles of low-voltage power lines with distribution transformers that connect thousands of power plants to hundreds of millions of electricity customers across the country.

“Our power plants serve 1.6 million customers, so having a backup solution that protects and restores our data and systems quickly and easily is absolutely critical to supporting power production and customer service,” Adams said.

The Veeam solution

Evergy replaced legacy backup with Veeam Backup & Replication to protect data and systems required to support power production and customer service. Veeam also supports compliance with regulatory requirements such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and Part 810, and it streamlines data management, saving at least 20 hours weekly.

Veeam backs up and replicates 800 TB across 2,100 virtual machines and 200 physical machines to Infinidat storage on-premises and off-premises. The data and systems that Veeam protects for energy production include engineering drawings, power plant maintenance schedules and an enterprise asset management system. Veeam also protects systems that support power management such as outage reporting and automated meter reading as well as systems supporting customer service so people can manage their accounts online, pay bills, track their energy usage and view rate options.

“Knowing Veeam protects these systems gives us peace of mind,” Adams said.

Jeff Lampe, Senior System Administrator at Evergy, agreed. “If Veeam backs up a system, I know I can recover it quickly and easily. Veeam is hardware and storage neutral, so backup configuration and management are automated and easy. Veeam is also flexible, so image-level backup is possible, which means recovery takes minutes, not hours. Veeam simplifies data protection for us, which saves roughly 20 hours each week.”

Veeam also supports compliance with SOX and Part 810, a regulation from the US Department of Energy that controls the transfer of unclassified nuclear technology.

“We can’t comply with SOX unless backups are recoverable, and Veeam’s encryption and access control capabilities help us comply with Part 810,” Adams said. “Evergy is part of the national electricity grid, so reliability, resiliency and cybersecurity are always top of mind. Veeam helps us check those boxes and ensure we can deliver critical services to our customers.”

Veeam helps Evergy prepare for the future too. “We plan to utilize a Veeam feature to take advantage of Azure Archive storage to provide a better way to archive backups to the cloud,” Adams said. “Not only could Veeam simplify and automate this process for us, but there would also be an annual time and cost savings realized because Veeam is more manageable and affordable than legacy backup.”

The results

•             Protects the systems required to support power production and customer service. Veeam delivers what legacy backup failed to deliver: hardware and storage neutrality, image-level backup and fast, easy recovery. Veeam also offers functionality for Evergy’s future: a simple, affordable way to archive backups in cloud storage.

•             Supports compliance with regulatory requirements such as SOX and Part 810 Veeam checks all compliance requirements: Backups are encrypted, recoverable and only accessible to members of the IT team who have been granted permission.

•             Simplifies and streamlines data management, saving at least 20 hours weekly. “Veeam is so fast and easy to use,” Lampe said. “Data protection doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming if you use Veeam.”

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