Premier Foods’ archiving project in preparation for a migration to AWS cloud servers

Case study: Premier Foods

Industry: Grocery | Application: Archiving | Content Solutions

Premier Foods Case Study

Premier Foods is a British food manufacturer headquartered in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The group owns many well-known brands, including Mr Kipling, Ambrosia, Bird’s Custard, Angel Delight, Homepride cooking sauces, Sharwood’s, Loyd Grossman sauces, Oxo, Bisto, Batchelors and Plantastic. It has around 4000 employees, and currently turns over approximately £900m.

“It was critical for this project that we worked with a knowledgeable team, archiving data in preparation for migration was a key component of this project. Proceed has valuable experience in this area, so we were happy to hand over the key elements of this to them.”

Dan Rabbitt, Infrastructure Specialist

Introduction

Ahead of a migration from on-prem to new AWS cloud servers, Premier Foods needed to streamline their data landscape without losing access to crucial historical data or impacting their end users. To manage database size and future growth, Proceed Group installed OpenText Data Archiving for SAP Solutions and successfully archived 14.7m documents, achieving significant ongoing savings and IT efficiencies.

Background

With data growth one of the biggest challenges for businesses today, organisations need innovative strategies and improved infrastructure to manage these ongoing challenges. Premier Foods began to face an ever-growing data explosion, and it was with this in mind that it planned migration of its on-premise data centre to a cloud based solution with AWS, with a view to creating new OpenText application servers in the AWS cloud and upgrading the current applications from version 10.5 (which is soon to be out of support) to version 16.2. The current archived data also had to be migrated from the on-premise servers to the new AWS cloud servers, to reduce costs and gain efficiencies across the IT landscape.

As previous customers of Proceed, Premier contacted them to begin the migration and archiving of its OpenText server in June 2020.

Archiving in readiness for migration

Archiving consultants from Proceed worked closely with Premier to identify the data no longer required, which could then be archived or purged from the main system, successfully archiving 14.7m documents, freeing up valuable space but ensuring that all the archived data was still accessible, for reporting, and auditing if necessary. Managing historical data, and moving it out of production systems is a key element of managing data sprawl, and improving efficiencies – however it’s critical that for ongoing business purposes and legal requirements that key data is still accessible. A data archiving strategy is a key part of the archiving process, and ensures the movement of data to keep the business up to date with regulatory requirements.

Installing OpenText to manage SAP databases

OpenText Data Archiving for SAP Solutions helps manage the size of SAP databases and ensures continued access to historical data. It is fully integrated with SAP applications and extends the value of standard SAP data archiving. Installing the development/QA OpenText applications on a new server, and configuring the Archives and Archive Centre to the same specifications as the existing server was the initial part of the project.

Once this was configured, Proceed then copied the archived data across to the new server and imported this data into the Archive Centre. Once complete, the SAP instances were re-directed to the new server where user acceptance testing was performed. This was then repeated for each product server, and in order to minimise production outages, Proceed created new volumes in each of the archives making them the default volume to write to and enabled them to copy and import the bulk of the data prior to cutover – thus minimising the length of the outage to the business to two hours instead of days. A full reconciliation was performed on completion, to confirm that no data had been lost or removed incorrectly.

Next steps

The final part of the project will be to close the current production server, copying the data from the smaller volumes across, importing it and performing the same reconciliation of the data as above, to ensure nothing has been lost. Once this has been completed, the SAP instances and scanning stations will be repointed to the new server during the cutover outage.

Premier Foods can expect to achieve significant ongoing savings and efficiencies from its migration and archiving project, reaping the rewards long into the future.

“The amount of data we were dealing with was vast, but with Proceed’s help we have been able to provide a continuation of our service with no impact to our end users whilst also creating huge efficiencies in our data centre.”

Dan Rabbitt, Infrastructure Specialist

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