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EDF's problems centred around transferring essential customer data to and from the mainframe - a five-stage process which resulted in a congested network whenever files were transferred from the mainframe storage to an AIX platform. In October last year, EDF worked with mainframe data access software specialist Corigin to build an access system.
EDF had a complex IT system as a result of a number of acquisitions that included SWEB Energy and Seeboard Energy.
Rachel Smith, datawarehouse application manager at EDF Energy, said, "Our recent acquisitions almost doubled our data requirements and our infrastructure needed to be able to keep up with our changing business requirements."
The Corigin system runs on a mid-range server, extracting data from an HDS storage subsystem into an open Unix-based datawarehouse, bypassing the mainframe, said Smith. "Corigin then reads the DB2 logs to propagate the datawarehouse with data change," she said.
"The implementation of Corigin did not require any mainframe coding development, just configuration changes within the DB2 set-up." The result has provided significant time and cost savings.
For example, Corigin can transfer selected data into the Oracle database directly from DB2 in less than two hours, instead of the previous 10-plus hours, said EDF.
Another benefit is that EDF can update the datawarehouse in near real-time, quickly reflecting changes in the DB2 database on the corresponding Oracle database.