Around the Storage Block

Why intelligent storage is a smart move for retailers bracing for Cyber Monday

Learn how customers in the retail industry are using intelligent storage like 3PAR all-flash to manage the performance and availability requirements that come with the massive spikes in demand that Cyber Monday brings.

HPE 3PAR flash storage_Cyber Monday_social.jpgGrowing up in the Northeast, early November meant winter is coming. For me that meant three things: bag up all the fallen fall foliage scattered everywhere, unpack all my warm clothes from storage, and watch my mom stress about the upcoming holiday shopping season.This time of year can account for roughly 40% of a retailer’s annual sales. My mom dreaded dealing with the crowds, the lack of parking spaces, and the never ending checkout lines. And don’t even get her started on Cyber Friday!

Today, as any Millennial knows, you don’t have to deal with the chaos of Black Friday to find a good deal. Cyber Monday is the perfect opportunity to peruse countless sales right from the comfort of your office cubicle…. I mean home. For example, USA Today reported Cyber Monday 2017 became the largest online sales day in history with $6.59 billion spent by consumers.

This type of volatility puts massive strain on companies. With competition only a click away, how do you manage the performance and availability requirements that come with a massive spike in demand?

I think the key is intelligent storage that can provide a transformative data experience that aligns with your business. I am talking about storage that is:

  • AI-driven by using advanced analytics and machine learning to remove the burden of managing infrastructure and troubleshoot performance throughout the entire stack
  • Capable of delivering an As-a-Service Experience for more flexibility to align to your specific consumption and investment needs

Let’s look at two examples of how HPE 3PAR StoreServ all-flash data storage has helped meet the retail demands of Cyber Monday.

The performance management challenge

Basefarm is a leading European managed services provider for mission critical IT with over 17 years’ experience in managing on-line solutions. With more than 60 HPE 3PAR systems deployed, storage was among their largest investment areas. In fact, the company has increased its capacity from 1 PB to 20 PB over the last four years.

"The need for insight into storage environments is an obvious need and much demanded solution. However, it is challenging to realize this in practice because the storage environment itself interacts with an extensive set of other parameters," said Morten Nyhuus-Eriksen, Global Head of Storage & Backup, Basefarm.

To address this, Basefarm deployed HPE InfoSight, the industry’s most experienced AI for the data center. They were able to resolve performance problems and pinpoint the root cause of issues between the storage and host virtual machines (VMs).

“None of HPE’s competitors have the predictive capabilities of InfoSight. The cross-stack analytics will save my team tremendous time troubleshooting our complex environment. HPE InfoSight delivers the visibility that we’ve needed, which translates to better performance and availability for our customers.” – Morten Nyhuus-Eriksen, Global Head of Storage & Backup, Basefarm

One of Basefarm’s customers is, a market leader in Scandinavian online-retail. Basefarm has provided with advanced operation services since 2015. This year, is so confident in their infrastructure they plan to launch a Black Friday campaign.

Unpredictable data growth

Next, let’s look at YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP (YNAP), the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer where nearly 30 million shoppers visit one of its many online stores every month. In order to address the surge in transactions during the holiday season, they turned to HPE 3PAR all-flash storage with HPE GreenLake Flexible Capacity.

“HPE 3PAR storage offered the best overall performance and tools to handle our unpredictable workloads.” – Yamandu Correa, YNAP’s global network and data center manager

In addition to higher performance, HPE 3PAR all-flash data storage provides YNAP with valuable performance monitoring tools that the company uses to continually analyze how the storage is behaving based on workload and order volume. This information is used for long-term planning, and is also integrated with YNAP’s network operations center for real-time response to changes in business demand.

For example, if the monitoring indicates workloads might strain the storage, YNAP can immediately use HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity to handle the surge. This means YNAP is able to provision capacity in a matter of minutes from a ready-to-use buffer that resides within their data center. This allows the online luxury retailer to quickly scale up capacity to handle peak shopping days like Cyber Monday, and avoid spending on unused capacity.

“HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity is like having the features of cloud but on premises,” ponts out Yamandu Correa, YNAP’s global network and data center manager. “We run some services in the cloud, but we also need that same flexibility for our data centers. It’s a big part of our hybrid strategy.” He adds, “For a growing business like ours, HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity also makes it much easier to manage our budget because the costs are predictable.”

Check out the complete case study: YNAP powers online retail stores with HPE 3PAR Storage and HPE GreenLake Flex Capacity

Are you ready for Cyber Monday this year?

Today’s businesses need to remove the barriers that prevent them from seeing, managing and placing data in the right place at the right time. The huge spikes in demand on Cyber Monday clearly showcase this in the word of ecommerce.

At HPE, we’re focused on delivering intelligent storage that allows your data to be unlocked from its silos and ultimately deliver improved business insights. That’s why HPE 3PAR Storage is:

  • AI-Driven to enable Autonomous IT and awareness around your environments and your data
  • Built for Cloud from the ground up to enable easy data mobility in their hybrid cloud world from on-premises to edge to cloud
  • Capable for an As-a-Service Experience with consumption based storage

This year, I’m getting my shopping done early. I’ve got bookmarked for Cyber Monday for a gift for my wife. Mom will be proud.

Before Cyber Monday rolls, hear from customers how HPE 3PAR Storage has helped them close the app data gap, take advantage of the cloud, and pay for capacity on demand.

MMatt Morrissey_HPE.jpgeet Around the Storage Block blogger Matt Morrissey, 3PAR Product Marketing Manager, HPE.




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