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HP Helion Virtual Managed Private Cloud lets international fashion retailer focus on the threads


River Island logo.png


River Island is a UK fashion retailer founded in the 1950s with 300 stores worldwide.


It also has more than 3.6m downloads of its iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Kindle apps. Via its online and mobile channels it sells to customers in more than 100 countries. River Island is every inch the modern retailer.


River Island is an always-on, fast moving multi-national business. It has to maintain efficient links with suppliers worldwide, and with millions of customers across dozens of touch points. To be successful it has to create a seamless shopping experience whether customers are in the store or online. And it needs to log, chart and make sense of these touch points. It cannot afford a moment’s downtime.



In 2012, a new CIO reviewed the company’s data-center and concluded that it was time for a change. The existing set-up was deemed substandard: not resilient enough, inefficient in terms of power and AC. It was costing the business too much to support and wasn’t providing the necessary business continuity assurance.


The review helped make the case for a new approach to IT. Get rid of the hardware and the hardware support; instead, pay for what you use. Leave any day-to-day headaches to a service provider and let River Island focus on what it does best.


HP now provides River Island with HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and HP Helion Continuity - the first ever Helion VPC and Continuity solution sold worldwide. HP Enterprise Services provided data discovery and migrated all of River Island’s data and applications to the VPC, and now supports the cloud infrastructure to the operating system level. The goal is for every aspect of River Island’s production environment to run on the HP Cloud, including databases and applications. River Island owns access to the environment through a secure web portal where they can add or remove components.


River Island is only paying for what it needs.


River Island is supporting and maintaining everything above the OS level. The two HP Cloud environment connects to River Island's Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. The VPC environment in Wynyard advertises its available subnets from the HP configured Customer Edge Router to the MPLS Provider Edge router, which provides the connection into the River Island network. 


The solution answers the need for a pay-per-use model. River Island and HP Continuity Services have had a long and successful relationship which ensures improved business continuity (less than four hours to recover, with recovery points now less than fifteen minutes) at a more cost effective price. There is asynchronous replication of the production environment to a second HP data center. The disaster recovery environment can be fully tested on two days’ notice, without impacting the production environment.


In addition, upgrading from Superdome to HP blades has improved performance. River Island reports some applications are running up to eight times faster.



HP managed cloud infrastructure services provides customers with solutions which are maintained and operated by HP using our standardized best practices. This allows customers to focus on running their business versus managing IT resources. HP managed cloud services are augmented by consulting and professional services to increase the value gained from cloud, expedite onboarding, and ensure optimization of the solutions for ongoing management.

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
About the Author


I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID


Awesome! This gives a new perspective towards cloud. Taking advantage and increasing the value gained from cloud makes a win-win situation.