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Forever New Firms up Infrastructure for Retail Boom with Nutanix

by CIOAXIS Bureau

Nutanix said Forever New modernised its infrastructure by using Nutanix technology to support it’s maturing cloud strategy and to help ready it for a customer experience evolution.

Established in Melbourne, Forever New is a global women’s fashion retailer known for its feminine silhouettes, quality fabrics, and timeless styles. With an eCommerce platform, over 400 retail and concession stores, and a presence in 26 markets the brand is on a global growth march.

Naresh Teckchandani, General Manager IT, Forever New, said that infrastructure refresh was required to lay the foundations for its hybrid multi-cloud strategy – one in which workloads are transferable between private and public clouds, promoting operational agility for a better customer experience.

Our Melbourne datacentre powers everything from our very own Chadstone shop floor to our stores on Singapore’s Orchard Road and London’s White City,” said Teckchandani. “With multiple ways for shoppers to reach us all around the world for a seamless shopping experience – backend performance is the essence of a better, more personalised customer experience (CX). With Nutanix, we’ve woven confidence into our infrastructure outfit.

Forever New’s initial implementation in 2016 included Nutanix’s hyper converged infrastructure, which collapsed the previous three-tier array of separate server, storage, and networking technology in its datacentre. In February 2023, Forever New completed its infrastructure modernisation project, replacing its Dell infrastructure running Hyper-V for Nutanix AHV, which sped up infrastructure and enterprise applications essential to running Forever New’s business.

Ben Tobgui, Group Head of Infrastructure, Forever New said: “Since completing the migration, middleware errors have gone, and our Warehouse Management System is more accurately providing shop staff and customers real-time inventory data.

Performance of the underlying infrastructure has immensely improved. Our offshore teams and stores, who access the information they need through Citrix, have felt it too. Logins which used to take minutes now connect in seconds.

Performance improvements also extend to online application programming interfaces (APIs), payroll systems, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and product lifecycle management – all of which are running much faster.

Ease of migration, cost of migration, cloud readiness, and future-proofing were core motivations behind the infrastructure refresh. According to Teckchandani, when benchmarked against these four factors, Nutanix beat the competition in every category, particularly aligning with the organisation’s maturing hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

Our eCommerce platform largely lives on AWS, while corporate workloads run on Azure. But not everything is cost-effective in the public cloud, so we use a combination of on-premises private cloud and public clouds. This keeps cloud costs controlled, and ensures applications run where they best fit,Teckchandani said.

Nutanix simplifies managing this environment through a single pane of glass, giving us the flexibility to move workloads across clouds as new assets enter the business or as needs change – this aligns perfectly with our hybrid multi-cloud strategy,Tobgui said.

Forever New worked closely with Melbourne-based IT partner Perfekt, which saw hybrid multi-cloud as an essential thread in Forever New’s future-proofing strategy. The migration ran from November 2022 to February 2023 during the retailer’s busy Christmas season. According to Teckchandani, Perfekt remained extremely responsive, closely guiding Forever New along its cloud journey.

Not only are we now getting the most out of cloud, but we have also cut power consumption by slashing our former stack of 16 nodes down to just 10, so that’s around a 40 per cent reduction,” said Teckchandani.

Forever New has also seen major improvements in backup performance. Eight-hour ERP backups are now completed in under one hour, and data warehouse backups that took 12 hours are down to two hours.

Our infrastructure is on autopilot. It’s working, and I’m not living in it day-to-day – only when we need to add resources or run other maintenance. You don’t need a training course to learn how to use an iPhone, and Nutanix is the same. It’s intuitive, self-explanatory, and the support is great,Tobgui said.

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