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Building a new BI infrastructure

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 8, 2012
Waleed Hanafi, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Global Blue, describes Global Blue’s BI Reporting Factory and outlines the challenges faced.

The major benefits AWS brings to Global Blue are speed, capacity and cost reduction. Our initial motivation was to restore BI services in the face of a capacity crunch in our data centre. The ability to move a key system to the cloud and get back into production was important for our business. More importantly, we avoided significant costs with our BI Reporting Factory - $800,000 in CAPEX (capital expenditure) and $5,000 to 8,000 per month in OPEX (operating expenditure) - which would have otherwise gone to on-premise infrastructure expenses.  

Beyond the cost savings, as mentioned above, an important consideration in choosing AWS was the ease of use and its flexibility. 

Any other point you would like to add?

Global Blue's next cloud initiative is to use the cloud to enhance our disaster recovery capability. We have been virtualised since 2007, so the cloud is an attractive option for the way we operate. We apply a test to any new system proposal that extends the old 'build versus buy' to 'build, buy, or cloud.' Our evaluation of cloud for disaster recovery is currently underway. Longer term, we are working on moving to high availability designs that take advantage of both internal computing resources and cloud services in a hybrid arrangement.

We have appreciated the willingness of AWS to work with us to explore new and innovative uses of their platform. Having a vendor's technical staff available to consult with is critical to moving projects forward.


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