Ballance chooses Commvault to ensure data access

Tim Lloyd, infrastructure manager at the fertiliser manufacturer states that the deployment went smoothly and there are already business benefits to be seen.

NZ-based fertiliser manufacturer and distributor, Ballance Agri-Nutrients, has deployed CommVault’s Simpana 10 software to enhance data scalability and end-user efficiencies.

The solution provides the company with backup and recovery, data protection and mobility solutions to ensure data access and data recovery.

“Our existing solution for backup was not responsive enough to our needs. Our needs were quick reliable backups. We didn’t have internal confidence that the product did the job for us. Part of that was the configuration – it wasn’t all the product’s fault. The product obviously met some standards. But when we wanted to retrieve and restore data, often when it was critical data, it just was not reacting in a timely manner,” said Tim Lloyd, infrastructure manager at Ballance.

A conversation with the Commvault team at Microsoft’s TechEd 2013 started off discussions, which eventually led to recommendations for addressing the need. Following negotiations between the two teams, a business case was prepared and presented to the board.

The board approved the deployment in April this year, and Commvault’s solutions were implemented to go live by May.

“I could not be happier with the project. The implementation went smoothly across both our datacentres in the country and the business benefits to the firm have been plentiful. I am quite happy with the scalability options connected with the solution as well,” said Lloyd.

Building on an earlier virtualisation project at Ballance, the storage solution consolidates data from the company’s two physical data centres and virtual machines. CommVault’s mobile Edge solution also enables the company’s workforce to search and restore data from remote locations.

“The centralised and automated format of Simpana paired with the on demand self-service Edge app means that we can recover data immediately no matter where it is in our system. That right there presents a host of tangible productivity and efficiency benefits to the business because the IT team isn’t spending all its time doing tasks that an end user can do themselves,” said Lloyd.

As a 100-percent farmer-owned co-operative, with over 18,000 shareholders throughout New Zealand, Ballance relies on strong back-end technologies to deliver value and ensure best practice operations to stakeholders and customers.

Read more: Education New Zealand deploys private cloud for global employees

“Technology and the information it delivers is crucial to making better decisions for all stakeholders within our cooperative organisation. I am a strong believer in ensuring innovation and science is a driver of agricultural growth,” said Lloyd.

The infrastructure team counts 11 full-time members, including service desk staff. The company has also re-considered its investments in anti-virus, document management and collaboration solutions in the recent past.

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