15.03.17

Aurora fashions prepares storage to streamline IT

Background

Aurora Fashions (formerly Mosaic Fashions) is the parent company of design-led fashion brands: Oasis, Warehouse, Coast, Karen Millen and Anoushka G. The brands in Aurora Fashions’ portfolio are sold through over 2,000 stores in 37 countries with a total turnover of £1billion.

The challenge

A fast growing and acquisitive organisation, two of Aurora Fashion’s most recent purchases were Rubicon Retail and the Shoe Studio Group. These acquisitions brought with them their associated IT infrastructures and in order to streamline its IT systems, Aurora decided to adopt a common platform so that processes could be streamlined and the cost benefits could be shared across the group. 

Ahead of being able to merge all of Rubicon’s supply chain systems into the single common platform, Aurora’s first task was to build an additional data centre and roll out storage area networking (SAN) across the whole site. 

“In order to be able to fully integrate our latest acquisitions and consolidate our IT systems, our first job was to centralise our storage with a scalable solution which could grow as our organisation expands,” explained Richard Haverly, infrastructure technical lead, Aurora Fashion.

Aurora Fashions discussed their needs with three companies, but was particularly impressed with an HP SAN and the capabilities offered by HP Blade servers. Data centre consolidations specialists, and HP Professional Services Partner, telent, were chosen to implement the solution.

The solution

“telent was hugely responsive to our request. It fully understood our needs to streamline our IT systems based on a storage area network that would be scalable for our future growth plans,” said Neil Hooper, infrastructure manager, Aurora Fashions. 

He continued: “The technicians ticked every box, in terms of our timelines and budget and we felt we received a very personal service with the support of a large company.”

Aurora Fashions purchased an HP EVA8100 storage disk array, HP 4GB SAN Fabric and HP c-Class Blades. In addition, it also purchased an HP Tape Library and implemented HP Data Protector software to achieve high performance backup and recovery of its data. telent rolled out the SAN and HP Blade servers in accordance with Aurora’s timelines and within budget. The HP SAN delivers the scalability, performance and broad interoperability Aurora requires for its critical data and applications.

Blades presented the ideal solution as they were able to offer an IT infrastructure that is flexible and allows companies to change their computing environment to meet changes in the market or company needs.

“This has been a technical step change for Aurora,” said Haverly. “We are now in a position to grow our organisation and can integrate acquisitions more easily as the solution is so scalable.” He continues: “The HP/telent solution has allowed us to centralise our storage and this means that we have saved space and also reduced our power consumption. The new solution also allows us to strengthen our disaster recovery.”

Aurora Fashions plans to adopt virtualisation technology to help with capacity planning in the future. Virtualisation technologies pool IT resources so that applications and services can share and more efficiently utilise them. The implementation of modular Blade servers supports this, limiting the number of servers the company needs to acquire in the future as new applications are used and the business grows. Blades also support natural business growth such as acquisitions and allow for additional computing and storage.

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