Coffee, vino and a little bit of virtualisation, please!

27 Jan 2012

Edel Creely, managing director, Trilogy Technologies; Jim Duggan, IS manager, Robert Roberts; and Siobhan Griffin, account manager, Trilogy Technologies

Coffee and tea distributor Robert Roberts and its wine and spirits subsidiary Findlaters has invested in a new disaster recovery and virtualisation system.

The group, which dates back to 1905 and employs 200 people, is part of the DCC Food & Beverage division.

As part of a deal with Trilogy Technologies, it has implemented a full virtualised disaster recovery and backup solution to reduce business risk, deliver high availability and be better prepared for disaster recovery.

“We had 15 physical servers, many of which needed to be replaced in order for the business to have confidence in the reliability of its IT systems. Additionally, we run a large latch job over the weekend to update our business intelligence database and this was taking some 14 hours to complete,” explained Jim Duggan, IS manager at Robert Roberts.

“We needed a solution in place so that if some kind of interruption or disaster occurred, we could get back to work as quickly as possible.

“In addition, we needed a robust infrastructure that would allow increased efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness by effectively connecting resources to business needs.”

Trilogy worked with the company to integrate its recovery infrastructure into Robert Roberts’ fibre network over a high-speed leased line to its hot site using technology from VMware, HP and Veeam. Using Veeam to replicate servers to a back-up server overnight allows the company to backup to tape the following day.

“This allows us to use instant recovery to recover a server in a couple of minutes should we need to,” said Duggan. “This is a big bonus in terms of disaster recovery and business continuity planning and it has created confidence in the reliability of our IT systems.”

Robert Roberts’ weekend batch job now runs in one hour which means the company can now re-run it easily during the day should it need to.

“We have a secure backup/restore capability in minutes,” adds Duggan. “From a DR point of view, we have a complete replication of all of our systems and the data is available on a server in our warehouse.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years