T-Mobile Direct is pioneering the use of IBM's virtualisation technology to simplify the management of its IT infrastructure after nearly doubling its retail outlets in a year.
The company has increased the number of its UK retail stores from 128 to nearly 250 in the past 12 months, and it plans to have 325 stores up and running by the end of March next year.
To keep pace with the accompanying growth in data volumes piped from stores to its head office for processing, T-Mobile Direct has been using IBM's Enterprise Workload Manager virtualisation software to ease the pressure on its IT infrastructure.
The software allows T-Mobile Direct to run an IBM System i 570 server with six virtual partitions and locate spare processor resources across those partitions to optimise performance.
Paul Baucutt, T-Mobile's technical support manager for retail Systems, said the virtualisation capability meant the time taken to run transaction processing for individual stores was down from two hours to 30 minutes. He said the upgrade meant that despite the growth in store numbers its head office processing system was now running faster than previously.
T-Mobile Direct manages more than 2,000 systems in its retail outlets. Its central server runs a JDA merchandising system linked to an IBM DB/2 database and a separate customer database. Three Linux partitions are used to run Lotus Domino e-mail software, links to PC servers running credit card authentication and a contracts database.
Virtualisation at a glance
- Virtualisation allows a computer to divide its workload and act as many different resources
- By reducing the number of servers in use, datacentre power, cooling and maintenance demands are minimised
- IBM Enterprise Workload Manager identifies and resolves problems in the virtualised environment.
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