Avebe Group

Company:

Avebe manufactures potato starch and potato protein. Each year, Avebe processes more than 2 million tons of potatoes grown by a cooperative of approx.. 2,400 farmers. Avebe sells their products to food, building, adhesives, paper, textile and animal feed industries. Established in 1919 and headquartered in the Netherlands, Avebe employs approx.. 1,300 people in offices worldwide.

Challenge:

Most people think of potatoes as comfort food: mashed potatoes, french fries and potato chips. What most people don’t realise is there’s so much more to potatoes. Avebe unlocks their secrets and adds value to them.

Avebe’s international sales and distribution network is powered by an MES system. If the MES system fails and can’t be recovered quickly from a backup, the network will begin to crumble and Avebe may lose customers and revenue.

Results:

  • Supports Avebe’s digital transformation to virtualisation
  • Delivers 24.7.365 Availability of the MES system
  • Extends DR with Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure

The Business Challenge

There’s more to potatoes than you think.

Potatoes are a source of endless possibilities, and no one knows this better than Avebe, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of potato starch and potato protein.

Avebe extracts starch and protein from potatoes and sells them to manufacturers in the food, building, adhesives, paper, textile and animal feed industries. Manufacturers use potato starch and protein to make for example ice cream, candy, paper, yarn, glue, building materials and pet food.

Avebe’s international sales and distribution network is powered by a manufacturing execution system (MES). Before virtualising the MES system, Avebe had to be sure it could be backed up and recovered quickly and reliably.

“We’re a 24.7.365 company, so our MES system has to run 24.7.365 without exception,” said Arnold Keizer, System Administrator for Avebe. “There was no value in virtualising MES unless we could guarantee its availability 24.7.365.”

If Avebe’s MES system isn’t available 24.7.365, the sales and distribution network may falter.

“One day of downtime in just one of our production facilities could cost the business $100,000 in revenue,” Keizer said. “We have several production facilities in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, so downtime would be devastating to the business.”

Avebe considered several solutions to keep the MES system running continuously, but Keizer said the choice was obvious.

“Veeam is the only solution that was built specifically for virtualisation,” he explained. “And, Veeam is the only solution to take 24.7.365 Availability even higher—to the cloud.”

The Veeam Solution

Avebe deployed Veeam® Backup & Replication™ in the new VMware vSphere environment. In addition to keeping the MES system running 24.7.365, Veeam gives Avebe a new disaster recovery (DR) strategy: Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure.

“Being able to restore Veeam backups directly to Microsoft Azure lets us leverage Azure as an additional data centre for DR,” Keizer said. “Making sure our MES system is available 24.7.365 is even easier.”

When the MES system wouldn’t restart following a software update, Keizer restored it in minutes with Veeam. Avebe’s sales and distribution network was unaffected.

“If we hadn’t been using Veeam, we might have missed delivery deadlines and had to pay penalties to customers for breaking service level agreements (SLAs),” Keizer said. “We would have had a lot of annoyed customers because they would have missed their production deadlines too.”

Keizer said Avebe’s sales and distribution network is functioning at full capacity, thanks to 24.7.365 Availability.

“Our mission is to unlock the secrets of the potato and extract everything possible,” he said. “No other company in the world can match our abilities. We’re grateful to Veeam for helping us avoid downtime.”

The Results

  • Supports Avebe’s digital transformation to virtualisation
    There was no value in virtualising MES unless Avebe could guarantee its availability 24.7.365. Avebe is a 24.7.365 company, so the MES system must run 24.7.365 without exception.
  • Delivers 24.7.365 Availability of the MES system
    Avebe’s MES system is the backbone of the company’s international sales and distribution network. The network can’t operate unless the MES system is available at all times.
  • Extends DR with Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure
    Today’s modern data centres are no longer constrained by their physical locations. Veeam lets Avebe take full advantage of Azure’s flexible and scalable cloud resources with Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure.

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