Case Studies

World Wide Technology: From Mission Impossible to $1 Million in Savings

Company: World Wide Technology (WWT) – St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Market: IT
Key Technologies

      • Oracle E-Business Suite


      • Oracle Database 11g


      • Oracle Real Application Clusters


      • Oracle Automatic Storage Management


    • Microsoft SQL Server

For World Wide Technology (WWT) database performance is everything. The company does $4.2 billion a year in sales providing technology products, services, and global supply chain solutions to some of the world’s biggest companies. Seeking a new infrastructure to support in¬creasing business capacity, WWT enlisted Pythian’s expertise. The mission: a massive database upgrade and migration to be completed quickly and with minimum downtime.

      • 60% increase in capacity compared to the previous system


      • 4x increase in business process speed


    • $1 million in savings over 3 years on annual maintenance

WWT was running its mission-critical enterprise resource planning (ERP) application on a four-year-old server. All of the company’s global warehouse operations interfaced with this platform, which couldn’t scale easily, provide a cost-effective disaster recovery solution, or deliver the higher availability offered in Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) architectures. With processing capacity maxed out—and 500,000 to 3,500,000 transactions an hour on the line—WWT had grown to the point where its hardware could not scale much further to meet the needs of the business.

WWT needed to upgrade its database to the latest version of Oracle Database 11g, migrate from a single-instance to a three-node clustered database, move from Solaris 9 to RedHat Linux 5.5, and upgrade from SAN to Oracle Automatic Storage Management. These projects, all very involved on their own, become even more complex when attempted simultaneously— especially when everything had to be completed within a tight 40-hour maintenance window.

WWT struggled to find a partner with the experience and capacity to formulate a practical migration plan and meet the project’s aggressive schedule. Leveraging its experience, expertise, and 24×7 support, Pythian took just one week to solve the problems WWT had been wrestling with for over a month. Pythian helped WWT devise an efficient implementation plan that minimized downtime and cut 22 hours from the initial timeframe. While WWT’s DBAs handled the migration itself, Pythian was on standby every step of the way, ready to provide support as needed. Pythian was asked to provide several out-of-scope items—a reflection of the level of trust that had quickly been established.

“Pythian was brought in on short notice to solve difficult challenges and they did a fantastic job… They’ve quickly become my ‘in case of emergency, break glass’ support and my most trusted advisors – I have the confidence that when I call Pythian, they’ll give me an answer that isn’t just plausible, but correct.”
– Todd Carlson, Manager, DBA/ERP Teams, World Wide Technology


With Pythian’s expertise, WWT beat its downtime window by 4 hours—even with additional project scope. The project will save WWT more than $1 million over 3 years compared to its old platform.
WWT’s new architecture delivers:

• Increased capacity – 60% more capacity than previous system.
• Better performance – Most business processes run up to four times faster.
• Reduced costs – Removing 14 servers from WWT’s datacenter reduces annual maintenance.
• More uptime – New environment offers high availability, easy scalability, and cost-effective disaster recovery.
• Improved manageability – New features deliver improved application and database efficiency.

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