In addition to its own Concord, Ebel, Movado, Olivia Burton, and MVMT timepieces, Swiss watchmaker Movado creates licensed products for Ferrari, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, and other leading brands. Since its start in the legendary Swiss village of La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1881, Movado has been dedicated to three principles: excellence in design; craftsmanship; and technological innovation.
The quest for innovation is even more important now that the company has grown into a global brand with 1,300 employees spread across 30 countries and is evolving it’s digital footprint. The days of the close-knit village are gone: manufacturing and design now happen in different hemispheres. All those beautiful watches and timepieces begin as design files, and in recent years Movado was challenged to store, protect, manage, and share these growing pools of unstructured data between its global offices.
Business and IT Challenges
Unacceptable File Sharing Delays
Movado’s designers and suppliers work heavily with the Adobe Creative Suite, along with CAD, 3D files, SolidWorks, and other data-intensive applications.
Explains Ken Borthwick, Director of Server and Client Solutions at Movado, “In addition to standard file sharing, our biggest needs are on the design and manufacturing side. We needed to find a better way to get our designs from where they’re created in the U.S. and Europe to where the products are actually made, in Europe and Asia. We often had a lot of delays, especially with large images.”
The creative process only compounded these problems. Like many manufacturers, Movado has to go back and forth with design ideas, and minor and major changes to files are made all around the world. The company’s previous file sharing infrastructure didn’t support this workflow. Movado’s creative and manufacturing teams struggled to find a way to share files that was both timely and secure.
Says Borthwick, “We tried different things over the years, including replicating data from one Windows file server to another, but out-of-sync file versions and frequent replication failures cause more headaches than they solved . The workaround was to try to access files in real-time over the network, but with all the latency between Europe, Asia and the U.S., that was also too slow.”
Costly Storage Duplication
Movado was also experiencing a common problem that occurs when designers and creative teams wait too long for the files they need: they resort to their own “shadow IT” solutions, which lead to storage duplication, network strain, potential security risk, and more.
Adds Borthwick, “Users were bringing files in over the WAN and copying them onto their file servers and working on them that way. There was a lot of emailing of files, which added to our email storage. Our designs were put in Box by one guy, Dropbox by another, and WeTransfer, too. Basically, we had storage duplication all over the place. Not only did this increase our costs, but nobody knew where the master version of the file really lived.”
Increasing Backup Windows
Meanwhile, the IT group was struggling to backup all those critical files. Roughly 50% of the company’s storage is unstructured data, and as these volumes grew, the time required to backup files to tape was growing longer.
Details Borthwick, “The backup windows were getting bigger and bigger. It was taking a whole weekend to get a full backup, and backup failures were not uncommon. When the backups failed you were behind, and since we could only feasibly backup file data once a day, that meant we had a 24-hour recovery point, which isn’t ideal when your end users are making a lot of changes to design files.”
Trapped in the NAS Refresh Cycle
Movado was constantly investing in more file storage. NAS hardware would be purchased with a five-year maintenance contract, and as the fifth year approached, the storage vendor would inform them that the cost to renew the service contract would be on par with buying an entirely new storage system.
Notes Borthwick, “Each storage refresh cycle resulted in a forklift upgrade to our storage array, and many hours spent migrating data. I could see a new refresh cycle on the horizon, and really wanted to find a way to avoid future purchases and bulk data migrations. I knew there had to be a better way, and I was determined to find it.”
Growth Compounding the Problems
None of the these problems were going to disappear, since Movado’s unstructured data continues to grow and collaboration needs are only increasing as the company expands its global operations.
Adds Borthwick, “Our business is growing and expanding in every corner of the globe. It was painfully obvious that to meet the demand for real-time collaboration, we needed to find an alternative to business as usual when it came to our global file infrastructure.”
As part of a cloud-first strategy that also take cost reduction into consideration, Movado has deployed Nasuni Cloud File Services and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for its 7 locations across the U.S., Europe and Asia. The company now has the scalable file storage, advanced data protection, simple storage administration, and cross-office collaboration it needs to continue advancing its state-of-the-art products.
Says Borthwick, “We explored different options, but we wanted to break our reliance on hardware. Nasuni fits the key use cases we need to address, and they do it through a complete service delivery model that fits with our long-term vision.”
Nasuni’s “cache from cloud” architecture stores the gold copies of all Movado’s files and metadata in Amazon S3, while caching frequently used files in each location on virtual or physical Nasuni Edge Appliances. Because of this approach, unstructured data and metadata scale in the cloud, not on local hardware, yet Movado users enjoy high performance access to their files.
