Cultivating Global Leadership in Orchids and Tropical Plants with IoT-powered Automation
Floricultura implemented Scale Computing Platform to enable greenhouse automation, helping the company’s business bloom while cutting IT management time in half.
Floricultura is passionate about tropical plants. It has specialised in the propagation of orchids and tropical plants since 1933. A desire for perfection and the aim to develop strong, profitable and distinctive varieties for their customers are the driving forces behind Floricultura and its 1,300 staff.
As a market leader in young orchid plants, Floricultura supplies professional growers worldwide with tens of millions of plants each year all over the world to produce several varieties of orchids. This is accomplished from their greenhouses on different continents. Additionally, Floricultura started extending its activities to propagating plant material for anthuriums in 2018.
At locations in the Netherlands, China, India, Brazil, Poland, Taiwan, and the US, Floricultura produces a wide range of orchids and anthuriums for every grower, every climate zone, and for every kind of consumer. Only the novelties that meet the most stringent quality requirements are introduced on the market.
Growing tropical plants is a knowledge- and labor-intensive process, and the company relies on sophisticated methodologies and cutting-edge technology to maintain high standards of quality across many millions of specimens.
Mission-critical for IoT
To help manage its operations efficiently at scale, Floricultura harnesses internet-of-things (IoT) sensors and programmable logic controllers to automate processes such as watering and climate control in its greenhouses.
“We use thousands of IoT devices across our business to help us create the perfect conditions for strong, healthy plant growth. To keep these mission-critical systems running smoothly 24/7/365, we targeted a future-ready IT platform,” says René Schoone, Chief Technology Officer at Floricultura.
To ensure healthy sales as well as healthy plants, the company’s back-office employees use analytics and data visualization solutions such as Microsoft SQL Server and Tableau to perform activities including planning and forecasting.
“In the past, we used a traditional three-tier architecture to support our mission-critical information systems. Our business runs on data, so as our infrastructure approached end-of-life, it was important to find a new platform quickly. The aim was to mitigate the risk of unplanned downtime, while creating the compute and storage headroom for years of future analytics and data growth.” René Schoone, CTO, Floricultura
“Deploying Scale Computing HyperCore was very straightforward—it truly is a data center in a box. If we ever have an issue or a technical question, Scale Computing quickly helps us route the enquiry to the right place. Scale Computing ScaleCare helps us fast, 24/7/365 whenever needed. Because we have a single contract, there’s never any ambiguity when it comes to support responsibilities, and we are delighted with the service we receive from both organizations,” comments Schoone.
He continued, “We have a lean IT team, and in the past, repetitive management and monitoring tasks consumed a significant portion of their working days. Since we made the switch to SC//HyperCore for our data center and remote sites, we estimate that we’ve cut IT management time in half—liberating our IT team to focus on value-added activities. Based on its success with the HCI solution, we continue to invest in the solution, and recently expanded our infrastructure in the Netherlands again.”
With the pre-configured appliance with SC//HyperCore and servers supporting its mission-critical business systems, Floricultura has gained a scalable, high-performance platform to support its operations for years to come.
Scale Computing solution
Floricultura deployed a three-node cluster at its main site in Heemskerk, the Netherlands. A second cluster was deployed in Assendelft, the Netherlands, in a full disaster-recovery configuration, with data replication allowing Floricultura to recover fast if required.
After the initial choice and installation of the SC//HyperCore data center solution, Floricultura deployed a third cluster in Salinas, USA, to support its Salinas operations in North America. Further expansion took place across the world with the latest implementation in China.
Floricultura’s SC//Platform-based infrastructure keeps expanding as demands grow.
The hyperconverged solutions from Scale Computing give us a rock-solid, yet highly scalable, platform for our vital systems, including IoT technologies. As leaders in edge computing solutions, Scale Computing was a natural fit. With the explosion of IoT devices, control, management, and application up-time have become more important than ever. Thanks to business systems running on our hyperconverged platform, we can produce more than 75 million orchids each year to the highest quality standards. I want to spend more time watering plants and less time worrying about our IT infrastructure. That’s exactly what SC//HyperCore and Scale Computing Fleet Manager allow me to do.— René Schoone, CTO, Floricultura
- 50% plus reduction in IT management time frees up personnel for value-added work
- Easy scalability creates headroom for business and data growth
- Single fleet management allows Floricultura to manage clusters worldwide from a single pane of glass
- High availability helps to ensure mission-critical systems are online 24/7/365