Road Runner Sports – Case Study

road-runner-case-study

The Client

Road Runner Sports, founded in San Diego, California, in 1983, provides fitness and sports enthusiasts with the world’s largest selection of men’s and women’s running shoes, jogging shoes, running apparel and accessories for everyone from beginning runners to seasoned marathoners, cross-country runners and triathletes. Customers shop in a fun, friendly environment for running and walking gear from the biggest names in running such as Asics, New Balance, Nike, Saucony, adidas, Brooks and more.

Road Runner Sports has 25 retail stores across the country as well as a popular online store at www.roadrunnersports.com and a mail order catalog.

 

The Challenge

To support the business functions that operate as the backbone for all of Road Runner Sports’ business operations, the popular sports retailer relies on its Oracle E-Business Suite. Over the years the database has been customized with scripting and processes that are critical to the business. The problem? The Oracle database was running on older HP PA-RISC N-class servers and Road Runner Sports was coming up quickly on its final year of hardware support. To assure business continuity, the company needed to migrate to a supported platform. Yet, the migration needed to be done carefully to maintain the portability of the database and all of its customizations and processes.

“Because we were coming on the last year of support on our hardware, we needed to migrate off for support and maintenance reasons,” said Travis Burke of Road Runner Sports. “But, we run a 24 by 7 operation, so managing the downtime during a migration was of key concern. We needed to migrate without impacting the business and while still maintaining the integrity of the database.”

 

The Solution

Road Runner Sports’ first call was to Helixstorm, a long-time, trusted partner. Helixstorm could serve as a one-stop-shop for the sports retailer, by providing everything that was needed to achieve the transition without business interruption, including the migration planning, the new hardware and the migration services.

“We’ve been a customer of Helixstorm for nearly four years and always go to them first for support for our HP-UX operating systems and hardware as well as storage area network (SAN) solutions,” said Burke. “We knew that they could be relied upon to do everything from spec’ing out the hardware and planning the migration to being on hand as we go live. The best part is that when you can hand it off to one partner like Helixstorm there is no finger-pointing between vendors. Everything is managed by a single, trusted partner.”

Helixstorm recommended new Itanium servers in a HP Blade C-7000 Chassis. For the migration itself, Helixstorm structured the process to be performed in a single weekend to prevent business user interruption and to limit downtime.

The migration was performed exactly according to plan and achieved in a single weekend without user interruption. The project was truly flawless for the database as all of Road Runner Sports’ customizations, scripting and processes were migrated across to the Itanium platform seamlessly. As a result, Road Runner Sports has seen major performance improvements and is no longer worried about expiring hardware support and maintenance agreements.

“The migration went exactly as planned, and our business users really didn’t know anything was happening,” said Burke. “We hit all of the milestones and the impact was very little.”

“Helixstorm’s professional services expertise is exceptionally strong and their depth of knowledge is broad,” added Burke. “You can’t find a more talented partner. We will continue to rely on them as a strategic partner for many future projects to come.”

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