Meltin’ Pot powers its business-growth strategy with IBM

Deploying a virtualized IBM BladeCenter solution

Published on 17-Sep-2012

Validated on 06 Mar 2014

"We are completely satisfied with the support that the IBM solution provides to the most crucial parts of our business. This allows us to keep offering great customer service through our online store, as well as pursuing our main goals without worrying about solving issues within the underlying infrastructure." - Roberto Felline, Manager of the IT Department, Meltin’ Pot

Customer:
Meltin’ Pot

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
Italy

Solution:
Business Continuity, BA - Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Server Consolidation, Virtualization - Server

IBM Business Partner:
H.S. Systems

Overview

Meltin’ Pot is a leading Italian fashion brand, which primarily sells denim products in the European market. Affiliated with the Romano S.p.A group, the Meltin’ Pot brand is positioned at the mid- to high- end of the denim market with a target audience of young, cosmopolitan consumers aged between 18 and 25. Previously, all the company’s products were distributed through independent vendors, but recently Meltin’ Pot opened its first pilot flagship store in Riccione, Italy.

Business need:
To make its ambitious growth plans a reality, Meltin’ Pot needed to create a flexible yet resilient IT infrastructure capable of providing up-to-the-minute business information reliably and at high speed.

Solution:
With help from IBM® Business Partner H.S. Systems, Meltin’ Pot consolidated its 15 existing servers to just four IBM BladeCenter® HS22V servers and implemented IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager FastBack software for continuous data protection.

Benefits:
Increased processing power by 300 percent, dramatically accelerating access to vital information. Guarantees always-on protection of business-critical applications. Cuts IT capital expenditure costs by 75 percent.

Case Study

To read an Italian version of this case study, please click here

Meltin’ Pot is a leading Italian fashion brand, which primarily sells denim products in the European market. Affiliated with the Romano S.p.A group, the Meltin’ Pot brand is positioned at the mid- to high- end of the denim market with a target audience of young, cosmopolitan consumers aged between 18 and 25. Previously, all the company’s products were distributed through independent vendors, but recently Meltin’ Pot opened its first pilot flagship store in Riccione, Italy. Meltin’ Pot is currently seeking to expand both in Italy and abroad, and the opening of its first flagship store is the proof of the company’s desire to establish itself as an autonomous brand and gain more visibility on the market. This successful first opening has paved the way to the launching of further stores in the near future. The company’s business itself is aiming to cross the national boundaries and reach foreign countries, in accordance with the business strategy outlined by Meltin’ Pot’s new General Manager.

Looking for an IT revamp
As a player in the fast-paced and constantly-changing fashion world, Meltin’ Pot wanted to be able to maintain its well-established position in the industry, focusing on cost-cutting and keeping abreast of the latest trends by closely tracking customer demand. The company wished to provide more effective, up-to-date and cost-effective management of sales, orders and stocks, and customer service, in view of continuous growth and expansion across international markets.

Meltin’ Pot was looking for an IT infrastructure capable of supporting a greater workload and a higher number of users than its previous setup, and planned to achieve this by a combination of replacing and consolidating existing servers. Roberto Felline, Manager of the IT Department at Meltin’Pot, says, “Our IT infrastructure was becoming obsolete and was not enough reliable to support our increasing business requirements. We understood that we really needed to implement a completely new solution if we wanted to make our expansion plans a reality.”

Meltin’ Pot also wished to reduce IT operational costs by maximizing cost-efficiency. Reliability for business-critical applications and operations is vital for the company, so selecting a stable and flexible solution was a priority. Roberto Felline explains, “We did not have any sort of support in case of a sudden failure of the system: we simply had to wait until the machines were up and running again. This could take up to four hours, and we just could not afford this kind of disruption to our business.”

Finding the right partner for business growth
Meltin’ Pot evaluated offerings from several vendors, and chose an IBM solution centered on IBM BladeCenter servers and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack software as the best for its requirements. “We were greatly impressed by IBM Business Partner H.S. System’s expertise in the management of similar projects, therefore we appointed them to implement our new infrastructure,” adds Roberto Felline.

