Cisco 'didn’t demonstrate value for money' says UK dairy firm switching to Avaya

By Peter Gothard
29 Jun 2012 View Comments

Dairy Crest, makers of Cathedral City cheese, Clover spread and Frij milkshakes, has swept away its Cisco-supplied "ageing, isolated infrastructure" in favour of Avaya's Virtual Services Platform 7000. The VSP 7000 switch is designed to provide cost-effective, 10GbE consolidation for existing core switch deployments.

Dairy Crest told Computing how, in the event of a data loss disaster, its old system was no longer up to the standard it required: "We had some constraints about how we approached data recovery," said Dairy Crest technical architect, Zahed Mannan. "The key decision around the capability of those switches was that we needed to quickly address how to shift a lot of data continuously in order to maintain recovery points against the business risk."

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Around 2009, Dairy Crest decided to look elsewhere. "Traditionally, Dairy Fresh has been a Cisco shop," said Manann. "We made a step change to Nortel to 2009 shortly before it went through bankruptcy, so we went back to looking at Cisco."

"The arrangement that I was looking at for implementation was actually a Cisco Nexus, but I didn't get the level of engagement from Cisco that I got from Avaya," Mannan told Computing.

"They also didn't demonstrate the value for money compared to the system we now have in place."

Manann explained how Avaya offered "brainstorming" solutions about its specific data retention concerns, "marrying with technology from its stack" to deliver a solution to satisfy Dairy Crest.

"I think that engagement was very different to some of the other players in the market, where it was really just a quiz and flog activity," said Manann.

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