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Loblaw migrates SAP systems to Oracle cloud platform

Loblaw is upgrading its database infrastructure.

Loblaw Companies Limited is now running one of the world's largest single-instance SAP databases.

Canada’s leading food and pharmacy retailer  has migrated its SAP systems to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in an effort to modernize its IT infrastructure to more efficiently scale operations. Loblaw now runs a 180 terabyte (TB) SAP database managing a wide range of business activities, such as retail price tags and financials.

In addition, Loblaw will utilize its enhanced database to support two billion transactions each year, as well as its PC Optimum loyalty program with nearly 16 million active members.

Earlier in 2023, Loblaw migrated its SAP database to Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI. By moving its on-premises database footprint to the OCI platform, Loblaw says it has seen an up to 35% improvement in performance.

"It was extremely important for us to minimize risk during the move to the cloud. The SAP database had to operate correctly after the migration to safeguard the success of our businesses," said David Markwell, chief technology and analytics officer, Loblaw. "OCI had the proven experience of running databases at this scale in the cloud which made them the right choice for this work. The real validation came when our post-migration tests showed a 35 percent increase in performance in key SAP transactions. The results speak for themselves."

"Helping Loblaw move a database of that size and importance to the cloud was more than a standard cloud 'lift and shift' operation—it was a 'lift and shine.' Working closely with our partners at Accenture, we were able to provide a world-class infrastructure to serve as a foundation for Loblaw's operations now and into the future," said Karan Batta, senior VP, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. "OCI brings a unique ability to scale to run the biggest workloads our customers can throw at us. Our platform enables us to run massive workloads, including single-instance databases that are hundreds of terabytes in size."

[Read more: Loblaw to spend $2 billion on store upgrades, openings]

Loblaw’s network of more than 2,500 stores operate under a variety of banners, including Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, T&T, Joe Fresh, PC Express, President’s Choice, No Name and PC Financial.

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