B&Q boosts availability with new San

DIY retailer B&Q has implemented a new storage area network across its UK operation to increase the availability of its corporate...

DIY retailer B&Q has implemented a new storage area network across its UK operation to increase the availability of its corporate network and meet business continuity requirements.

The company, which has 320 stores across the UK, is replacing its existing San, which runs on Brocade technology, with a system from McData which operates on a "pay as you grow" basis.

Adam Targett, technical support analyst at B&Q, said the company needed to add resilience to its systems to ensure the availability of mission-critical applications such as order and replenishment software.

"Our San was expanding and we needed a failure-proof solution we could grow into because B&Q relies completely on the availability and functioning of its IT systems," he said. "For example, restocking and inventory is automated, so downtime in the San could result in significant revenue losses from store and online product sales."

The upgrade comes at a time when B&Q is investing heavily in innovative technology to ensure stock levels are maintained and goods are sold at optimum price points. In March, the retailer became the first company to sign up to an application hosting service from IBM, which offers price optimisation software tools on demand. In April, B&Q revealed that it had saved £1.1m in 2003 as a result of using data mining tools to clamp down on employee theft at the point of sale.

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