Special Fruit’s employees expect their IT environment to be in optimal condition, so that they can work efficiently. Unfortunately, support for the worldwide fruit and vegetable importer’s servers had ceased, their storage capacity was insufficient and maintenance became too challenging. The question was: should they move their infrastructure to the cloud or implement a modern on-site data centre? After discussing the options with infrastructure partner Xylos, Special Fruit went for the latter option. Partner company Nucleus took care of the cloud backup part.
Special Fruit wasn’t ready to move its applications to the cloud just yet. “We prefer having everything under control here, without depending on a cloud provider”, says Tim Van Heyste, IT-manager at Special Fruit. “On top of that, such a move would come with some technical challenges. One of them is the limited connectivity on site.”
That’s why Special Fruit and infrastructure partner Xylos decided to go for a classic setup featuring premium components in every layer. Tim Van Heyste: “We now have about seven physical servers, which are running hypervisors and a large number of virtual servers. We opted for a storage setup by HP, connected with a fibre network. The servers and storage use this network to communicate.”
Apart from the server infrastructure, Special Fruit also updated its backup and replication systems. The company chose a cloud-based disaster recovery solution by Xylos partner Nucleus. Before Special Fruit took that decision, the company asked both parties for a proof of concept. Their previous disaster recovery solution was based on storage replication, but in the current backup system, replication is situated at the virtual machine level. “This was new to us. We wanted to be convinced by the new setup before we decided to implement it”, Tim Van Heyste explains.
“After a thorough trial period, it turned out that our production environment wasn’t affected negatively and everything ran more smoothly. Nucleus uses the Veeam Cloud Connect Backup technology to create backups of our virtual servers easily. Thanks to this system, backups are readily available in our data centres and we no longer worry about managing and maintaining our backup infrastructure. If our servers should fail for one reason or another, we’d only lose about 15 minutes of work at most.”
Before the start of the project, Special Fruit contacted several parties and asked them to draft a new IT infrastructure. Tim Van Heyste: “The pre-sale process took a long time because we reviewed different alternatives and wanted to choose the best possible option. Our IT environment had to be future-oriented, so we spent a lot of time on this phase.”
Ultimately, Xylos turned out to be the ideal partner for this project. “Xylos had installed our hardware already and has been our trusted infrastructure partner for several years. Thanks to this experience, their proposal was perfectly tailored to our needs, easily expandable and sufficiently powerful. After the go-live, about 20 new users joined. That increases work pressure.”
The implementation itself went smoothly. After about four months, everything was live. According to Tim Van Heyste, this was mainly thanks to the project management plan Special Fruit had developed together with the Xylos experts. “Xylos took care of the initial setup, our IT team transferred the infrastructure with the help of our partner.”
Special Fruit is looking forward to a bright future with infrastructure partner Xylos. “For this year, we’ve also developed an IT roadmap, which includes a complete overhaul of our Citrix environment. We’d love to redesign it together with Xylos”, Tim Van Heyste concludes.
“Xylos has been our trusted infrastructure partner for several years. Thanks to this experience, their proposal was perfectly tailored to our needs.”