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Dairy Farmers’ huge operations rely on Mid-Comp and Vision Solutions for ‘backup within minutes’

  • 09 December, 2008 09:58

<p>Dairy Farmers is an Australian dairy processing and distribution co-operative. Over the past century, Dairy Farmers has grown into an enterprise with an annual turnover of $A1.3 billion and 1,800 employees.</p>
<p>With 68 locations around Australia, 12 of them manufacturing sites, and a supply chain of 72 hours from the farm to the supermarket shelf, Dairy Farmers truly is a 24 x 365 organisation.</p>
<p>To assist consolidation of reporting and common systems used, the implemented SAP's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system on IBM Power i5 System hardware. With no backup window, no allowance for system downtime and huge transactional volumes, Dairy Farmers needed a robust high availability solution that would ensure continuous business operations.</p>
<p>“As a 24 X 365 business, it is absolutely imperative that Dairy Farmers’ information systems remain operational at all times. Of the solutions available on the Australian market, only Vision Solutions was able to demonstrate compliance with these key criteria satisfactorily.” said Tony Talbot, Group Information Services Manager. “The data volumes resulting from a SAP implementation also meant that a tape backup solution had to be found that allowed the business to continue.”</p>
<p>In its search for a high availability solution, a primary requirement was that it integrated with the current IBM i5 environment. Talbot said other key selection criteria included SAP certification and local support.</p>
<p>“The company’s demonstrated commitment to a successful implementation, both directly and through its Vision Industry Partner (VIP) program, swung the balance in Vision Solutions’ favour.”</p>
<p>The company chose Vision Solutions’ Vision Suite™ to mirror the SAP application data to a backup server. Upon the completion of the SAP implementation, approximately 1,100 named users were accessing the system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from all sites.</p>
<p>Dairy Farmers uses SAP as its application software while the production and backup server hardware is based on IBM i5 servers. The production server is a Model 570 9/16-way, the backup server a Model 890 16/24-way. Both systems are Logically Partitioned (LPAR). The Model 570 hosts the production SAP R/3, Business Warehouse and Supply Chain Planning systems. The Model 890 hosts the target systems for the Vision Suite as well as development and quality assurance SAP systems.</p>
<p>The SAP applications are used to control everything from milk intake to the factory, through the production process to a distribution front-end system. It also covers sales &amp; operations planning, financial systems, asset management, sales reporting and business intelligence.</p>
<p>Technical support for Dairy Farmers is provided through Mid-Comp, Vision Solutions’ Australian-based VIP, and occasionally through direct contact with the Vision Solutions CustomerCare team.</p>
<p>“We are impressed with the professionalism and responsiveness of Mid-Comp and the CustomerCare Response Centre,” said Talbot.</p>
<p>For Dairy Farmers, Vision Suite’s most important benefit is the ability to role swap to the recovery system at any time, with minimal impact to the users. “Whether this is for planned maintenance or unplanned system failures, continuous operations are important for us,” he said.</p>
<p>Vision Suite's role swap capability has allowed Dairy Farmers to provide system availability, all day, every day.</p>
<p>“Although the IBM Power Systems are very reliable, should the production system fail, the backup can be available within minutes. Additional benefits are the ability to perform tape backups of production data and performance of system maintenance without any user downtime.”</p>
<p>Since implementing Vision Suite, Dairy Farmers has had to switch users to the recovery server three times for extended periods due to hardware and/or software errors. Without Vision Suite, this could have represented significant loss to their bottom line. With an annual
turnover of $A1.3 billion, Dairy Farmers can ill afford even one day's downtime.</p>
<p># # #</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Denis Vaughan, Mid-Comp International
Phone: +61. (0)3 9915 5200</p>

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