Vendor News: PETCO Delivers the Kibble Quickly and Efficiently with NetApp Storage Solutions

PETCO (San Diego, Calif.) has selected NetApp storage solutions from Network Appliance, Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.), for three distribution centers that manage the delivery of more than 10,000 product types to over 750 PETCO stores in 48 states. NetApp solutions were chosen to enhance the performance, availability, and manageability of the PETCO warehouse management system, which handles product-to-store shipments and fulfillment of e-commerce orders. NetApp solutions were deployed to help streamline and provide higher availability for PETCO's mission-critical distribution center operations, allowing PETCO to achieve cost savings and deliver the highest quality of customer service.

PETCO generated net sales of more than $1.8 billion in fiscal 2004. It operates more than 750 stores in 48 states and the District of Columbia, as well as for online pet food and supplies at www.petco.com.

With the help of Trace 3, an IT solution provider, the new infrastructure has been deployed at the largest of PETCO's distribution sites and is supporting the company's warehouse management system, built on a Pervasive PSQL database system. Leveraging NetApp Snapshot technology, PETCO achieves "within minutes" data recovery, dramatically reduced scheduled downtime, and nearly maintenance-free storage operation. The NetApp FAS250 systems replace a direct-attached storage structure that proved increasingly cumbersome to protect and manage as distribution center transaction rates grew.

"With our transaction rates, tape backup is not enough," said Andrew Ross, manager of Business Systems at PETCO. "We had server-to-server mirroring technology, but found that it was challenging to manage and only gave us the ability to mirror the most current data. In contrast, NetApp Snapshot technology lets us make multiple point-in-time copies instantaneously. In the old environment, if we had to roll back to a previous day's tape, we would have spent significant time recreating manual processes or performing physical inventories to verify product locations. We can't risk production halts that have the potential to keep hundreds of warehouse workers and dozens of trucks idle."

NetApp Data ONTAP 7G software with NetApp FlexVol technology allows PETCO to achieve true storage virtualization and improved overall disk utilization by adding storage when and where it is needed without disruption and risk and provides administrators the flexibility to adapt quickly and easily to management needs.

"Configuring RAID volumes in the past typically meant wasting parity disks," added Hanuman Yalamanchi, database administrator at PETCO. "With the flexibility of aggregates, we don't waste any space. The NetApp solution has also allowed us to reduce planned maintenance by two-thirds, and administration takes under an hour per week. Network Appliance has enabled us to deploy a solution that not only meets current requirements, but also will scale to deliver the performance we'll need in the future."

Source: Network Appliance, Inc.

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