The food manufacturer revealed that it had identified the opportunity to leverage public cloud storage “fairly early on” and said it was “particularly keen”on exploiting this as it had fairly complex and resource-intensive legacy file storage solutions.
It joined forces with Panzura in 2014, but invested more with the business in 2019 due the continuation of its public cloud first strategy accelerating production systems into Amazon Web Services.
“The biggest benefits are its simplicity and the removal of a significant management overhead, lower operational costs coupled with a highly flexible architecture,” said Gareth Byrne-Perkins, head of technology and service at Premier Foods
“We decided to simplify our storage because the resources we were putting into managing clusters, SANs [Storage Area Networks] and backup just didn’t deliver value to the business.”
He said that using Panzura had “completely revitalised” the way Premier Foods worked with file services as it cut out layers of unnecessary complication.
“We now have a centralised IT, and our entire data centre operations are cloud-based where possible, underpinning our ability to ensure that business can continue as usual when people cannot, or will not, come into the office,” he said.
He confirmed that the ROI has been significant for the company.
“We have cut back on third-party support contracts, reduced internal support effort and removed racks of file clusters, SANS and complex data archiving processes (a world of wasted IT time),” he said.
“A significant pool of file storage data is unused and now it just sits in S3, where it’s cheap to store and exists without the overhead of hardware – no firmware upgrades, no failures, no refresh cycles.”
Andy McGlashan, managing director, Panzura EMEA told Food Manufacture that Premier Foods was similar to any other food manufacturing organisation, as it was having to deal with data explosions, which were hard to store.
“There are vehicles, cameras, hand-held devices and appliances, and all the machinery they use,” he said.
“All these are logging files and creating data. The traditional approach to storing this has been to keep it on-premise in their own offices in storage devices.”
Panzura said that Premier Foods had moved all of this data outside its own premises and into the Cloud.
“The Cloud is really the answer to these challenges. The challenge is also that when you move this data into the Cloud, it is now further away from the user,” he said.
However, Panzura has an appliance that caches that “hot data” locally next to the users and copies it back into the Cloud. This also allows operators to use analytics to extract value from the data.