Apetito / Wiltshire Farm Foods

Appetito owned Wiltshire Farm Foods turned to Carrenza for continuous data and application availability

Wiltshire Farm Foods are a high end UK based frozen meals delivery service; with everything being prepared by a team of chefs  at their Wiltshire kitchens.

  • Founded: 1928
  • A division of Apetito
  • 75 franchisees
  • Production facilities operate 24×7

Critical issue

Wiltshire Farm Foods’ kitchens and its logistics operate 24×7.

As a result, system downtime at any time of the day or night would affect operations. The need for continuous data and application availability during normal business hours is even greater because the company and its 75 franchisees can’t process orders and service customers without its systems.

Business challenges

Downtime is costly for any business. And the loss of data is generally unacceptable. For Wiltshire Farm Foods downtime of greater than four hours would result in considerable disruption in service to its customers. Additionally the business requires a minimum level of data loss as a consequence of service failure.

Traditional offline backups cannot meet either of these goals—a recovery time objective (RTO) of four hours and a recovery point objective (RPO) of one hour. Retrieving a backup tape, loading the data and applications onto a new server, configuring the server and then making it available to users can take several hours, if not a few days. Thus, this approach cannot support any but the laxest of RTOs.

In addition, because offline backups are typically created once a day, as much as a full day’s worth of data might be lost if the primary data store is destroyed. Clearly, this is inadequate to fulfil a one-hour RPO.

Wiltshire Farm Foods needs a better way to protect its data and application availability. Furthermore, because it uses a mix of Windows and Linux-based applications, as well as physical, virtual and cloud-based servers, it needs a solution that works in all environments, including across platforms.

Solution

Carrenza, a Vision Solutions business partner, helped Wiltshire Farm Foods to overcome its data and application availability challenges by using Double-Take Availability to deliver a real-time disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA) solution.

To start, Double-Take Availability created a real-time replica of Wiltshire Farm Foods’ production servers on cloud-based servers managed by Carrenza. Some of the production servers are located in Wiltshire Farm Foods’ facilities, while Carrenza manages others. All of the initial replication happened in the background, so users could carry on their work as normal.

Double-Take Availability continues to keep the primary and DR servers fully synchronised by replicating all changes from the primary server to the DR server in real time. Again, this happens in the background so production operations are unaffected.

The platform-independent nature of Double-Take Availability makes this robust HA/DR solution possible. Carrenza can provision DR servers as physical, virtual or cloud-based servers and then replicate to them from any production server, even if it runs in a different environment. As far as Double-Take Availability is concerned, a server is a server.

Because Wiltshire Farm Foods runs Windows- and Linux-based applications, the fact that Double-Take Availability offers versions for both operating systems means that a single set of skills can manage both.

Now, if a production sever becomes unavailable for any reason, operations can quickly failover to the DR server. A failover demonstration proved that an RTO of less than one hour and an RPO of less than five minutes is easily achievable and, in most cases, downtime in the event of a failover would be limited to minutes and there would be virtually no data loss.

Wiltshire Farm Foods was also impressed with the speed and simplicity of the implementation. In essence, Carrenza pushed a button and Double-Take Availability started replicating the production server.

Beyond HA and DR, Double-Take Availability also provided value when Wiltshire Farm Foods migrated some of its systems onto Carrenza’s infrastructure. Double-Take Availability replicated all of the data in the background. The source and target servers were kept synchronised until Carrenza and Wiltshire Farm Foods were ready to switch users over. Then, almost no downtime was required to perform the switchover.

Now, Double-Take Availability keeps the primary and DR servers synchronised with virtually no need for day-to-day management.

Results

  • Protects against downtime, regardless of the cause
  • Virtually eliminates data loss
  • Simplifies migrations, while minimizing migration downtime
  • Operates in physical, virtual, cloud and mixed environments
  • Installs quickly and easily

Visit: wiltshirefarmfoods.com/

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