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22 March 2017



Leveraging existing investments and virtual replication to deliver business-critical data centre performance



Barfoots grows, processes, packs and markets a range of semi-exotic produce, prioritising quality and freshness. Established in the early 1970s by Peter Barfoot, the family business has grown to employ over 200 people, and gained industry-wide and international recognition for its achievements in world-class farming and food production.

Barfoots' customers include the major supermarkets within the UK and leading national restaurant chains. With five farms on the south coast of England, plus farms in Spain, Senegal and Latin America, the company has an ambitious strategy for further expansion. Effective and dependable IT systems will be fundamental to enabling and supporting this growth.


It's crucial for Barfoots to get its produce from ground to shelf within a short time. To help manage the necessary logistics, the company continues to invest in Prophet enterprise resource planning (ERP) and material resource planning (MRP) software, applied in the supply chain, processing and order fulfilment. Application performance is critical but so is continuity. Through use of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) metrics, Barfoots identified that its data centre was a single point of failure, negatively impacting application performance and not meeting the level of business continuity required by the OEE target.


Barfoots recognised that its data centre needed to be upgraded to meet the effectiveness and performance targets necessary for its growth. Ideal worked with the company to map its requirements for high application performance and availability, together with robust business continuity. Consideration was given to substantial existing investments in Cisco Nexus switching and NetApp Fabric-Attached Storage (FAS).

Ideal Solution

The proposed solution was for two production data centre environments on two sites: a change from the previous architecture which featured a primary data centre and a second site used purely for disaster recovery. The new Cisco FlexPod-validated design would offer the maximum business value and system availability, with the additional benefit of a second production area that could be used as a test bed without negatively affecting the main production environment.

Barfoots' active-active data centre architecture, with Zerto virtual replication

In the innovative new design, each data centre combines Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) compute elements and Cisco Nexus switches with NetApp FAS. Barfoots' existing investment was leveraged to reduce costs, enabling significant upgrades to the UCS capability and thus improved potential for networking and future growth.

In addition, Zerto Virtual Replication maintains near-synchronous data replication between the two data centre sites, offering failover protection of the entire virtualised environment and its workload - discover the details here.

200w_Barfoots_logo.jpgEnsuring rich and simple business continuity, and maintaining tight, next-to-real-time protection is crucial for a fast-paced business like Barfoots. Working in collaboration with Ideal's architects and engineers to harness proven technology, we are now supplying IT services with superior agility.

Alex Spragg
IT Manager, Barfoots


Barfoots has a robust and powerful data centre environment, architected for high availability, seamless business continuity and easy disaster recovery. Building on Barfoots' existing NetApp and Cisco investments enabled upgrades to data centre performance beyond the original requirements. The new architecture comfortably exceeds Barfoots' OEE targets, and is providing a robust and scalable IT foundation for the company's ambitious business strategy.

Why Ideal?

Ideal's status as both a Cisco Advanced Data Centre Architecture specialist and NetApp Gold Partner ensures that it has the appropriate level of expertise, training and resources to design and implement highly robust, FlexPod-validated data centre solutions. Additionally, Ideal's breadth of expertise across the IT portfolio gives it the insight to consider and act on IT requirements in the context of overall business strategy, ensuring that the two are aligned for optimum return on investment.


Need to harvest better performance from your data centre? Contact Ideal sales online, or call us on 01273 957500.

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Header image: by Susanne Nilsson/FlickrCreative Commons