John Lewis Partnership customer database migrates onto the Logicalis Cloud platform
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The John Lewis Partnership is a visionary and successful way of doing business, boldly putting the happiness of Partners at the centre of everything it does. All 76,500 permanent employees are Partners who share the benefits of ownership of 35 John Lewis shops across the UK, 266 Waitrose supermarkets, an online and catalogue business, johnlewis.com, a production unit and a farm with a turnover of nearly £8.2 billion last year. Partners share in the benefits and profits of a business that puts them first.
For over 10 years Logicalis has provided a managed service for the Partnership Customer Database (PCD). This database provides a single view of all customers across the Partnership including full point of sale transaction history from both Waitrose and John Lewis stores.
The Oracle data warehouse hosting this data supports a variety of applications used by the Partnership’s business development team to drive marketing campaigns and provide insight and analysis, affecting decisions as diverse as in-store product placement and new store locations. The Oracle database and the applications it supports are hosted by Logicalis under the managed service.
Logicalis is also responsible for ongoing database development and data acceptance and integration within the Partnership, responding to the ever-changing demands of the business development team and their internal customers. With the renewal of the managed service contract the objective of the team was to improve system performance and data storage capacity, whilst simultaneously reducing the cost of the service to the Partnership.
As a result, the managed service for the PCD was migrated onto the Logicalis Cloud platform as a hosted service, delivered from Logicalis’ High Density Data Centre.
By utilising the advanced technology underpinning the Logicalis Cloud, including Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), NetApp storage, and software from CA Technologies, a set of disparate software tools forming a single business solution can share a common infrastructure, platform and SLA.
The Cloud platform includes Logicalis’ secure ‘Virtual Container’ technology. The Virtual Container includes bare-metal servers provisioned using Cisco UCS service profiles, allowing the varied virtualised and traditional operating systems to share the same platform and portability. This includes test as well as production instances of the Oracle database and all associated applications, running on Oracle Enterprise Linux, with VMware virtualisation for Microsoft Windows-based applications.
Being hypervisor and platform independent, the Logicalis Cloud has the ability to support the mixture of native high performance database platforms running directly on server hardware, with virtualised servers on the same Cloud platform offering the same high levels of resilience and security.
Migration of the PCD managed service from its previous platform to the Cloud included an Oracle database upgrade, migration of the operating system from AIX to Linux and Windows, and the physical migration of the database itself. In addition, Oracle’s Grid Control enterprise management solution was deployed to give further insight into database performance and facilitate ongoing administration.
Through a combination of careful planning, comprehensive testing and extensive dry runs, the entire migration, although complex, was achieved with no downtime to the customer during business hours, and data currency was maintained at expected levels throughout.
As a result of the re-platforming and data migration, the database performance (which is critical to the performance of all of the supported applications) has improved on average approximately threefold. Queries that previously were not practical due to their complexity and the volume of data processed now complete reliably and with acceptable response times, dramatically improving the business development team’s ability to derive insight and intelligence from the wealth of data available.
The cloud platform underpinning this has not only increased performance, but also dramatically increased service levels allowing the virtualised and non-virtualised environment to share a common platform, SLA, and resilience.