Home » News » Linux » Red Hat Delivers Incomparable Value to Kingfisher for its Leading DIY Stores in Continental Europe
Red Hat announced that the Kingfisher Group, Europe's leading home improvement retail group and the third largest in the world, is migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Oracle databases for all 240 of its Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores because of Red Hat's superior stability, service and support. Red Hat has enabled the company to reduce the number of servers it requires by half and make a return on its investment in just eight months. At the same time, Kingfisher is benefiting from a ten-fold increase in performance.
Due to the mass and complexity of information relating to the logistics and commercial activity handled in each store, system reliability and availability are essential prerequisites for the Kingfisher Group's IT system.
Since 1997, Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores have been running an IT system comprised of two servers. One of the servers was a Digital UNIX Alpha server supporting production tools and commercial applications, as well as an Oracle v7 database and FORMS application. The second was an NT server for the infrastructure, covering the network, domains, printing and file server. When Kingfisher learned that support would soon be ending for both the UNIX and NT servers, it was faced with the challenge of renewing a vast IT architecture for its Castorama and Brico Dépôt stores.
Kingfisher made the strategic choice to use open source solutions because the open source platform's maturity and reliability allowed the Group to plan a migration with full confidence. When selecting a Linux distribution, the choice was simple for Kingfisher. Stability and support were of prime importance, and the Group decided Red Hat Enterprise Linux was the only option.
"Overall most of the open source distributions contained the features we needed, including infrastructure services," said Bernard Grulois, Architecture and Infrastructure Manager at Kingfisher IT Services, the Group's worldwide IT organization. "But only Red Hat offered a business-ready Linux distribution with the level of service, guarantee and support that we required for the mission-critical information system that is needed for the smooth operation of Kingfisher's Continental Europe DIY stores."
The architecture was designed to include production tools and the database comprised of Oracle AS10G with an Oracle 9i database and WEBFORMS for the technical building blocks (functional iso-perimeter). Every outlet in France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Russia is now equipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on an HP ProLiant ML 370 G4 server with 8Gb memory, Intel Dual-Core processors and 5X140 Go disk in RAID 1.
After a three-month test phase in Spain, the servers were deployed in French, Italian, Polish and Russian stores.
In Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Kingfisher IT Services found a solution that allowed all of Castorama and Brico Dépôt's requirements to be satisfied with a single server, and the ability to run both production tools and infrastructure services on the same box. This has translated into large cost-savings and even faster deployments and updates.
"We are extremely satisfied with our choice," said Grulois. "We have achieved a return on our investment in less than eight months and we continue to benefit from the advantages Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers, in terms of maintenance, cost savings and high security. In addition, we have seen an impressive improvement in performance. We have increased the speed of our system ten times and also improved the quality of overall service. As for delivery at the user level, it is excellent."
"The success of the Kingfisher Group and its astonishing results, not only in terms of the return on investment, but also in improved performance, clearly demonstrates the many benefits of Red Hat and open source solutions," said Tim Yeaton, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Red Hat. "We are pleased that Kingfisher has unlocked the value of our support and services, and we look forward to continuing our work with them."