Refreshing Confidence for Fresh Direct

Fresh Direct is a fresh food wholesaler and distributor to the hospitality industry. Part of the world’s largest foodservice supplier, Sysco, they have a reputation stretching back 50 years and distribute their vast range of products from multiple sites around the country, seven days a week. We've been their IT Support Partner since 2016.

 The 'just-in time' nature of fresh food supply means that Fresh Direct's operations need to be up and running all day, every day. Downtime for them means downtime for all their customers, so it comes as no surprise that their criteria for a backup and DR solution was as demanding as their customers' quality produce standards.

Any interruption to their service has knock-on effects right through the organisation, from staff unable to pick and pack, transport waiting for loading and ultimately, of course, customers waiting for deliveries. The fact that they receive thousands of inbound orders and communications every day means their systems are potentially at risk from the threat of malware and ransomware attacks.

Fresh Direct already had robust defences in place to secure its IT infrastructure, but the very insidious nature of ransomware meant that they knew they needed to have a fall-back in the event that one of these attacks got through. The time-sensitive nature of their business demands that they also had to have a system with the shortest possible recovery time.

We offered our Datto Managed Service as a solution. With local and offsite backups up to every 5 minutes, it offers impressive business continuity by bringing whole servers back either on a local device or from the cloud within minutes. The backups aren't available from a network, so are protected from ransomware-style infections. What's more, Datto auto-alerts when it suspects potentially compromised files and with their cloud backups encrypted in UK data centres and the option of replication elsewhere, Fresh Direct are comfortable that all bases are covered. 

We quickly took care of all the configuration, deployment and initial offsite seeding and our managed service provides 24/7, keeping a watchful eye on backup checks, running tests to ensure the backups are restorable, troubleshooting any issues and reporting regularly on the system’s performance.

For Fresh Direct, having this service means that they're protecting both their own reputation and their customers' by ensuring a level of business continuity that’s second to none. Staff education and infrastructure management can now be carried out by the Fresh Direct IT team against this backstop. They know we'll support them in the event of a DR scenario and test their disaster recovery plans annually.

In mid-2017 the company suffered a major hardware failure. Customers were affected in several UK regions. To buy time to diagnose and repair what had happened, the IT team immediately turned to their Datto device. Within minutes, they’d ‘flipped it’ to operate as a ‘virtual machine’, fully mounted with the operating system and latest data backup.

Business continued as normal and what’s more, the Datto device didn’t stop its backups. The hardware was beyond repair and the replacement required boardroom sign off, had a week-long delivery date and required commissioning and testing before being ready to operate live. With operations continuing as normal on the Datto device, the IT team was able to reassure the board and customers that business would be unaffected during this timeframe.

Technologies Used

Datto | SentiLAN