GKL

Infrastructure refresh turbocharges the database

The business of GKL Marketing-Marktforschung is to extract knowledge from massive amounts of
data. To provide its customers with a reliable basis for their pricing decisions, the market research company relies on high-performance, highly available databases. With features like Extreme Cache
Pool, state-of-the-art storage technology from Fujitsu ensures significantly higher performance,
faster access times, and greater availability.

Challenge

Infrastructure refresh for faster access times and improved storage system availability

Solution

  • State-of-the-art storage system
  • ETERNUS AF all-flash system for continuous

Outcomes

  • Access times in the nanosecond range, thanks to the improved performance of all systems – including the network
  • Significantly greater availability, thanks to powerful storage with Extreme Cache Pool
  • Highest possible cybersecurity and data security, thanks to a multilevel backup and security concept
  • Greatly reduced administrative effort, thanks to a reliable, highly automated system
  • An approximately 30 percent reduction in power consumption and more room in the data center, thanks to comprehensive software support
Thanks to state-of-the-art Fujitsu storage technology, we benefit from significantly higher performance, faster access times, and greater availability.

Robert Gallinat, CEO of the operative IT service provider company for GKL Marketing-Marktforschung GmbH & Co. KG

50 million

price datasets generated and processed by GKL each year to provide its customers with a basis
for pricing decisions.

The customer

For over 25 years, GKL Marketing-Marktforschung GmbH & Co. KG (GKL) has supported its customers in developing their pricing policies based on complete price and shopping cart surveys. For monitoring shelf prices, GKL works with freelancers who receive their assignments via the GKL web app and upload the data they collect directly via the app. This requires that the underlying IT infrastructure be sufficiently fast and powerful.

Data informs the price

Each year, GKL Marketing-Marktforschung GmbH & Co. KG generates some 50 million datasets – and the number is growing. Germany’s leading market-based price monitoring service provider supports retailers in developing their pricing policies based on complete price surveys. The datasets containing the shelf prices must be stored in the main memory and able to be accessed incredibly quickly. The faster the database query, the faster errors can be detected and prevented. This places tremendous demands on the storage system, particularly in terms of access time, security, and data recovery.

Revitalization of the IT infrastructure

To continue meeting these requirements in the future, GKL needed an infrastructure refresh that went beyond updating components. Objectives included higher performance and an expanded cache in order to shorten access times to the database. For years, GKL has relied on Fujitsu as a solution provider and PROFI AG as an IT service provider for updates to its IT infrastructure. These established partners have also managed to develop a well-rounded overall concept for the latest update in the form of focused workshops based on Fujitsu's co-creation approach. Solutions from Fujitsu were primarily featured. “We have a strong relationship with Fujitsu that’s based on mutual trust and a good collaborative atmosphere. It has once again proven effective in this project,” explains Robert Gallinat. “During the workshops, Fujitsu provided us and PROFI with in-depth consulting. As a result, we were able to determine the architecture that best meets our needs in the context of a discussion among equals.”

GKL is one of the first customers in Germany to deploy the FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS DX600 S5 state-of-the-art storage system. Extreme Cache Pool provides additional security and boosts performance, thanks to an accelerated read/write cache that generates a full backup of about 30 TB in just 30 minutes. The backup software from Commvault ensures a constant backup of the large databases on Fujitsu’s ETERNUS AF all-flash system. The combination of solutions from Fujitsu and Commvault is an especially effective tool for database-centered projects. Current data can be restored at any time via real-time backup. For archiving, the customer uses the Fujitsu Storage ETERNUS LT260 tape library.

Equipped for future projects

As latest-generation server technology, GKL uses a Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 3800 environment with 6 TB of main memory. The system has a modular design and is flexibly scalable. To optimize utilization, the customer virtualizes all its servers on this compact system.

GKL is also in good shape when it comes to data security and cybersecurity, thanks to the multilevel backup and security concept. Last but not least, the compact architecture of the Fujitsu environment requires less IT administration and less space in the data center, while consuming 30 percent less electricity. “Thanks to the reliable Fujitsu systems, we’re free to concentrate on topics for the future,” says Gallinat. For GKL, this specifically means machine learning and artificial intelligence. Gallinat is also dropping hints that Fujitsu will serve as a technology partner in these future projects.

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