Grocery franchisee gets real return on virtualized network

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
delivery man at door

Jerry’s Foods is minimizing the costs and downtime associated with its IT infrastructure.

Operating 50 franchised grocery, liquor and hardware stores in Minnesota and Florida, Jerry’s Foods does not have IT staff available on-site at its brick-and-mortar locations. Instead, a small, five-member IT staff must manage all network operations.

Given these limitations, Jerry’s Foods found that its legacy virtualized IT infrastructure had become costly, unreliable, and difficult to operate and manage. The existing infrastructure also no longer met backup and support requirements.

Jerry’s Foods decided it needed a new infrastructure solution that could be clustered for high availability, managed remotely with ease, and have the computing power needed for on-site applications. The retailer decided to implement a platform based on Scale Computing HE150 small, storage-based computing devices.

With Scale Computing, Jerry’s Foods has expanded its previous IT infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and now runs 70 virtual machines at the corporate office. Jerry’s Foods also has thirteen additional four-node systems, and a three-node mini-system deployed at seven stores. The goal is to keep adding to these systems in order to eventually replace all of Jerry’s Foods’ previous servers in every one of its retail store locations and corporate office.

After implementing Scale Computing HE150, Jerry’s Foods has reported maximum uptime and connectivity, which has aided the reliability of business-critical systems such as POS, electronic customer loyalty programs, and electronic benefit transfer (EBT) – important as food stamps make up a significant portion of the retailer’s business. As part of its backup strategy, Jerry’s Foods also implemented the Scale Computing Data Protection Suite.

Specific benefits include an estimated 50% decrease on the time spent managing IT infrastructure. The company has also reduced its cost per instance by 50% compared to previous legacy virtualization systems, and reported major improvements to its DVR security camera system rollout for its multi-grocery store location model. 

“We used to have a legacy virtualization system as our backup strategy, but it didn’t work very well,” said Jeff Miller, director of IT at Jerry’s Foods. “Now we have Scale Computing, which works extremely well. Our corporate and remote locations have a backup location that we can failover to, and within a minute it can be turned on and brought up right away. It is safe to say I am sleeping better at night.” 

Founded in 1947 in Edina, Minn., Jerry’s Foods operates 50 franchised locations of national store brands including Cub Foods, County Market, and Save-A-Lot within Minnesota and Florida. 

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