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An interview with Dave Thompson, Group Manager of IT, Sealord Group

 

By Fiona Partlow

Background: Sealord Group is a global seafood enterprise with a worldwide fishing, processing and marketing networks. As the Group Manager of IT at Sealord Group, Dave Thompson operates, maintains and informs the organisation’s IT systems and processes. Dave recently told us about Sealord’s Nutanix implementation, and how the technology is being used to support applications critical to the NZ$500 million operation. Here are the highlights:

Q: What business challenges did Sealord face with its previous IT infrastructure?

We had a storage area network (SAN) that was almost 10 years old. While we didn’t face any major outages, performance and reliability was becoming an issue and we faced storage bottlenecks. Not only did that inhibit our application delivery, but it also forced our IT department to dedicate a lot of time maintaining the infrastructure to ensure our systems never went down.

Q: Why did you select Nutanix?

We initially looked to upgrade our infrastructure with traditional storage and server technology but faced issues with compatibility – certain hardware was incompatible with our SAN.

Nutanix was recommended to us by [Nutanix partner] ViFX, a local infrastructure and cloud consultancy, which also procured and implemented the technology. It became apparent that hyper-convergence-based technology would boost performance and solve our storage woes, all the while running on its own without much intervention.

Q: What impact has Nutanix had on your ability to deliver applications?

We have more than 1,350 staff who use a variety of factory production and product management systems to document and control harvesting, packaging, weighing, labelling and distribution of seafood. These applications are responsible for driving our NZ$500 million operation. Nutanix has provided a foundation that ensures these applications are always running as intended so there are no interruptions to our supply chain.

Q: Can you tell us about the improved performance?

With three Nutanix nodes, we have eliminated issues around storage and reduced latency times. Our data centre is now more automated, and we monitor it using the Nutanix’s Prism management interface. Because we no longer need people looking after the SAN, our technical engineers can focus on delivering value to the business; tackling issues that further enhance our customers’ satisfaction.

Q: What are your expansion plans for the Nutanix environment?

As our business continues to expand, we’ll be able to extend the Nutanix technology to meet increasing requirements. It’s going to prove a lot more affordable over time because we won’t need to replace large components of our data centre, something we would have been forced to do had we maintained a traditional system.