The cooperative, the group’s parent company, which consists of nearly 800 farms and employs more than 1,000 people, collecting and processing more than 430 million liters of milk every year in ultra-modern factories that are constantly evolving to meet market needs. Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin ensure the production, storage and distribution of 200,000 tons of fresh dairy products every year in France and Europe — which has now expanded to China, India, Asia, South America and Africa.
Renowned for the quality of its products and its use of modern technologies, the cooperative faced challenges to maintain these levels of excellence due to rapidly expanding markets. To address these issues, the IT team had to ensure the protection of 12 terabytes (TB) of data spread over three production sites. “This data is critical for the company, as it is essential for the management of its production, business operations and logistical networks,” noted Emmanuel Moncuit, Infrastructure and Datacentre Manager at Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin.
The cooperative prides itself on consumer satisfaction, which is underpinned by an approach of processes driven by data. Priorities include a traceability quality control protocol that is compliant with Global Food Safety certifications such IFS, BRC, ECOCERT and ISO. Les Maîtres Laîtiers du Cotentin also rely on a well-organized transportation network that delivers products around Europe and globally daily. Emmanuel Moncuit states, “Data Availability is critical for the mass distribution to clients within sectors such as retail, catering, hospitals and schools, and for the monitoring of milk collection, which ensures the cooperative’s dairy producers get paid.”
With approximately 98% of the cooperative’s 120 servers being virtualized and with data volumes sprawling by roughly 25% annually, due to expanding and changing market conditions, Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin took the decision to update their IT estate. The cooperative also started to see ransomware attacks such as CryptoLocker against their IT systems. This led to the decision to replace its aging storage infrastructure, so that it could backup all of its data and extend its retention — strengthening its recovery capabilities in the event of further cyberattacks. Despite an initial interest in solutions that offered an integrated backup software and deduplication appliance, the cooperative finally selected Quantum’s DXi appliance with Veeam® Backup & Replication™.
“Turnkey solutions less mature than Veeam simply did not satisfy our requirements. Veeam’s extensive experience in backup and recovery, plus their high level of reliability and scalability, was in line with our needs,” states Emmanuel Moncuit.
After implementing Veeam and Quantum, Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin were able to stop outsourcing their tape backups and facilitate the management of IT at local sites. The cooperative was also more confident in its ability to recover from cyberattacks due to the integration between Veeam Data Mover and the Quantum DXi appliance. This integration provided increased performance and created a secure tunnel between the Veeam server and the Quantum appliance, thus ensuring better network isolation for increased security.
Veeam and Quantum now offers Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin the ability to combine disk-based deduplication appliances with Veeam to take advantage of virtualization by delivering data Availability without sacrificing performance. The resilience of the IT estate supports the cooperative’s ambitious policy of diversification and expansion throughout the globe. For example, when Yéo Frais, the French leader in private label organic yogurts, was acquired in 2016 and when the Méautis plant was opened in summer 2017 to produce infant milk for the Chinese market, the IT team installed a robust local infrastructure with data protected by Veeam, in conjunction with the Quantum appliance.
“Today, thanks to the environment put in place and the combination of Quantum storage and Veeam Software, we have a much more stable and solid IT system with much less downtime and greater confidence in accelerating business growth,” concludes Emmanuel Moncuit.
Veeam also gave the IT department excellent control over data protection, particularly due to the strong partnership between Veeam and VMware. The ability to perform both full and incremental backups via an easy-to-use interface, as well as the high scalability of the solution helps Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin deal with operational incidents calmly and limits the impact on the production and distribution of their dairy produce. “In the event of a server failure, we know that VMs will be operational again within just an hour or two, which brings a lot of reassurance to the business and allows them to achieve the highest standards of excellence in line with Global Food Safety certifications. We have full confidence in Veeam’s ability to restore our critical data in the event of a ransomware attack, operational error or accidental deletion,” notes Emmanuel Moncuit.
Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin, an agricultural cooperative with a turnover of 1.9 billion euros, collect and process more than 430 million litres of milk every year. The cooperative produces, stores and distributes 200,000 tons of fresh dairy products every year throughout France and Europe, expanding its consumer-base into China, India, Asia, South America and Africa.
Les Maîtres Laitiers du Cotentin strive to maintain their reputation for industrial excellence and support an ambitious expansion strategy globally. To deal with data sprawl, the cooperative needed robust data management.