Cobb-Vantress is the world’s oldest poultry breeding company. Founded in 1916 and headquartered in Arkansas, the company has grown into the leading global supplier of breeding stock. With distribution in more than 120 countries, Cobb has helped transform the poultry industry, making chicken an affordable and healthy protein source for people worldwide. Cobb has 3,000 employees.
Cobb leverages innovative research and technology to feed the planet. However, if technology isn’t available, Cobb can’t make chicken available to millions of people.
The world’s appetite for chicken is growing faster than any other meat, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. By 2020, chicken is expected to become the preferred protein, overtaking pork and beef.
Why? Chicken is the most accessible and affordable meat available. Australians eat the most chicken — 46 kilograms per person in 2016 — followed by Americans at 42 kilograms. Poultry consumption is rising in developing countries as well, bringing substantial health benefits to underserved populations. In India, chicken consumption is expected to increase to nearly 3 kilograms per person in 2022.
Cobb-Vantress, Inc., a poultry research and development company, is doing its part to make chicken available to every person on the planet: One out of every two chickens sold in stores is derived from a Cobb bird. According to a report from Global Poultry Trends, 55 million chickens are eaten each day.
“Cobb is committed to the development, production and sale of quality broiler breeding stock,” said Chris Crosby, Team Lead, IS Infrastructure and Support at Cobb. “We breed the healthiest, highest-quality birds and sell our breeding stock to the world’s largest poultry producers. Together we bring chicken to millions of people.”
Cobb helps feed the world by leveraging research and technology.
“Research and technology drive everything we do,” Crosby said. “We collect data on thousands of birds for genetic analysis. A single bird has hundreds of traits, and we evaluate every trait for better breeding. We factor this information into our selection process, but if data is unavailable, we risk missing the ideal traits that make our chickens healthy and affordable.”
Cobb’s backup infrastructure was putting data at risk. Critical business systems were being impacted during backup, making data unavailable. Without data, Cobb can’t deliver on its mission to make protein available worldwide. Millions of people rely on chicken to feed their families every day.
“Our bottom line was at risk too,” Crosby said. “If we can’t book orders, we could lose thousands every hour. The business demands high availability.”
Cobb replaced its backup infrastructure with Veeam® Availability Suite™ and NetApp® FAS 2240 and 2252. High availability was Cobb’s goal, but Veeam and NetApp go one step further. They deliver hyper availability, which is exactly what Cobb requires to feed the planet.
“As the world’s leading supplier of broiler breeding stock, it’s our mission to make quality chicken accessible, healthy and affordable,” Crosby said. “Veeam and NetApp help us deliver on our mission by taking us beyond availability to hyper availability.”
Hyper availability means Cobb’s IT systems are always on. They respond quickly to the needs of the business, reduce risk and ensure business continuity. Hyper availability also enables Cobb to address and overcome future business challenges by ensuring critical data remains accessible.
“Veeam and NetApp have simplified availability, making backup and DR far less complex and disruptive to the business,” Crosby said.
Veeam and NetApp are so tightly integrated that backup and DR are more efficient, more reliable and easier to manage. Veeam orchestrates backup and DR through direct integration with VMware vSphere and ONTAP®. Veeam performs nondisruptive backups directly from NetApp Storage Snapshots™ on FAS 2240 and 2552 environments and then directs backup copies offsite via NetApp SnapMirror® to ensure business continuity.
“With Veeam and NetApp we spend less time focusing on availability and more time focusing on strategic business initiatives,” Crosby said.
One key initiative is DR and compliance testing. Veeam’s On-Demand Sandbox™ for Storage Snapshots tests recoverability of critical IT systems, giving the business a higher degree of confidence that recovery is imminent. The second initiative accelerates application development and testing. On-Demand Sandbox lets developers quickly create and test new applications that will improve genetic analysis for breeding.
Veeam and NetApp save money too.
“We spend less time managing availability, which lowered IT administrative costs by $20,000 per year,” Crosby said. “We’ll save additional money when we replace legacy backup in our physical environment with Veeam. Putting Veeam in charge of availability — across the board — will save a total of $100,000 annually.”
Veeam and NetApp also help Cobb control capital expenditures.
“Veeam’s capacity-planning reports give us a level of visibility we’ve never had before,” Crosby said. “We can see when we’ll need NetApp disk shelves and memory, which lets us provide the business with more precise capital-expenditure figures. There’s only one thing a business hates more than planned costs, and that’s unplanned costs. Budgeting is more proactive rather than reactive thanks to Veeam and NetApp.”