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Hannaford Saves Big

Food retailer Hannaford Bros. Co. has shaved $300,000 a year off its annual software costs following a major system and storage upgrade.

At the heart of the overhaul is an IBM System z9 mainframe, which recently replaced an older z900 machine from the same vendor at Hannafords HQ in Scarborough, Maine. Bill Homa, Hannaford’s CIO, says that as well as being four times faster than its predecessor, the z9 has opened the door to major savings.

“We’re taking advantage of IBM sub-capacity licensing, which means that we only pay for the parts of the system that we use,” he explains. “We’re also taking advantage of capacity on demand.”

IBM is one of a number of vendors, including Sun and HP, currently touting the benefits of new usage-based pricing models for IT gear. (See IBM Clinches ABN AMRO Deal, Sun Makes Cloudy Data Center Play and Utility Computing: Where Is It At?.)

The z9 scales up to 64 processors, unlike the z900, which went up to 32 chips, according to Homa. “Whereas previously the system was running at full capacity and we were paying for all of that,” he says. “Now we’re only paying for the processors we use,” he says.

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