IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

CASE STUDY: Nimble Storage and Fly Buys NZ partner for digital transformation

By Ashton Young
Mon 18 Jul 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Loyalty New Zealand owns and runs the Fly Buys customer rewards program in New Zealand. 2.4 million customers who spend with Fly Buys clients earn Fly Buys points that they can then redeem for goods and services from the Fly Buys online rewards store. In order to issue over 400 million Fly Buys points each year Loyalty New Zealand processes over 100 million transactions per year representing NZ$11.5 billion (US$7.42 billion) of retail spend through its collation of 55 client businesses.

The company also provides data and analytics services to the Fly Buy rewards program, Fly Buys merchants, and other customers through its wholly-owned data and analytics business, Lab360.


In early 2015, Loyalty NZ was facing some big decisions around the renewal of critical parts of its IT infrastructure. In particular, the EMC storage arrays that had supported the business for more than five years, were reaching the end of their maintenance contract.

"Our legacy storage was also causing problems as our business continued to grow," says Duanne O'Brien, Chief Technology Officer at Loyalty NZ. "It could no longer provide the performance and reliability required by our existing business critical applications to process the volume of data that was coming in from our retail clients."

"In peak times, we would have to take data files from our clients and hold them overnight and break them into parts just to fit them in our batch window. The bottleneck was in the performance of our SAN."

Duanne says further problems were caused by an increasing number of failures in the SAN and subsequently in the applications it was supporting. This resulted in jobs needing to be re-run, causing further delays in getting results out to customers and ongoing impact to the business.

"We were also faced with the situation where we were unable to take on any more processing load as we simply had no capacity. This was constraining the overall growth of the business and we knew we had to find an alternative."

A Nimble alternative

After considering a number of options, a decision was made in late 2015 to implement a Nimble Storage CS300 storage array in the company's main data center in Auckland.

"I am all for recognising and exploring modern and innovative ways of doing things," says Duanne. "Nimble Storage appealed to us because it represented a technology step-change and was clearly head-and-shoulders above anything else on the market."

The initial CS300 SAN was deployed over a period of two months and quickly began supporting a range of applications including VMware, Microsoft Windows, Oracle and SQL databases, SAS, SAS VA and CommVault.

Business benefits

With the new array up and running, Loyalty NZ quickly noticed a range of significant business benefits.

"Our batch window for processing was eight hours and in the past we had regularly failed to get all work done in this time frame," says Duanne. "With the Nimble Storage SAN in place, what used to take eight hours could be completed in just two-and-a-half hours. It was a very significant improvement."

Processing was also improved because SAN failures had been removed. The higher performance meant customers could receive points into their accounts up to 24 hours faster than had previously been possible. Essentially Nimble Storage had assisted in closing the significant app-data gap that could not be handled by its legacy EMC infrastructure, and was impacting Loyalty’s end customers.

"Our service operations team no longer has to worry about closely monitoring batch runs and restarting them when failures occurred," says Duanne. "Everything is now completed smoothly in a fraction of the time."

Following the success of the initial Nimble Storage implementation, a decision was made to deploy a second CS300 storage array at the company's second data center in Wellington.  The array was installed within a month and, together with the Auckland array, provides a total capacity of 60TB.

"In each data center we were able to reduce the footprint required for storage," says Duanne. "This is particularly important when rack space is tight and we are also keen to keep a lid on our power and cooling costs."

As well as supporting the company's core loyalty programs, the Nimble Storage arrays are used to support everything from web sites to images of virtual machines.

The storage also underpins the Lab360 business unit which provides data and analytics services and consulting to other companies. The company sees Lab360 as a business that will experience significant growth during the next few years.

Duanne says Loyalty NZ has also implemented Nimble's InfoSight management portal to provide holistic oversight of the storage arrays.

"High performance is expected these days, but actually not enough. There is a modern expectation that you will be using analytics to drive digital business transformation and really understand what is going on within your Infrastructure environment, and InfoSight is certainly in that space, which is part of why we decided to go with Nimble Storage," he says. "The remote monitoring capability is very attractive and allows us to focus on other things."  

Loyalty NZ is currently planning for the implementation of a third storage array, and expects this to be in place by the end of this year. The extra capacity will enable the company to continue to grow and provide better service to its customer base.

"When you are making significant commitments to capital expenditure you want to invest in things that can be a silver bullet to a problem at hand, and I've been able to achieve this with the best of breed Nimble deployment," says Duanne. "It's given us the solid storage foundation we needed to underpin our future plans."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
VMware wins Google Cloud partner award for infrastructure modernisation
The cloud computing and virtualisation company was recognised for its achievements as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem.
Story image
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Consumers want personalisation, but don't trust brands with their data
Customers expect personalisation during every brand interaction but they don't trust brands to keep their personal data secure and to use it responsibly. 
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Cyclone selected as NZ MOE software licensing partner
Following a recent Request for Proposal (RFP), Christchurch-based company Cyclone Computer Company Ltd (Cyclone) has been selected as The Ministry of Education’s software licensing partner.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Apptio adds portfolio enhancements to promote digital strategy
"While digitalisation creates opportunities, it also makes budgeting far more complex, leading many companies to waste substantial funds."
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
Open source
DataStax secures US$115 million to fund database expansion
DataStax has secured US$115 million in funding, which it will use to develop and expand its Astra DB multi-cloud database and Astra Streaming service globally.
Story image
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Workday winning on culture and family focus
This family-first approach sees all employees receive access to family-wide private healthcare cover, as well as income protection and life insurance policies.
Story image
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
Lenovo announces launch of Retail Solutions portfolio in A/NZ
Lenovo has announced the launch of its Lenovo Retail Solutions portfolio across the A/NZ region, which they say will help retailers transform their business and face future retail demands.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
How a single mandate changed software development forever
There’s conjecture about exactly when it was issued and by whom, but a mandate made twenty years ago is continuing to shape the software development process today.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Orbital Insight
Orbital Insight solution set to drive better data-driven decisions
The company says the new Site Intelligence solution will provide granular visibility, behaviour analytics and deep insights about customers and competitors at any location. 
Story image
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce harnesses automated solutions with new developments
Salesforce has launched Sales Cloud Unlimited, a new feature to help accelerate productivity with AI and automation.
Story image
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.
Story image
F5 Networks
Telstra, F5 team up to bolster services and solutions
“This partnership demonstrates our ongoing investment into APAC as we continue delivering high value services and solutions to our partners and customers."
Story image
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.