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Backup & DR of HANA, SQL & Sybase Databases in Google Cloud

Major Canadian Financial Firm Leverages Actifio for Backup & DR in GCP

Executive Summary

ATB Financial in Alberta, Canada, set a new strategic objective to move IT entirely to the cloud. So, the IT team began creating a multi-step migration plan. The first moves were to be the migration of SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, and Sybase databases to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). However, before the cloud move could begin, ATB was legally required to test and demonstrate a proven backup and recovery solution for approval. ATB chose Actifio to protect over 50TB of HANA, SQL, and Sybase data across two GCP regions, and the transition was underway.

Company Overview

ATB Financial serves over 773,000 customers across 245 locations in Alberta, Canada. The company manages over $50 billion in assets and is consistently ranked high in workplace and customer satisfaction surveys. Growing for more than 80 years, ATB has changed from one small Treasury Branch to become the largest Alberta-based financial institution. Today, more than 5,000 team members serve customers across Alberta communities.


ATB Financial, Alberta’s largest financial institution.

ATB needed to establish a proven backup and recovery platform for 250 TB mission-critical SAP HANA, SQL Server, and Sybase databases running in Google Cloud.

Use Actifio to protect and recover all databases across two Google regions.

RPO reduced to 15 minutes; RTO reduced to ~5 minutes or less. Application consistent database backups are running in Google Cloud.

The Challenge

ATB’s wanted to transform its IT strategy from a mostly on premises environment to be primarily cloud-based. ATB selected Google Cloud as its primary cloud provider and designated mission-critical SAP HANA and Sybase databases as the first to move. However, ATB was first legally obliged to have a backup and recovery solution thoroughly tested and approved.

The Solution

ATB conducted a six-month review examining candidates for the optimal critical data protection platform. The search included all the leading vendors, including the incumbents, Dell, and EMC.

An intensive Actifio proof of concept (POC) validated the solution’s deep integration with GCP. It demonstrated rapid recovery of mission-critical SAP HANA databases, meeting RPO/RTO objectives of 15 minutes and 3-7 minutes, respectively. Also, tests on SQL and Sybase databases demonstrated recovery in just minutes. And, unlike cloud snapshots, Actifio can create application-consistent backup images for use spinning up virtual DB clones in GCP.

ATB has now deployed in two GCP regions – US-West as primary, and US-Central as secondary – with Actifio providing a bi-regional backup and recovery between them. Simplified backup and near-instant recoveries in GCP have been established to avoid any need for manual snapshot management of disks in the cloud.

Immediate Benefits

• ATB successfully meets disaster recovery legal requirements for GCP
• Application consistent backups of HANA, Sybase and SQL databases running in GCP
• Reduced backup time (RPO) from 2 hours to 15 minutes
• Reduced recovery time (RTO) from 2 hours to less than 2 minutes
• Simplified management by offering a single pane of glass for data protection of multiple mission-critical databases
• Reduced on-premises infrastructure and gained on-demand scale-up / scale-down capabilities by transitioning to the Google Cloud Platform.
• Simplified backup and instant recoveries in GCP

Moving Forward

ATB plans to continue increased cloud use, including Actifio protection of cloud-based applications as well as any workloads remaining on-premises. ATB also expects to use Actifio to create virtual database clones in GCP for testing and analytics.

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