Waitrose upgrades data centre capability to power analytics

Pure Storage FlashArray

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Major UK supermarket chain Waitrose has used Pure Storage FlashArray hardware to improve performance for its data analytics efforts.

With 346 stores and 60,000 employees, Waitress runs an in-house demand forecasting application using a SAS database. This applications uses various sets of data from different sources to make predictions on the groceries stores need to stock to fulfil customer demand, taking into account information such as weather patterns, sales, dates and events.

“With this information we can accurately predict what stores will require to sell to customers. This directly drives our order fulfilment, and actively impacts what we send to stores,” said Aaron Denton, infrastructure development manager, Waitrose.

The demand forecasting application runs using a heavy AIX operating system. Previously Waitrose had issues using a spinning disk array, but using two Pure Storage FlashArrays, these problems have been alleviated and its datacentre footprint reduced by 75 per cent. The switch has provided increased speed, improved overall storage performance and extra usable storage space, which is now being utilised for additional Oracle workloads.

“In today’s digital world business success depends on being able to quickly analyse and access data. This is nowhere more relevant than the retail sector, which sees millions of customer engagements every single day,” said Peter Gadd, Pure Storage director of northern EMEA.

“Pure Storage was founded to fundamentally transform businesses while substantially reducing IT costs – essentially storage that pays for itself. We’re incredibly proud to be working with Waitrose and are eager to help them accelerate new possibilities in their business.”