Case Study – Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

The Challenge

Bundaberg Brewed Drinks’ ageing IT infrastructure presented a range of day-to-day operational challenges for the company, including:

  • Backups were inconsistent and unreliable.
  • The company’s growth plans couldn’t be catered for by the existing environment.
  • Large backups were required to be kept on site in a separate building.
  • Connectivity to the Brisbane sales office was slow and causing issues.
  • The need for strict disaster recovery requirements to be met.

The task of replacing their server and storage infrastructure also presented its own issues, including the need for:

  • 24/7 operational requirements to be maintained
  • Minimal downtime during project
  • Maintaining the strict budget and timeframe.

The Solution

To address the challenges and issues, we implemented our solutions path – a proven process of insight and action that sees us: understand, plan, build, maintain, enhance (Repeatable).

By clearly understanding the issues and challenges that Bundaberg Brewed Drinks were facing, we were able to plan and build the right solution for them. The process also allowed us to explain our approach in a way that could be understood and could be visualised.

The solution we built was tailored specifically for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.  It was reliable, flexible and had enough capacity to allow for the company’s growth.

  • We visited the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks site to gain an understanding of the business and their unique requirements before we submitted our proposal.
  • We spent considerable time talking to various vendors about their disaster recovery requirements in order to find the most effective solution. They had unique challenges from the perspective of the amount of data that had to be transferred and the very tight Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) required.
  • Once the tender was submitted, our proposal was accepted, we were advised by Bundaberg Brewed Drinks that we were the only company to who
    had designed a viable solution that could meet their RTO and RPO timings.
  • We designed and developed a customised solution specifically for the company’s unique requirements and infrastructure.
  • The project was split into two parts – one was the implementation of the new server and storage infrastructure and the other was the implementation of the disaster recovery solution.
  • We recommended they move to a virtualised server platform with Tier 1 hardware and a minimum three-year, same-day, onsite warranty in case of any issues.
  • We also recommended that they implement a backup solution specifically designed for virtualised environments as well as install a piece of hardware that would allow for the de-duplication of multiple backups over an extended period of time.
  • The disaster recovery part of the project involved configuring storage at the Brisbane office and replicating that across the WAN connection.  This required an extremely reliable connection and also a connection with enough bandwidth to cope with the data changes.
  • We introduced Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to one of our trusted partners, Cloud Plus, who were able to provide a suitable data connection to enable the disaster recovery solution.
  • We also implemented Vmware Site Recovery Manager to enable the complete failover of the Bundaberg site to Brisbane, quickly and efficiently in the event of a disaster.
  • We worked with the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks IT department and provide high level, escalated support plus monitor their infrastructure to ensure best performance.
  • We also recommended they subscribe to a personalised IT support program, Sure[Net], in order to allow us to proactively manage the environment, ensure that everything was running consistently and reliably, and that there was an engineer available to quickly respond if any issues arose.

Business Benefits

  • The reliability of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks’ IT systems dramatically improved.
  • The environment was more flexible and easily expandable.
  • We equipped them with the capacity and resources to grow.
  • We have completed several other subsequent, successful projects for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, including the implementation of a new email server.
  • Productivity has improved.
  • The IT department is able to concentrate on work that will improve the business whilst Surety IT do the fire-fighting and high-level issue resolution.

Initially we were very impressed with the time Surety IT took to understand and analyse our requirements, plus the innovation they used to design a solution that met our objectives. When other IT companies said our recovery timings couldn’t be met, Surety IT performed an in depth investigation into what technologies were available to see whether a hybrid could be created.  This proved to be a success and with the mix of technologies, Surety IT were able to implement robust, well-performing server and storage infrastructure together with a working Disaster Recovery Plan.

The project was not without its vendor challenges but I found the Surety IT team were able to manage these vendor issues for us and also to be very approachable, flexible and willing to listen. They put an enormous amount of effort into ensuring the successful completion of the project and their skills both technical and project, are very much valued and appreciated.

One of the big advantages we have found coming out of this project was Surety IT’s ability to recommend trusted partners who specialise in complementary technologies and who were experts in their field.  One such recommendation from Surety IT enabled us to switch to one of their communication partners who now provide us with a much better WAN solution than we were on, and it comes at a lower cost.

Surety IT are now one of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks’ IT partners-of-choice and we have an excellent, continuing relationship with them in which they continue to support our storage and virtual infrastructure whilst providing advice and strategy.”

Paul Fox – IT Manager, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

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