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Convenience Store Chain Upgrades to NetApp Flash Storage to Collect Point-of-Sale Data

Flash Lab helps customer identify the right data warehouse storage solution

Challenge

A rapidly growing convenience store chain had an urgent need to collect point-of-sale data from more than 400 store locations. During initial storage roadmap discussions between our account team and the customer, we learned the customer sought to create a data warehouse environment around this point-of-sale data. The customer’s chief requirements were performance, price and compatibility.

Although the chain was already using NetApp for general purpose storage, they wanted to survey all options for their flash-based data warehouse.

Solution

We invited the customer to use our Flash Lab environment inside our Advanced Technology Center, the ideal venue to compare vendor products and learn how flash storage interacts with specific applications. Because the customer had a NetApp FAS environment, NetApp EF and NetApp AFF were evaluated in a proof of concept next to several other flash solutions.

The Flash Lab evaluation showed NetApp AFF offered the customer the performance they needed, with the added benefit of building upon their existing NetApp investment.

Initially, the customer thought the NetApp solution was going to be too expensive, but in partnering with NetApp, we were able to offer attractive pricing.

Conclusion

The customer’s specified performance, price and compatibility criteria were all surpassed with the NetApp all-flash FAS solution. The customer's newly flash-enhanced point-of-sale data warehouse is now in operation and tracking more than 575,000 transactions per day.

The performance gains provided by flash storage are significant, giving the customer near real-time insights into purchase behavior, inventory turnover and stocking levels, as well as enhanced fraud detection capabilities.