Stonegate Farmers turn to Zerto to provide near synchronous replication protecting critical Oracle and Microsoft applications

Meridian IT delivers successful virtualisation and business continuity project to the UK’s largest egg producers

Zerto, setting the standard for disaster recovery in virtualised and cloud environments, today announced a successful business continuity project with Stonegate Farmers, the largest UK supplier within the egg supply chain working with major retail customers including ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

All Stonegate Farmers eggs are produced in the UK to the rigorous British Lion Quality standard and are packaged in locations around England and Wales. This includes a state-of-the-art site in Wiltshire, the largest and only dedicated free range and organic packing operation in the world. Stonegate guarantees fast and accurate product grading as part of an operation that delivers millions of eggs to the shelves of shops around the UK every single day.

Since 2000, Stonegate Farmers has evolved and grown through a number of acquisitions that has left a number of legacy and disparate IT systems across the organisations. As part of a standardisation and improvement project, the company turned to Meridian IT to deliver a transformational upgrade including the design and implementation of a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

Faced with the potential financial and reputational damage of an IT outrage alongside health issues associated with food production and distribution, Stonegate places a high degree of importance on the reliability of its critical applications including its Oracle JD Edwards ERP and Microsoft SQL databases.

Meridian delivered a successful project to move Stonegate’s mission critical applications onto a virtualised platform. To meet the business continuity requirements of the business, Meridian replaced the tape based backup process with an implementation of a near synchronous replication solution using Zerto Virtual Replication across a virtual machine environment.

The Zerto solution was deployed and up and running within one hour with virtual protection groups (VPG) to deliver write-order fidelity and consistency across the virtual machines. Applications like Oracle JDE can be difficult to protect, however, with VPGs, the IT team at Stonegate Farmers can easily group VMs into collections with write-order fidelity. Delivering the consistent replication and recovery of critical applications enables the team to meet the demands of the business.

As Jason Gillam, Group IT Manager for Stonegate Farmers Ltd explains, “The virtual protection groups really simplified how we protect our applications. We have a mission critical ERP application Oracle JD Edwards with Microsoft SQL Server, and email applications which are vital to our environment and have dependencies that we need to account for. Automating many of the recovery steps through the groups ensures the process will execute in the same way every time.”

The successful virtualisation and the use of Zerto as the core of its business continuity strategy has helped Stonegate avoid the cost associated with continual configuration management of target VMs required to maintain failover readiness. In addition, Zerto Virtual Replication tracks all the vMotion and Storage changes to further automate and reduce delays during failover and failback processes.

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