SPAR quickly migrated from data centers to the cloud


When civil unrest erupted in South Africa, SPAR found itself in a precarious situation. The food suppliers in the country were directly threatened, including SPAR’s on-prem data center operations that engineers had no physical access to. The company engaged Meridian to immediately migrate its mission-critical IBM Power Systems workloads from the data center to Skytap on Azure. Without an immediate response, SPAR was in danger of losing its data, connection to its stores, and its ability to supply products.


Meridian and Skytap quickly deployed their expert engineers along with Meridian project management to develop a unique solution to address SPAR’s challenges. Leveraging Meridian’s mProtect FlexTM powered by Commvault, along with the standardized cloud migration processes from Meridian’s mPowerCloud Migration FactoryTM, the team quickly and successfully migrated 10 LPARs from its IBM Power Systems to Skytap on Azure.

“We would be unable to provide food to our community without access to our data centers, which were at risk of being destroyed. We had one meeting [with Meridian and Skytap] and the next day our systems were being migrated.”

—Greg Hay Group Technology Operations and
IT Executive

Business Impacts

  • Thanks to the immediate response from cloud migration experts at Meridian and Skytap, SPAR’s 10 business-critical IBM i LPARs were quickly and remotely migrated to Skytap on Azure.
  • Using a combination of Commvault 1-touch for IBM i and live replication, SPAR now has an instantaneous failover recovery point in Azure so it can rest assured that no emergency or disaster will stop it from delivering a world class shopping experience to its customers.
  • With its IBM Power Systems running on Skytap on Azure, SPAR can continue to modernize its workloads and advance its digital transformation strategy.
  • Thanks to a successful migration, SPAR is now able to operationalize the expenditure for the DR zone and only pay for what is actually used.

About SPAR

With over 13,000 stores worldwide and over 2,000 stores in South Africa, SPAR is the world’s leading voluntary food retail chain. At the core of SPAR’s mission is its dedication to consistency and close co-operation of its retailers and wholesalers at a local level. In South Africa alone, SPAR connects the country’s 58 million residents with the best quality products at affordable prices.

About Skytap

Skytap on Azure is a cloud service that natively runs IBM Power and x86 workloads in Azure. The fast and flexible solution enables business operations to quickly move IBM Power-based workloads to the cloud without refactoring, rewriting, and rearchitecting, preserving prior investments in IBM Power-based, mission-critical applications.

About Meridian

Meridian Group International is a leading global information technology services and equipment leasing company. Meridian combines deep business process and technical expertise with leading technologies to help clients solve complex business, technology, and finance challenges. Unlock the promise of technology at

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