Case Study

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

WWT provides vendor-agnostic testing within the ATC Flash Lab environment

We showed the customer they could stay on the same platform that they know and love at a price that works. – Chris Weis, WWT Consulting Systems Engineer

Challenge

A rapidly growing convenience store chain had an urgent need to collect point-of-sale data from more than 400 store locations into a data warehouse. Although the firm was already using NetApp for general purpose storage, they wanted to survey all options for their flash-based data warehouse.

Our enterprise account manager and consulting systems engineer met with the customer on several occasions. During initial informal storage roadmap discussions, WWT learned that the customer sought to create a data warehouse environment around point-of-sale data. The customer’s chief requirements were performance, price and compatibility.

Solution

We invited the customer to use our Flash Lab environment inside the WWT Advanced Technology Center, an ideal venue to test multiple vendors and learn how flash storage would interact with their 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 that NetApp AFF solution offered the customer the performance they needed, with the added benefit of building on their existing NetApp investment.

Initially, the customer felt that 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 flash-enhanced POS data warehouse is in operation and tracking more than 575,000 point of sale 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.