By Michael Kendall, Group Manager, Options and Intelligent Infrastructure Marketing, ISS
Why do I like working for a well-respected and large technology company? Well, for one reason, it gives me an opportunity to work with a wide variety of people and organizations. And each company – each team – is unique. Wine.com is a great example of how people come together to meet a customer’s very specific needs.
Wine.com is the largest online retail wine store in the United States. What’s interesting – although perhaps not surprising – about Wine.com is that most of their revenue is generated over 10 days in December. So imagine what that means for their IT systems. Their web Storefront has to provide an exemplary customer experience each and every time. They need incredible throughput and capacity over short periods of time. And they need strong data mining capabilities to drive additional sales.
Faced with managing tremendous growth, Wine.com needed an efficient, cost-effective way to handle large IO-intensive workloads for their storefront and to drive back-end business operations. Their IT organization conducted a small Microsoft® SQL® database pilot project with the HP IO Accelerator and a HP ProLiant DL server. For those of you who haven’t yet been introduced to the HP IO Accelerator, it’s a direct attach storage device that combines hardware and software, and is configured directly to the PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express). This places critical data closer to the server CPUs for processing.
The results were tremendous. After installing the HP IO Accelerators, database testing showed a 12x improvement on the average WRITE operation; 14x improvement on the average READ operation; 12x improvement on the average latency on READS, from 12 milliseconds to 1; and 4x improvement in the average latency on WRITES, from 4 milliseconds down to 1. The test was moved to a production environment, where the average duration of a SQL transaction dropped fourfold, improving the customer experience with faster-loading web pages, which in turn increased sales conversion rates.
Wine.com’s Storefront runs on a 400GB Microsoft SQL database and its ERP system on a 320GB SQL database. The company recently upgraded its e-commerce application to HP ProLiant DL360 and DL380 G7 Servers, and its highly customized Epicor ERP system to an HP ProLiant DL380 Server with 3-year HP Care Pack Service.
The HP IO Accelerators allowed Wine.com to boost performance when they needed it, without adding a lot of new disks, cables, switches or other equipment.
For more detail on Wine.com’s infrastructure, take a look at the case study.
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