Reducing Data Centre Costs at Maple Leaf Foods with Managed Backup and DISASTER RECOVERY AS A SERVICE

Executive Summary

Maple Leaf Foods (MLF) is one of Canada’s leading consumer packaged food companies and the first major food company in the world to become carbon neutral. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Maple Leaf Foods pursues the vision of becoming the most sustainable protein company on earth.

MLF has one of the largest SAP implementations in Canada and required a backup and disaster recovery solution that would guarantee the recovery and accessibility of this data in the event of hardware failures or disaster. After conducting a thorough search involving nine vendors, MLF chose Andorix OnePort’s Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offerings for its predictable pricing model and fully-managed service to meet their business requirements.

Challenge

After a successful ERP implementation that moved their entire organization onto a single instance of SAP, MLF searched for a more cost-effective way to manage their backup and disaster recovery data centre infrastructure.

Maple Leaf Foods had been managing two data centers in the Greater Toronto Area, with the primary data centre running their company-wide ERP system, and a secondary data centre that served as their disaster recovery site. In addition, MLF also managed their non-production data centre inhouse. This setup required a team of ten full-time backup, disaster recovery and data centre infrastructure specialists dedicated to managing and maintaining an expensive hardware-based solution to allow for hardware-to-hardware replication.

The ideal vendor would need to be able to provide a highly-secure Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution that could cost-effectively handle the challenges of a data-intensive computing infrastructure while meeting SLA requirements. Specifications included requirements for the core SAP infrastructure RPO (Recovery Point Objective) of 30 seconds with an additional backup completed every two hours. The Disaster Recovery RTO (Recovery Time Objective) for the SAP infrastructure must also adhere to a 4 hour or shorter time window. MLF also wanted a trusted team that will assume the responsibility and management of the entire infrastructure.

Solution

After reviewing several options from various vendors, the OnePort team at Andorix was chosen to manage the backup systems for all MFL offices across North America, as well as implement a fully-managed disaster recovery solution for their mission-critical SAP environment.

The OnePort team worked with MFL engineering to design and setup private data lines to connect their North American offices and primary data centre to support a a hybrid cloud infrastructure for the Backup and Disaster Recovery systems.

In 2017, the OnePort team began the process of backing up data from MLF’s North American sites to their data centre.  The backup system includes on-premise hardware to take a local backup of each MFL site for quick restore, and this local copy is replicated over a private network to MFL’s primary data centre for offsite backup.

The OnePort team also set up two direct 10 Gbps connections with automated failover from the MLF primary data centre to OnePort’s data centres to meet the very short RPO and RTO requirements for MLF’s disaster recovery implementation of their SAP environment.

Outcome

The process of moving to the Andorix OnePort fully managed Backup and Disaster Recovery service was completed over a six-month period. After the successful migration, MLF was able to shut down their secondary data center and re-allocated all personnel resources to other roles, resulting in significant savings north of a million dollars in Datacenter, Hardware Lifecycle, Consulting, and Support costs to run over the life of the contract.

The backup and DR service delivered by the OnePort team is a hybrid solution using an all-consumption model. Rather than paying upfront fees, a model was created that cut capital expenditure costs and moved MLF into a predictable ongoing operating expense, with the OnePort team assuming management of their entire infrastructure, including the maintenance of the network, the software required to run the backup and DR services, and all the hardware required to store the data.


Andorix OnePort has been instrumental in transforming Maple Leaf Foods IT Operations and Services by providing fully managed Backup and Disaster Recovery as a service since 2017. With their help, Maple Leaf Foods has been able to decrease our data centre utilization resulting in a significant reduction in overall IT costs.

Dan Di Salvo
VP Infrastructure at Maple Leaf Foods

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