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Migros Ostschweiz uses VMware to optimize storage

Migros Ostschweiz Cooperative (Eastern Switzerland) – one of the biggest cooperatives in the Migros Group, with 110 supermarkets, 48 specialty stores and 65 restaurants to its name – is continuing to modernize its IT infrastructure with VMware technologies. The objective of its latest project is to virtualize the organization’s storage infrastructure. Having deployed VMware vSAN, VMware vSphere and VMware vRealize Operations, the cooperative is now well equipped to face the huge challenges of digitalization in the retail industry. “VMware vSAN was the logical next step in expanding our vSAN environment,” says Markus Erkenbrecher, Manager IT System Technology at Migros Ostschweiz. The vSAN storage virtualization software combines with the vSphere platform to support the central management of Migros Ostschweiz Cooperative’s computing and storage resources. It brings all the cooperative’s storage devices together in vSphere clusters based on Dell PowerEdge vSAN ReadyNodes.

VMware solutions since 2005

It is no coincidence that the company chose virtualization technologies from VMware to modernize its storage environment: Migros Ostschweiz Cooperative first opted for VMware to maximize the failsafe performance of its mission-critical processes in 2005. “Back then, we recognized the potential of a virtual server landscape – which is why we chose VMware ESX to start virtualizing our servers,” Erkenbrecher continues. About ten years later, this move was followed by consolidating a large proportion of the cooperative’s physical server landscape and operating systems.

Today virtualization has reached nearly 99 percent, making the VMware technologies pivotal to Migros Ostschweiz’ IT systems. The company has virtualized its Oracle and SQL server databases, but also its SAP Hana and VDI landscape. As a result, Migros Ostschweiz Cooperative today has about 467 virtual machines in operation, against just eight physical Windows systems. Furthermore, the company relies on 49 ESXi hosts and implemented VMware vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise, VMware vSAN, VMware vRealize Log Insight as well as VMware Horizon View for 450 users of the club school Migros Ostschweiz.

Always a step ahead

“VMware vSAN technologies have enabled us to raise efficiency and reduce costs,” notes Marco Casoli, ICT Systems Specialist at Migros Ostschweiz. “Above all, that has to do with lower power consumption, because fewer physical servers are required to operate in the data center.” At the same time, the cooperative now benefits from high stability, flexibility and availability, while maintenance costs have been minimized. Casoli explains that, in the past, it took the administrators a lot of time keeping the hardware and infrastructure running smoothly. Today, though, the same number of people can focus simply on servers and services. Marco Casoli is enthusiastic: “VMware is always a step ahead of the competition. The company is very innovative, focused on the future and know the trends of tomorrow.”

With VMware underpinning its IT setup, the cooperative can devote its attention to the real challenges facing the retail industry in the future: environmental protection and sustainability, rising quality demands, currency effects, cost optimization and – by no means least – digitalization, all of which are having a profound influence on Migros Ostschweiz Cooperative’s day-to-day business. Right now, changes in customer behavior and the trend toward online shopping are likewise playing a crucial role.

Pullout Quote:

“VMware is always a step ahead of the competition. The company is very innovative, focused on the future and knows the trends of tomorrow.” Marco Casoli, ICT Systems Specialist at Migros Ostschweiz.

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