Traditional Norfolk Poultry, Shropham, Norfolk
Traditional Norfolk Poultry (TNP) is one of the UK’s leading producers of free range and organic chickens and turkeys, with major retailers, supermarkets and other blue chip firms among its impressive list of clients. Netcentral have been supporting TNP across all IT functions since 2014.
TNP felt it was time to review the service provided by their existing IT contractor, and approached two Norwich based companies to tender for the IT support contract, including Netcentral. The company also wanted to update ageing hardware, which was running industry specific software – critical for the factory to operate.
Although cost was a consideration for TNP, Financial Controller Nigel Plant had experience of working with Netcentral in a previous role and was therefore confident that they would be able to deliver the level of support expected – quickly and efficiently.
Netcentral took the decision to virtualise the existing factory server using Microsoft Hyper-V, whilst provisioning two additional virtual servers on brand new Hewlett Packard Enterprise hardware. This gave TNP the confidence that factory systems were running on new hardware backed up by a 5-year manufacturer warranty. Utilising Microsoft Hyper-V has many more advantages than just having newer hardware, such as ease of migration and improved backup.
A Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) migration of the old server was performed and tested in advance on new hardware, to identify and resolve any issues without downtime. The live migration then took place in an evening, so that the following day the factory operated as normal, with no-one any the wiser!
Running the new servers virtually allows Netcentral to design a more comprehensive disaster recovery system, including being able to run all their servers on replacement hardware should the need arise, with no reconfiguration needed.
Finally, Netcentral migrated all user mailboxes from an on-premise Exchange server to Office 365. This reduced the maintenance required for TNP, the reliance upon their internet connection and improves remote access for sales staff on the road. As part of this work the team configured directory synchronisation to Microsoft Azure, ensuring that users have a single sign-on throughout the entire business.
The Netcentral team are on call to provide full IT support to TNP at its Shropham head office whenever required, in addition to providing advice, IT planning and installing additional PC’s, laptops and hardware as the company grows.
“I would definitely recommend Netcentral to anyone considering a change of IT supplier. For us the quality and speed of response is vital as any downtime results in lost performance for staff, the longer a problem goes on – the more costly it is.
“Our recent server upgrade went smoothly; we expected the inevitable minor problems a technical upgrade normally throws up but we had full confidence that the team would swiftly resolve these and the work would be completed with the minimum of disruption – and Netcentral delivered.”
Nigel Plant | Financial Controller