Forever New dons Nutanix tech to refresh infrastructure

Melbourne-based global women’s fashion retailer Forever New modernised its infrastructure by using Nutanix technology to support its maturing cloud strategy and to help ready it for a customer experience evolution.

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

“Our Melbourne data centre 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,” he said.

Forever New’s initial implementation in 2016 included Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure, which collapsed the previous three-tier array of separate server, storage, and networking technology in its data centre. 

In February 2023, Forever New completed its infrastructure modernisation project with Nutanix AHV, which sped up infrastructure and enterprise applications essential to running the retailer’s business.

“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,” said Ben Tobgui, group head of infrastructure at Forever New.

“Performance of the underlying infrastructure has immensely improved,” said Tobgui. “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.”

He added that 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. 

“Not everything is cost-effective in 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. 

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.

“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% 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.