H.S. Systems understood the need to simplify Meltin’ Pot’s previous infrastructure by consolidating network, storage and data processing resources into a single, integrated pool of virtualized resources. Deploying a more dynamic infrastructure would also enable the company to leverage centralized IT resources for real-time allocation of IT resources in line with changing business demands.

Four IBM BladeCenter HS22V blades provided Meltin’ Pot with an environment specifically designed for virtualization. Each blade server has up to two Intel Xeon 5500 processors and a memory capacity of up to 288 GB. The IBM BladeCenter servers are connected to an IBM System Storage® DS3500 Express disk array, which provides high I/O performance, allowing the necessary throughput to applications with high bandwidth demands. VMware vSphere enables multiple servers to be grouped together and presented as a single computing resource through virtualization, ensuring easy management for Meltin’ Pot’s IT team.

To guarantee rapid backup and protection for key data and business critical applications, Meltin’ Pot relies on IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack software. “This solution enables us to perform regular incremental backups of new or changed data throughout the day, eliminating the need to perform a full, resource-hungry backup every night,” continues Roberto Felline. The use of incremental snapshot backups with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack enables Meltin’ Pot to decrease its Recovery Time Objective to only one minute and its Recovery Point Objective to just a few seconds, minimizing the risk of sustained downtime in the event of a system outage.

Tangible benefits and business achievements
Selecting the IBM BladeCenter H Chassis considerably increased the density of servers in each of the company’s server racks, helping to lower floorspace requirements by 50 percent, providing headroom for future expansion. “Thanks to the IBM solution, we have decreased cooling and energy consumption by over 40 percent, and achieved important total cost of ownership (TCO) savings,” states Roberto Felline.

The IBM BladeCenter architecture offers an impressive 300 percent increase in processing power compared to the previous solution. This enables the company to dramatically accelerate operations within the sales and orders departments, as well as to boost final decision-making processes.

The IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack software helps Meltin’ Pot to strengthen its business security by guaranteeing the recovery of potentially lost data up to just a few seconds before the failure occurred.

Meltin’ Pot’s IT infrastructure has been simplified and streamlined, with greater headroom to accommodate higher workloads and increased user numbers, and now provides a single point of control to simply management.

Roberto Felline adds, “The IBM infrastructure is extremely available and resilient, and we have been able to prove this through several quality tests. In one occasion, for instance, we tried to take one blade out of the BladeCenter server while the machine was switched on: we were absolutely amazed by the fact that operations continued smoothly. This happens because, if one blade fails, the workload is automatically shifted to the remaining blades, allowing the processes – and, therefore, our business and services – to continue working.”

From a financial standpoint, the consolidation of Meltin’ Pot’s IT infrastructure has already yielded considerable benefits for the company – reducing IT capital expenditure costs by an impressive 75 percent.

Roberto Felline concludes, “We are completely satisfied with the support that the IBM solution provides to the most crucial parts of our business. This allows us to keep offering great customer service through our online store, as well as pursuing our main goals without worrying about solving issues within the underlying infrastructure.”

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
BladeCenter, BladeCenter H Chassis, BladeCenter HS22V, Storage, Storage: DS3500 Express

Software:
Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Italia Circonvallazione Idroscalo 20090 Segrate - Milano Produced in Italy September 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, BladeCenter, System Storage and Tivoli are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. A current list of other IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. References in this publication to IBM products, programs or services do not imply that IBM intends to make these available in all countries in which IBM operates. Any reference to an IBM product, program or service is not intended to imply that only IBM’s product, program or service may be used. Any functionally equivalent product, program or service may be used instead. All customer examples cited represent how some customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. IBM hardware products are manufactured from new parts, or new and used parts. In some cases, the hardware product may not be new and may have been previously installed. Regardless, IBM warranty terms apply. This publication is for general guidance only. Photographs may show design models.