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Case Study - Chandlers

Chandlers Farm Equipment harvests the benefits of a highly available architecture

  • Industry: Agriculture

  • Business: Farm Products

  • Focus: Storage Systems

  • Challenges

    • Aging storage servers were becoming unreliable • Disaster recovery capabilities for business critical operations were limited • Maintenance and support costs were rising

Overview

Outdated servers and storage threatened the resilience of Chandlers (Farm Equipment) Ltd’s mission-critical systems. Meridian IT helped the company establish a hardware replication environment with IBM POWER8 servers and IBM Storwize V5000. With two synchronised datacentres in place, Chandlers has mitigated the risk of outages while boosting performance.

Business Challenge

Chandlers (Farm Equipment) Ltd is a long established retailer of all things agricultural. The company supplies
farms across the United Kingdom with vehicles and equipment, horticultural tools and animal care products. In order to ensure a steady customer experience both online and in-store, Chandlers needs a reliable and efficient IT infrastructure. “We had been running our core IBM i applications on IBM POWER5 servers for approximately eight years,” explains Andy Jobin, IT Manager at Chandlers. “When you keep servers operational for that length of time, it’s inevitable that the hardware will eventually start suffering component failures. Consequently, the increased risk of outages places more pressure on existing disaster recovery infrastructure and back-up processes.

“We run mission-critical services on these servers, such as our dealer management and electronic point-of-sale systems. These systems handle all of our accounts, warranty claims and payment processing – so if we have any downtime, our business can be significantly disrupted.”
The technical team at Chandlers was already making plans to upgrade when a hardware glitch threatened to disrupt the business – putting a spotlight on the company’s disaster recovery plans.

Andy Jobin continues: “We had an outage on our main server, and it looked like we would need to restore everything from tape to our backup server – which might have taken several days. “Fortunately, the Meridian IT team were on site and came up with a much smarter plan. They fixed the problem in a matter of hours, which meant that the service disruption had minimal impact on our operations and end-users. After this incident, we knew that it was time to refresh our hardware and fortify our disaster recovery procedures.”

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