7-Eleven upgrades IT and storage infrastructure

7-Eleven upgrades IT and storage infrastructure

Following its acquisition of Mobil's retail fuel business, the convenience store chain has opted to stick with IBM for the upgrade

Off the back of its acquisition of the Mobil fuel business, global convenience store chain 7-Eleven has upgraded its IT and storage infrastructure to cope with the increase in customers demand.

7-Eleven CIO, Dennis Lewis, told Computerworld Australia that when the company acquired the Mobil's retail fuel business back in October 2010, approximately 200 new stores were added to its network.

“Due to the size and scale of this acquisition, significant IT infrastructure upgrades were required to service 7-Eleven’s new outlets and manage larger volumes of customer transactions, totalling more than 160 million per year,” Lewis said.

The company opted to stick with IBM, upgrading from its existing POWER environment to IBM’s POWER7 servers, deploying both a Power 770 and Power 750. The upgrade also included a new Storage Area Network (SAN) encompassing two IBM System Storage DS8700 units for replication and backup and new System x servers.

“The acquisition greatly increased our business very quickly,” Lewis said. “Our network now includes more than 610 stores serving in excess of 130 million customers a year.

According to Lewis, no other vendors were considered when the decision to upgrade was finalised as IBM has previously catered expansion without impacting negatively on the business.

“The main focus for our IT department has been on supporting the integration of the Mobil stores. IBM provided hardware infrastructure technology with the stability and capacity required to meet our business needs as a result of our increased number of outlets and transactions.”

Implementation began in January this year, Lewis said, and has progressed without any major problems toward the scheduled completion of the project in July.

“We have already started implementation of the new POWER7 system and are benefiting from improved performance and streamlined technology,” he said.

“The new technology is handling all fuel ordering and managing fuel price changes for the 7-Eleven stores. Our store conversion program is well advanced with more than 70 stores converted and re-opened as 7-Eleven stores.”

The company last year detailed its approach to IT, looking at the company’s point-of-sale system and future plans for the store to remain “convenient”.

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