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virtualDCS delivers in spades for agriculture body

Jamie Blakeman, AHDB and Kerri Milburn, VirtualDCS

Leeds’ virtualDCS has planted the seeds of successful disaster recovery at The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

The firm has installed one of the UK’s most advanced and robust IT disaster recovery (DR) systems in the board’s Warwickshire headquarters, resulting in the project being named named the Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Project of the Year at the Storage, Digitalisation and Cloud (SDC) Awards.

The AHDB is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers, and others in the food supply chain to help the industry succeed in a rapidly changing world. The organisation’s aim is to create a world-class food and farming industry in the UK.

Jamie Blakeman, IT support manager at AHDB, said: “When it came to procuring a new disaster recovery solution, we knew we wanted a robust DR plan, with a system that would offer minimal recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs), as well as using some of the best technology available. Ultimately, being able to access our data quickly and easily, and under any circumstances, was a key requirement.

“Potential suppliers were sought through G-Cloud, which is the UK Government framework that enables the public sector to procure IT services via the Digital Marketplace. virtualDCS was selected because the company could provide a robust DR solution, with very low RPOs, through its single CloudCover service.”

Blakeman adds that the new system was installed in a few weeks, with much of the work done remotely after the initial hardware installation.

Kerri Milburn, project delivery specialist at virtualDCS, said: “To win an award for this bespoke and innovative solution is a huge coup for everyone involved, as well as reinforcing to AHDB how robust the system is. Our CloudCover solution allows them to protect and replicate their data from on-premise and Azure servers, as well as Microsoft 365. It offers full backups and near real-time failover of their systems, as well as protecting against ransomware and other cyber nasties.

“By bringing top-tier applications together, we can provide fast and reliable offsite protection. The solution protects both the onsite and public cloud workloads to the DR site in question, across different locations with ease, as well as providing the desired RPOs and RTOs. This gives AHDB peace of mind that they can failover to replica virtual machines on our platform with minimal user interruption.”

virtualDCS has also won praise recently for its CloudCover K8s product. The company launched the product to bridge the data protection limitations of the popular open-source container software, Kubernetes, commonly dubbed K8s. The solution is built utilising software from Veeam’s latest acquisition, Kasten.

virtualDCS recently became the first UK-owned, channel-first Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) to be named as a platinum service provider by Veeam.

This followed virtualDCS becoming the first UK-based VCSP partner to achieve the Reseller Ready competency from Veeam last year. This gives virtualDCS an official seal of approval to resell Veeam’s entire product portfolio to its own partners including BaaS (Backup as a Service), Veeam Backup for Office 365, DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service), off-site backup and MSP (Managed Service Provider) backup.

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