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dm Drugstore Market

FILIADATA, the internal IT service provider of the dm Drugstore Market chain, used PlateSpin Migrate to migrate the existing PCs in 500 stores to more powerful hardware.

About dm Drugstore Market

dm-drogerie markt (dm Drugstore Market)—one of the leading drugstore chains in Europe—operates more than 1,500 retail outlets and employs approximately 20,000 people. With a turnover of almost 3 billion euros, dm Drugstore Market offers a range of 12,000 product lines, with approximately 10 percent of the products it offers being its own label, in stores across Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and the Slovak Republic.

Challenge

Since 1973, dm Drugstore Market has positioned itself as a company that puts people at the center, whether they are customers, partners or staff. However, simply because dm Drugstore Market focuses on its people, doesn't mean it can afford to ignore technology. For example, every store has its own server that runs the merchandise management and POS system.

dm Drugstore Market decided to complete a comprehensive migration project for 500 of the approximately 950 stores in Germany because the servers were no longer capable of handling growing requirements over the long term. The task was to migrate 500 computers with business-critical software. The company planned to use Windows XP Professional as the platform, and switch the hardware from Toshiba to Pyramid.

The challenge was to move the software to the new computers quickly and simply to ensure minimal disruption to the daily routine of staff in the stores.

Novell Solution

In a one-month evaluation phase, FILIADATA, the internal IT service provider for the dm Drugstore Market chain, tested several products before choosing PlateSpin® Migrate to automate the migration. In addition to the speed of the PlateSpin solution, a key factor in the decision was the fact that PlateSpin Migrate offers a central management interface. PlateSpin Migrate also provides fully automated porting of operating systems, applications and data. This means that you can automatically port any part of your software stack to your virtual environment, and port old hardware to new hardware in a single step—regardless of the physical infrastructure or the software installed on that infrastructure.

The entire solution can be controlled centrally via a PlateSpin server. PlateSpin Migrate allows easy porting of the entire software layer in any direction, between any physical servers, virtual infrastructure servers or image archives—and requires no physical contact with the source or target machines. The FILIADATA staff just connected the new machines to the storage network, and then started them from a boot CD. The rest of the migration ran automatically, apart from a few interventions by the technician and a central staff member. FILIADATA completed the migration in approximately two hours. Without PlateSpin, the transfer would have taken an estimated six hours longer per store.

Direct installation of the new hardware at the headquarters, followed by data migration and configuration on-site would have taken too long. FILIADATA wanted to accelerate the migration process and relieve the load on local technicians, while maintaining centralized control of the installation. Equipped with a special PlateSpin start CD and the new PCs, technicians visited the 500 stores to perform the conversion. The migration then moved quickly: computers were unpacked, connected, and booted from the CD. The store service staff then assumed command, together with the PlateSpin server in Karlsruhe, Germany. From this central location, PlateSpin Migrate recognized both the old and the new computers and began the live migration. Only control data was sent from the headquarters to the stores and the existing DSL connections proved adequate for this purpose. Following the data migration, the technicians updated the drivers and the migration was completed.

Results

FILIADATA was able to accelerate the PC migration significantly and kept the number of hours spent by the technicians in the stores to an absolute minimum. As a result, the hardware migration was considerably less costly. PlateSpin Migrate also drastically simplified the migration process by transferring data automatically at the click of a button. FILIADATA retained control over the configuration of the systems and triggered all actions from the headquarters in Karlsruhe. The solution also eliminated the logistical effort involved in dispatching pre-installed computers.

"PlateSpin Migrate saved us a great deal of effort as we were able to convert PCs in 500 stores at the click of a button. The on-site migration took just two hours, from unpacking the new computers to having them ready for use," said Christian Stäblein, divisional manager at FILIADATA. Without PlateSpin, the process would have taken around six hours longer—per store—so the total additional effort would have been 125 days.

Based on the positive experiences from this successful project, the company went on to perform migrations for the 350 dm Drugstore Market stores in Austria, supported and managed by colleagues in the dm Drugstore Market headquarters in Salzburg. The migration of further servers in the remaining dm countries was subsequently completed as well.

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