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African Distribution Group Bets on Cloud as the Future with Cloud-Hosted DRaaS

by Anthony Weaver

Alviva Holdings
, one of Africa’s largest ICT products and services providers has invested in a robust, cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) and backup solution. Partnering with VMware Cloud Verified Partner Routed, the distribution giant is reaping the rewards of a consumption-based DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solution hosted on VMware Cloud at two of Routed’s data centres. The engagement has been so successful that Alviva Holdings is now investigating using the cloud platform to run its enterprise application workloads too.

With a strategy for growth underpinned by acquisitions, the company’s IT infrastructure is complex and lacked a single centralised DR solution. Recent widespread unrest and vandalism in South Africa that targeted key infrastructure sites and threatened data centres, has created the need for organisations to consider business continuity beyond just one location.

While the company initially set out to create a single DR site in Routed’s Johannesburg data centre, the project evolved into a multi-site environment including hosting its DR in Routed’s Cape Town data centre. The extensibility of its systems was central to the success of the project, and because Alviva is predominantly a VMware house, Routed could easily replicate its entire DR environment in its Cape Town data centre. This strategic product alignment allowed Alviva to seamlessly integrate with Routed’s infrastructure while ensuring the infrastructure remained secure, compliant, and scalable. In addition, Alviva benefited from Routed’s technical team, and its extensive VMware expertise as a Cloud Verified Partner, to architect the environment and provide the cloud real estate to host it and support the company’s migration to a full DRaaS environment.

Morné van Heerden, Group CIO, Alviva Holdings, added: “The real deciding factor for our business was that we weren’t required to invest in equipment, hardware, or software. It is scalable, customisable, immediately accessible DR, and it’s consumption-based – which fits our IT spend model. We achieved the first successful DR tests in the company’s history that were quicker than any other alternative solution we had looked at.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision for Alviva, as whatever technology they chose had to be better than what one of the group companies could provide,” said Andrew Cruise, CEO, Routed. “While Alviva elected a specialist, third-party provider with specific expertise for only one product at the beginning, this has now expanded to a more encompassing VMware Cloud from which the company is starting to draw more company-wide value.”

In the future, Alviva is looking to expand its cloud presence, moving enterprise application workloads onto the Routed VMware Cloud environment. In addition, it is looking at VMware Aria Operations Cloud from Routed to assist with monitoring, reporting, capacity planning and insight into its operations.

“Within our cloud ecosystem, there’s a common misconception that VMware Cloud providers just host virtual machines. Instead, partners like Routed offer the full stack, akin to a public cloud hyperscale provider, in terms of visibility and everything moving up the stack from the VM. In short, cloud providers have been put into a hosted cloud bucket or virtual machine hosting place, where in fact, if you look at Alviva and Routed as an example, they offer a whole lot more,” said Sumeeth Singh, Cloud Provider Business Head, VMware Sub-Saharan Africa.

About Routed

Routed is a true cloud provider. Secure, robust and reliable, the Routed cloud platform is vendor-neutral and offers scalable, full or hybrid cloud hosting. Engaging directly or within a channel, Routed delivers cloud and infrastructure solutions to enterprise customers, wholesale partners, resellers and affiliates. Founded in 2016 in response to a growing demand for data centre hosting solutions following the rapid growth and penetration of fast, reliable connectivity services in South Africa. Routed is led by industry veterans with over 35 years of experience in delivering and managing secure cloud and infrastructure solutions both locally and internationally.

About Alviva Holdings

Alviva Holdings is one of Africa’s largest ICT products and services providers. The group comprises operating subsidiaries specializing in distribution, solutions and services, financial services, and central group services. Through its 14 group companies, it provides over 50,000 products, works with around 500 OEM suppliers, and has about 3,800 employees and 15,000.

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