Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat tackles business continuity challenges

Guaranteeing exceptional service to customers, at all times

Published on 02-Oct-2013

"Selecting IBM System x and System Networking components has enabled us to lower the cost and complexity of managing IT, as well as offering us the flexibility to scale capacity as the business grows." - Oscar Vonk, IT Manager, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat

Customer:
Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat

Industry:
Wholesale Distribution & Services

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, High Availability , Server Consolidation, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
ExtraVar bv

Overview

Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat specializes in importing the highest quality of meat and meat products from around the world and distributing them to customers across Europe. The company sources beef, lamb, veal, pork and poultry, and sells to clients including supermarket chains, catering suppliers and the ready-made meal and snack market. Based in the Netherlands, it employs 120 people and has its main office in Zoeterwoude.

Business need:
A power supply outage highlighted a serious lack of redundancy in Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat’s systems, with the discovery of a number of potential points of failure.

Solution:
Working with IBM Business Partner ExtraVar, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat replaced its existing infrastructure with a solution based on IBM® System x® and IBM RackSwitch™ technology.

Benefits:
Offering 100 percent redundancy, the solution protects against data loss and service interruption, helping to ensure timely fulfillment of customer orders and raising satisfaction and retention rates.

Case Study

To read a Dutch version of this case study, click here.

Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat specializes in importing the highest quality of meat and meat products from around the world and distributing them to customers across Europe. The company sources beef, lamb, veal, pork and poultry, and sells to clients including supermarket chains, catering suppliers and the ready-made meal and snack market. Based in the Netherlands, it employs 120 people and has its main office in Zoeterwoude.

High stakes
Offering customers an end-to-end service – managing all aspects of shipping, customs clearance, compliance with governmental regulations, traceability, documentation, warehousing, and transportation of its products – Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat needs a high-performance, resilient IT infrastructure. A power supply outage highlighted a serious lack of redundancy in the company’s systems, with the discovery of a number of potential points of failure.

Oscar Vonk, IT Manager at Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat explains: “The power failure exposed the weaknesses in our infrastructure – alerting us to the risk of losing a lot of important data including staff records. That was serious enough, but our immediate concern was that we had 14 full trucks of meat waiting to unload in the depot but could not access the documentation associated with the shipments.”

Prompt intervention by the Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat management team meant that the incident caused only minimal disruption to customers and its supply chain. The financial cost of the outage, however, was high, and recovering lost data was a complex and time-consuming process. The company was determined to avoid a repeat of the situation, especially given the potential risk of damaging brand equity in what is a fiercely competitive market.

Making the cut
Impressed by IBM’s reputation for creating stable, reliable technology, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat engaged Extravar, an IBM Business Partner, to design a solution to replace its existing HP-based hardware. Following a thorough site survey and audit of the existing infrastructure, ExtraVar proposed a dual datacenter concept with no single point of failure.

Patrick Diependaal, Sales Consultant at ExtraVar comments: “The main focus of our proposal was, of course, how to build redundancy into the environment. But we also wanted to convince Zandbergen to take advantage of IBM System Networking technology to deliver many other operational benefits. We saw two obvious areas to highlight: how to reduce operational cost by simplifying overall system management and configuration processes; and how to future-proof the environment by ensuring that system capacity can flex with growth in business volumes.”

Working with ExtraVar, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat deployed five IBM System x3550 M4 servers, virtualized with VMware software, and two IBM RackSwitch G8052 switches at each of its primary and backup datacenter locations. In the unlikely event of a disaster, the company can now fail over to its backup solution within 30 minutes, with no more than 15 minutes of data loss. IBM Technical Support Services offer 24x7 maintenance with a four-hour response window, ensuring rapid resolution of any issues.

The two sites are linked via 1 Gb Ethernet connections, making it possible to implement the Network File System (NFS) distributed file system protocol, which greatly simplifies overall system management. As a result, Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat can benefit from a sophisticated disaster recovery strategy without needing to spend more time on system administration.

Recipe for success
By ensuring non-stop operation of business-critical applications, such as those used to manage logistics, the IBM solution helps Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat ensure timely and accurate fulfillment of customer orders. The company has gained the highly resilient, available infrastructure it needs to help raise customer satisfaction and retention levels, and reduce business risk by protecting the company’s hard-won reputation for reliability.

Oscar Vonk adds: “We are very happy with the new IBM-based solution that ExtraVar designed and implemented. We now have an IT environment that is fit-for-purpose, and which we know will protect our key data in the event of another serious incident.”

Incorporating innovative, energy-smart technology, both the IBM System x and RackSwitch solutions are designed to be as easy to manage as possible, allowing Zandbergen to focus on its core business rather than system administration. Built for easy scalability, the IBM technology offers Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat non-disruptive growth options, enabling it to expand its infrastructure to accommodate future needs.

Oscar Vonk concludes: “Selecting IBM System x and System Networking components has enabled us to lower the cost and complexity of managing IT, as well as offering us the flexibility to scale capacity as the business grows.”

For more information
To learn more about IBM solutions, contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems

To learn more about products, services and solutions from ExtraVar bv, please visit www.extravar.nl

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
System Networking, System Networking: IBM RackSwitch G8052, System x, System x: System x running hypervisor - VMware, System x: System x3550 M4

Service:
GTS Technical Support Services: Managed Support, GTS Technical Support Services: Solution Support

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Nederland BV. Johan Huizingalaan 765. P.O. Box 9999. 1066 VH Amsterdam. Netherlands. Produced in the Netherlands. October 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Global Technology Services, RackSwitch and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.