Origina wins European IT award for virtualising Lakeland Dairies

10 Mar 2010

Irish IT company Origina has picked up the “Best SMB Solutions Provider” gong at the 2010 European IT Excellence Awards for the virtualisation project that it deployed with Lakeland Dairies.

The new virtualised environment has enabled Lakeland to decrease the risk of downtime, reduce costs, lower carbon emissions and improve delivery times.

The solution deployed by Origina enabled a 70pc saving on power and cooling costs, disaster recovery has been reduced from five days to less than two hours and more than 35 servers were consolidated into two new virtualised servers.

About the European IT Excellence Awards

The European IT Excellence Awards recognise best practices in customer solutions by IT providers across Europe.  As the only Irish technology company to win an award at this year’s event, Origina beat stiff competition in its category including shortlisted companies from the UK, Italy and Serbia.

The judges were particularly impressed by Origina’s ability to work with the Lakeland’s IT team to unify and simplify Lakeland’s complex IT infrastructure.

Lakeland Dairies Group is Ireland’s second-largest dairy co-op and processes more than 1 billion litres of milk annually. Headquartered in Cavan, the group has more than 600 employees employed in five locations across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.

It exports to markets throughout Europe, America, Asia, Africa and other international markets. 

Lakeland Dairies’ IT systems

Lakeland’s IT systems play an integral role in the complete food process, from farm to retail. Following growth through a number of mergers and acquisitions, Lakeland built up a large number of disparate IT systems and servers in several office locations and data centres.

Based on both its strong infrastructure architecture experience, and ability to work closely with the Lakeland IT team, Origina was awarded a contract to work with Lakeland to help consolidate all IT systems, implement a more effective disaster recovery solution and perform a complete infrastructure refresh for the Lakeland Group.

Origina consultants, working in partnership with Lakeland’s own IT team, designed and installed a Compellent storage solution which is an ideal fit for Lakeland’s new centralised, virtualised infrastructure which replaced all of the existing physical servers and storage devices across the Lakeland Dairies Group.

The new highly available and scalable solution includes two IBM servers to run the new virtualised environment, SAN storage from Compellent, along with Microsoft’s HyperV and System Center management software. In addition to providing implementation assistance on this project, Origina also provides comprehensive ongoing training, support and strategic advice.

“We believe that working in conjunction with Origina, Lakeland has one of the most advanced IT infrastructures in the country right now,” said Turlough Farrelly, IT manager, Lakeland Dairies.

“The new architecture is easy to manage, resilient and ensures all of our systems, servers and data are always highly available.

“Thanks to this virtualised and consolidated solution, we are also seeing a significant reduction in overall costs,” Farrelly said.

About Origina

Origina is one of Ireland’s leading IT consulting, services and outsourcing companies, with more than 40 people in its Dublin and London offices.

“We are honoured to win this prestigious award which recognises Origina’s ability to perform and compete at the highest levels on the international stage,” Marc Flanagan, business development director, Origina said.

“We are delighted that our ‘teaming’ model of working closely with the customers’ own IT team has enabled us to achieve this recognition.

“Lakeland Dairies has become one of Ireland’s most successful food production companies by placing technology and innovation at the heart of its business,” Flanagan added.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Pictured at the awards ceremony are (left to right) Marcus Jewell, sales director, Mitel (award sponsor), Rowan O’Donoghue, director of innovation and development, Origina, and Marc Flanagan, business development director, Origina

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