FreshDirect Leverages Utility Storage With 3PAR

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. – New York-based online grocer FreshDirect has purchased two utility storage servers from Fremont, Calif.-based 3PAR to handle its mission-critical operations and cut Web transaction time by 85 percent.

The grocer will use one 3PAR InServ Storage Server for its Web-based ordering system, and the second InServ Storage Server to handle its corporate and production applications. "Our IT is now poised to enable the expansion of our business," said Myles Trachtenberg, FreshDirect's c.t.o. "3PAR has helped us retain orders and enhance our customers' experience by creating a faster, more available environment."

Previously, an aging and brittle Web architecture was hampering future growth for the online retailer. Issues with data storage, in particular, were causing slow Web transactions during peak hours. Upgrades and changes to this infrastructure were either difficult to implement or caused excessive downtime.

To remedy this situation and build a storage infrastructure that would prepare FreshDirect for future growth, the company set out to create a high-performance and highly scalable infrastructure that could be managed nondisruptively 24/7. FreshDirect selected a 3PAR InServ S400 Storage Server with six terabytes of capacity as the foundation for a true utility computing environment -- which means that FreshDirect can scale out storage seamlessly and cost-effectively.

As an example of this scalability, FreshDirect was able to double the storage of its second InServ Storage Server –- which already used six terabytes to consolidate general corporate applications -- to 12 terabytes to accommodate SAP test and development, and a "sortation/pick and pack" application. This upgrade was nondisruptive and took less than an hour to complete. "Changes like this used to require a professional services engagement and took up to a week to complete," said Trachtenberg. "With 3PAR we can adapt much more rapidly and cost-effectively."

In addition to 3PAR, other technologies implemented by FreshDirect include Egenera, VMWare, NetScaler, and BladeLogic. Together these elements deliver an efficient, easily managed, and always-on e-commerce infrastructure for FreshDirect's Linux-based application environment, which consists of Oracle 9i RAC, BEA, Weblogic, and Apache.
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