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Dec 16 2014

IT support to make sure your turkey is delivered for Christmas

We have recently taken over the IT support for Peachcroft Farm, at Radley near Abingdon in rural Oxfordshire. The Homewood family have been rearing award-winning Xmas turkeys and Xmas geese for seventy-five years. Their Breed Heritage Bourbon Red Turkey are sold exclusively by Fortnum & Mason and were recently voted the best chef’s rating in the The Times.

Find out more here – and place your order, we have!-

We were contacted by Bill Homewood to find out why his systems were so unreliable and to provide ongoing support for his system. With about 20,000 turkeys being delivered in the few days before Christmas, it was vital that computer downtime was eliminated at this most crucial period for the business.

The central servers were in poor shape, the disk systems had no resilience and backups were failing. It was clear that new hardware was needed. The configuration we opted for was a VMware virtual platform to host the Accounts, Data and Database servers so that rapid recovery could be achieved. Extended runtime uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) were installed for the server and for the 3 barns where the turkeys and geese are prepared and collected by customers.

The online ordering process on the website needs to communicate with the central server so that matching order numbers and bar codes are created and sent to the customer. When the customer comes to collect their order their matching bar code is scanned and the correct bird is taken from the storage cooler to the customer collection barn. The whole process must work like clockwork so that no delays are encountered and backlogs are avoided.

All of the systems are thoroughly tested 3 weeks before Christmas to iron out any issues and to make sure everyone is familiar with the processes. In addition we will be on close standby for the few days before Christmas just in case! After all we all want to make sure Christmas goes off without a hitch.