Unlimited Global Storage Capacity
The giant Adobe Illustrator files that were straining Movado’s previous file infrastructure are now easily stored and shared with Nasuni. Applications write to UniFS®, Nasuni’s object-storage based global file system, just like traditional SAN or NAS-based file systems, except UniFS scales without limits inside Amazon S3. Movado can expand capacity to any level needed just by increasing its Amazon S3 and Nasuni subscriptions.
Movado never has to worry about one of its global locations running out of storage capacity, and the company has been able to eliminate NAS refreshes, expensive maintenance agreements, and unwanted data migrations.
Global File Access at LAN Speed
Nasuni Edge Appliances are sized to the performance needs of each Movado location and designed to provide LAN-speed access to unstructured data. To optimize collaboration across time zones, Movado customized its deployment to ensure its creative groups have fast access to the most recent versions of needed files.
Explains Borthwick, “We make it so the data pre-loads down to each office’s local appliance, so when they get to work in the morning, they’re not wasting the first hour or two of the day waiting for the most recent version of a file. With Nasuni, the data is waiting for them and they can work at local speeds immediately instead of having to wait for transfers to finish. That has really improved productivity.”
Recovering Data in Minutes, Not Days
UniFS is a continuously versioning file system that securely protects Movado’s files in Amazon S3 as they change. This provides dramatically improved RPOs and RTOs and eliminates the need for separate backup or DR. Access to recent versions of lost, deleted, or damaged files can be restored within minutes of a data loss event. This represents a massive improvement over Movado’s legacy backup solution.
Notes Borthwick, “With Nasuni and Amazon S3, we have an RPO of an hour instead of 24 hours and our historical data goes back as far as we want. Our RTO has also improved – we can restore data in minutes, not days, because we don’t have to wait for tapes to come back from offsite. Nasuni’s approach to data protection has relieved a lot of stress on the IT team. We no longer have to worry about whether files are backed up and protected. Nasuni has made life a lot easier.”
Centralized Management Replaces Shadow IT
Unapproved file sharing solutions and their related cost and security impact have been curtailed with Nasuni’s global file system.
Details Borthwick, “We could see that shadow IT was becoming a problem. Without a corporate alternative, users gravitated to cloud-based file sharing apps they were familiar with, like Dropbox and Box, without really considering data security. With Nasuni, they don’t have to go looking for those alternative, unmanaged solutions, and Nasuni’s management console gives us control over storage and file sharing across all our locations.”
Capital Cost Savings
The switch to Nasuni and Amazon S3 has broken the cycle of NAS refresh and freed up valuable IT budget, while also improving file sharing speeds.
Says Borthwick, “By moving our unstructured data to Nasuni and Amazon S3, we are spending about 50% less on primary storage. Plus, we’ve gone from a 10% spinning disk-90% flash split to 100% flash, giving us much better performance for our production, virtualized server environment.”
Customer-First Service Model
As a three-year customer of Nasuni, Movado values the responsiveness and professionalism of Nasuni’s support team.
Notes Borthwick, “The Nasuni support team has been really good. They’re always available and helpful in terms of trying to solve our issues. Even though we’re not the biggest customer, support is always very responsive. We’ve been very happy with the support and service we’ve gotten, and we look forward to growing with Nasuni.”
With Nasuni Cloud File Services and Amazon S3, Movado has the scalable global file infrastructure it needs to support its collaborative design and production teams; the RTOs and RPOs that its end users and their design files deserve; and a cloud-centric service model that liberates the company from legacy storage hardware and its associated costs and limitations.
Concludes Borthwick, “There was some initial resistance to a cloud-based solution, as we’re not out to adopt new technology just to say we’re on the cutting edge. But we knew there had to be a better solution to our primary file storage and multi-site collaboration challenges. More companies are now globalized, so we figured others must have the same needs. Some solutions offered a way to backup data to the cloud but didn’t have the global file sharing component. Others offered global file sharing but were still too dependent on hardware which limited scale. Nasuni gives us both the global collaboration and data protection we were looking for. Overall it has greatly improved file sharing and made the whole process of managing unstructured data easier for Movado.”
“Some solutions offered a way to backup data to the cloud but didn’t have the global file sharing component. Others offered global file sharing but were still too dependent on hardware which limited scale. Nasuni gives us both the global collaboration and data protection we were looking for. Overall it has greatly improved file sharing and made the whole process of managing unstructured data easier for Movado.”
Ken Borthwick, Director of Server and Client Solutions