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A pioneer in global positioning system (GPS) navigation, Garmin International Inc. was founded in 1989 with a handful of dedicated engineers and the idea for an innovative product. Today, with 8,800 employees worldwide, Garmin is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of navigation and communication devices and services. The company has built and sold 88 million devices that serve aviation, automotive, marine, outdoor, fitness, and wireless markets. Its goal is to enrich the lives of customers, suppliers, distributors, and employees by providing the very best products that offer superior quality, safety, and operational features at affordable prices.
Garmin wanted to reduce total cost of ownership for its extensive Oracle Database environment and for supporting the infrastructure that powered the company’s Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning, Demantra Demand Management, and Hyperion Financial Management applications, as well as other business-critical systems. The company’s supply chain and demand management environments, alone, process 13 million queries, as well as 30,000 batch jobs and reports monthly.
Garmin also wanted to address IT performance issues that had begun to escalate alongside the company’s rapid growth.
Garmin Connect, which supports the company’s fitness segment, provides customers with an online platform to store, retrieve, and interact with data captured using Garmin fitness products. The environment, which is built on an Oracle Database, processes approximately 40 million queries per week. Prior to using Oracle Exadata Database Machine, as the online offering grew in popularity, it began to face reliability issues that had negatively impacted the customer experience.
To combat these issues and support continued growth and innovation, Garmin implemented two Oracle Exadata Database Machine Half Racks. One rack supports production systems, including Garmin Connect, as well as the company’s Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning, Demantra Demand Management, and Hyperion Financial Management environments. The other rack is for nonproduction databases that IT and business teams use as a development and test environment for future initiatives.
With the implementation, Garmin consolidated four production databases and 20 nonproduction databases onto the two Oracle Exadata Database Machines, significantly reducing IT costs. The company has realized a 20% to 50% improvement in overall database performance with no additional modifications. Even with a roughly 400% increase in Garmin Connect traffic and a four-fold increase in data from 3 terabytes to 12 terabytes, Oracle Active Data Guard has significantly reduced the amount of planned and unplanned downtime. Further, the company has reduced backup times by up to 50% and cut the time needed to duplicate the company’s largest database from eight days to just 10 hours.
Moving forward, Garmin plans to migrate to Oracle Exadata the databases supporting its critical business systems, including the core Oracle E-Business Suite database that supports the company’s financials, order management, inventory, warehouse, shipping, purchasing, and manufacturing operations.
“We selected Oracle Exadata Database Machine because it efficiently integrates networking, I/O, and CPU in a single cabinet. This reduces the footprint in the data center regarding space, power, and cooling. Consolidating databases onto Oracle Exadata reduces patching, system management, and security maintenance demands,” said Ed Link, vice president, information technology, Garmin International Inc.
“Oracle Exadata provides a single hardware and software solution. The synergy between the hardware and the software components leads to high performance, and system consolidation eases environment management,” Link said.
Garmin International Inc. purchased its Oracle Exadata Database Machine in May 2010 and began its proof of concept in August 2010. It completed the implementation in three phases: first addressing the databases processing Oracle Advanced Supply Chain Planning and Demantra Demand Management transactions, and then moving to the Garmin Connect environment, followed by the company’s Hyperion Financial Management data infrastructure. It completed and tested all implementations by April 2011.
“The key lesson we learned is to perform extensive testing. In addition, it is important to purchase the latest versions for all solutions to maximize performance. Further, by performing a database consolidation project in parallel with the implementation, we could take full advantage of our investment,” Link said.
“Oracle Support has helped us throughout our implementation―with personalized daily conference calls, late-night support, custom help from Exadata product management, and involvement with upper-level executives at Oracle,” Link said. “Oracle has gone above and beyond to help make sure our Oracle Exadata implementation is a success.”