Ernsting’s family GmbH & Co. KG supports rapidly expanding operations with super-scalable Lenovo Flex System

Overview
As business blossomed, clothing retailer Ernsting’s family GmbH & Co. KG, found that its existing IT infrastructure was struggling to cope with increased demand. Working closely with Lenovo partner CANCOM, the company implemented a high-performance, highly scalable Lenovo Flex System solution capable of supporting mission-critical systems even as business volumes soar.
 
With the Lenovo solution in place, Ernsting’s family can be sure that its IT infrastructure can support business operations now and in the future.
 
Solution components
Hardware
Lenovo Flex System Enterprise Chassis
Lenovo Flex System x240 M5 compute nodes with Intel® Xeon® E5 processor family
Lenovo Flex System Fabric EN4093R 10Gb Scalable Switch
IBM Spectrum Virtualize
IBM Storwize V7000
Brocade SAN infrastructure
 
Software
Lenovo XClarity Administrator
Lenovo XClarity Integrator for VMware vCenter
Citrix XenApp
Citrix XenDesktop
VMware vCenter Server
VMware vSphere
 
Because the Lenovo solution is extremely reliable, Ernsting’s family can keep POS terminals and mission-critical systems running smoothly even during spikes in demand.
 
Ernsting’s family GmbH & Co. KG is a retailer specializing in women’s and children clothes, accessories and home textiles. Founded in 1967, the company has manufacturing operations all over the world and a network of 1,800 branches throughout Germany and Austria. Its parent company is EHG Service GmbH. Headquartered in the German town of Cösfeld-Lette, Ernsting’s family employs around 12,000 staff and achieves annual revenues of around EUR 1 billion.

Booming business
After substantial growth in recent years, Ernsting’s family has become one of the top clothing stores in Germany and expanded its market share in neighboring Austria. With a rising number of customers to serve, the company found that the IT infrastructure supporting its key business systems was struggling to cope under increased transaction volumes. In particular, demand on point-of-sale (POS) terminals was rising.

Ernsting’s family’s existing server environment was beginning to show its age. Sluggish performance was making it extremely difficult to meet the growing demand on business systems.

To ensure smooth operations and a seamless customer experience, Ernsting’s family recognized the need to modernize its IT infrastructure.

Counting on CANCOM
Keen to implement a truly future-proof infrastructure, Ernsting’s family sought a hardware platform that would not only deliver high performance levels, but that could also be scaled as demand grew. The company turned to its trusted technology partner, CANCOM GmbH, for support. After discussing its requirements with the CANCOM team, Ernsting’s family decided to implement a Lenovo Flex System solution.

The company looked at several server solutions from other vendors before selecting Lenovo Flex System. During the evaluation phase, it became clear that the Lenovo solution offered greater flexibility at a competitive price.

Working closely together, Ernsting’s family and CANCOM installed a Lenovo Flex System Enterprise Chassis featuring Lenovo Flex System x240 M5 compute nodes at each of the company’s data centers. Powered by the Intel® Xeon® E5 processor family, the Lenovo solution offers the high levels of performance needed to support the company’s virtual server environment. Ernsting’s family virtualizes its servers using VMware vSphere and Citrix XenDesktop. The company uses Lenovo XClarity Administrator to define, deploy, and manage Flex System infrastructure resources, as well as XClarity Integrator for VMware vCenter to manage the Flex System infrastructure from vCenter, automate host maintenance and eliminate unplanned downtime from hardware-related events.

An integrated Brocade SAN infrastructure and Lenovo Flex System Fabric EN4093R 10Gb Scalable Switches handle all network traffic across and within both data centers, including to the IBM Storwize V7000 storage systems, which are virtualized using IBM Spectrum Virtualize technology.

Not only did the CANCOM team install the Lenovo hardware in Ernsting’s family’s data centers, they also managed the migration of data from the company’s existing environment, handled all of the documentation and showed IT staff how to work with the management tools.

Flexible and future-proof
With the Lenovo solution in place, Ernsting’s family can be sure that its IT infrastructure can support business operations now and in the future.

The company can quickly and easily add more compute nodes when needed, enabling it to maintain tip-top performance even as business volumes soar. Because the Lenovo solution is extremely reliable, Ernsting’s family can keep POS terminals and mission-critical systems running smoothly even during spikes in demand.

As CANCOM designed the solution so as to give Ernsting’s family room to grow, the company can be confident that it can continue scaling the Lenovo Flex System platform to meet demand – helping it to deliver the best possible customer experience as the company continues to grow.

For more information
To learn more about Lenovo Data Center Systems solutions, contact your Lenovo Sales Representative or Lenovo Business Partner, or visit: lenovo.com/systems

For more information about Ernsting’s family, visit: www.ernstings-family.de or connect with @Ernstingsfamily

The CANCOM group is one of the leading providers of IT infrastructure and IT services in Germany and Austria. As a cloud transformation partner, CANCOM escorts businesses into the new era of computing. To learn more about products and services from CANCOM, visit: www.cancom.com
 
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