Food supplier Nisa-Today's, which serves 5,000 retail stores including Costcutter, has installed virtualisation technology from IBM to increase the number of orders it can accept from customers.
Nisa-Today's upgraded IT systems can process orders in 10 minutes rather than 35 minutes and critical batch processing now takes place 2½ times faster because it now has more processing power.
The company used Hypervisor virtualisation technology from IBM which allows the on-demand allocation of processing power to applications that experience high demand during different times.
The number of customers using its order capture system, which takes orders from web applications, telesales staff and 3,000 EPoS systems, had grown and was a problem for the company's 17-person IT department, said Morse consulting, which advised on the project.
"Our systems were starting to show signs of strain under the increasing number of customers. It was imperative that we reduced batch processing time to ensure the system continued to meet business needs," said Wayne Swallow, IT director at Nisa-Today's.
Nisa-Today's had an IBM based server environment, running on IBM Power4 and Unix AIX5.1, with Oracle 9i database and application server. Overlaying this were two main systems an ERP application with a focus on merchandise planning, RMS from Oracle, and an Order Capture System (OCS).
It upgraded to IBM P Series servers and reduced the existing infrastructure into four physical servers and a single storage array. However, with the existing server environment based on IBM & UNIX, a switch to popular Intel/Linux based virtualisation would have introduced significant risk to systems which is why it decided to use IBM virtulisation, said Morse.