Dairy Crest, maker of brands such as Utterly Butterly, Clover, Cathedral City cheese and Frijj milk, has deployed an improved business continuity and disaster recovery system, which has also reduced data back-up times by half.

Dairy Crest has implemented Avaya’s Virtual Services Platform 7000 internationally as part of a project to overhaul the company’s ageing IT environment that was previously supported by Cisco networking kit.

The previous systems, said Dairy Crest, were leaving business-critical financial, supply chain and reporting processes "exposed".

The new VSP 7000 system is an Ethernet switching platform specifically designed for top-of-rack (ToR) server aggregation in high-performance data centres, and has helped reduce data back-up times for business critical systems by 50 percent.

It is expected that a second data centre will be data mirrored later this year, after which Dairy Crest expects "to significantly reduce the risk of data loss in the event of a disaster scenario".

“We knew we had limited disaster recovery capabilities and that we were potentially exposed. Our production systems were protected but we had limited cover across key reporting, financial platforms and supply chain planning," said Zahed Mannan, technical architect at Dairy Crest.

Mannan said Cisco was in the bidding process to improve the performance and security of Dairy Crest's systems, but that it had lost out to Avaya.

A north of England housing association said it is saving £70,000 a year by using a new data back-up and replication system. Together Housing is using data management systems from Veeam Software as it moves towards "a 100 percent virtual environment".