VIDEO: 27 million people, 1 cloud – how Woolworths is “going hybrid”

Australia’s agricultural sector racks up around $40 billion in exports per year, driven primarily by exports to China, Indonesia and Japan. For Australian food retailers like Woolworths, Asia’s economic growth and development is opening up major opportunities for expansion – but they also need infrastructure that’s agile and scalable enough to meet this literal hunger for Australian produce while also keeping pace with the appetites of 27 million Australians.

Woolworths is banking on hybrid cloud to help them keep up with local and regional demand. The national supermarket chain’s goal is to replace a range of siloed legacy systems with a single multi-cloud solution. This is where VCE’s Vblocks come in: Woolworths is using two Vblock 720 systems to govern how its workloads are hosted between cloud “zones”, including virtual data centres, offshore hosting environments, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. The Vblocks, which support almost 300TB of data with both active-active and active-passive configurations, have reduced ownership costs by more than 25% and cut provisioning time from 6 months to as little as 6 weeks since being installed nearly 2 years ago.

The end goal, says Woolies’ head of infrastructure Matt Chamley, is for Woolworths’ IT to be agile enough to compete with emerging e-commerce food retailers, many of whom also have their eyes on the high-value Asian market. With the benefits of converged infrastructure already being felt across the IT department, Woolworths’s next step is to start translating these into more robust, innovative e-commerce offerings, putting them in a strong position to secure local and regional demand.

Read more about Woolworths’ use of Vblocks on Computerworld and ZDnet.

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