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Replacements, Ltd. Increases IT Automation and Performance with Oracle(r) Grid Computing Solution


Leading Tableware Retailer Enhances Redundancy, Improves Service Levels, and Reduces Overall IT Costs with Upgrade to Oracle 10g Infrastructure Software

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. 28-MAR-2006 Consumers and collectors of tableware around the globe turn to Replacements, Ltd., to purchase new tableware sets, complete old sets, and track down hard to find antiques and collectibles. Founded in 1981, Greensboro, NC-based Replacements, Ltd. is the world’s largest retailer of old and new tableware, including china, stoneware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless, and collectibles.

Information technology (IT) has been a key to Replacements, Ltd.’s growth, customer outreach and retention dating back to 1984 when the company deployed its initial IT system. Today, the company stands at approximately 550 employees with 300,000 square foot facilities -- roughly five football fields -- housing an inventory of 10 million pieces of tableware in over 200,000 patterns. With thousands of customer interactions via phone and its Web site (, Replacements, Ltd. can track each customer request allowing its staff to locate and ship tableware pieces for customers more quickly and efficiently. To power its extensive, internally developed inventory, sales, and CRM systems, Replacements, Ltd. deployed an enterprise grid computing infrastructure built using Oracle(r) 10g software.

By switching from UNIX servers to four HP ProLiant DL 385 servers with AMD Opteron processors running Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real Application Clusters, and Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Replacements, Ltd. has increased its IT performance, automated their data center operations and reduced related costs. Since upgrading to a clustered Oracle database environment in September 2005, Replacements, Ltd. has improved application availability and performance -- four to five times faster than before. This move to a clustered environment has virtually eliminated user complaints about the hindered performance of their previous single-server implementation. These performance improvements resulted in reduced runtime, further decreasing the windows required for after hours processing and enabling more automation of previously operator-attended processes and tasks.

Replacements, Ltd.’s IT staff relies on Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control (Oracle Grid Control) to manage and monitor its applications and grid infrastructure. The company has improved its system administration through the use of Oracle Grid Control. The labor- and time-savings extend to Replacements, Ltd.’s database storage management and provisioning. Their IT staff uses Oracle Database 10g’s Automatic Storage Management feature, a database volume manager and file system optimized for database access, to automate and streamline performance and storage management for their systems.

The retailer’s migration to an Oracle 10g on Linux infrastructure enabled the company to reduce costs across a number of areas starting with its hardware acquisition and maintenance costs. Replacements, Ltd. also eliminated its need for a variety of third-party products and associated costs. Oracle Clusterware reduced their need for expensive, third-party clustering software for its core systems. Oracle Automatic Storage Management displaced Replacements, Ltd.’s previous volume manager and file system. Additionally, Oracle Recovery Manager, the backup and recovery feature of Oracle Database 10g, provides dependable data backup, restore, and recovery procedures.

“Oracle enables an incremental growth model to replace our old, ’fork-lift’ growth model,” said Jim Meredith, Manager of Information Technology, Replacements, Ltd. “We can grow our capacity incrementally and non-disruptively by adding more nodes to the database cluster as needed. Oracle Real Application Clusters inherently provides better service levels than our previous model.”

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