RaiaDrogasil relies on Oracle Cloud to help safeguard customer data

The Brazilian drugstore chain pursues disaster recovery in the cloud with Oracle Exadata Database Service for a hybrid strategy.

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It is an absurd number of transactions and data that we manage, and we needed to take this to a platform that could be scalable and that could support it. Then OCI came in to guarantee the safety of our data and transactions. It’s a compelling high-availability case study.

Paolo KorikawaDatabase and Middleware Manager, RaiaDrogasil

Business challenges

Brazilian drugstore company RaiaDrogasil depends on the high availability of its infrastructure to keep its logistics, pharmacies, and healthcare platform up and running, well stocked, and able to meet customer demand. This includes Vitat, the healthcare ecosystem platform, which demands an uninterrupted 24/7 online presence for the multichannel retailer.

The company’s on-premises Oracle Exadata database system processes 300,000 calls per second, generated through a network of 2,600 pharmacies and 11 distribution centers. It also stores more than 30 years of transactional data, which previously took an average of 10 days to back up.

The mission-critical platform grew so big that RaiaDrogasil became concerned about availability and security, knowing that the slightest downtime would have painful consequences for consumers and for the business, because its entire supply chain depends on keeping the database running.

The company wanted a cloud solution that would be compatible with Oracle Exadata to ensure that the distribution and sales of medicine would continue uninterrupted in case of disaster. At the same time, RaiaDrogasil required the capability to synchronize transactional and historical data in real time in the cloud.

Oracle Exadata Database Service gives us not only backup but real-time data synchronization for worst-case scenarios.

Danilo CabreiraCloud Infrastructure Manager, RaiaDrogasil

Why RaiaDrogasil chose Oracle

The pharmaceutical retail company selected Oracle Exadata Database Service on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) as its disaster recovery platform because of its compatibility with the Oracle Exadata Database Machine installed on-premises for running core systems. Oracle Exadata Database Service provided RaiaDrogasil with a replica of critical production data outside of the physical data center. This acted as a preventive disaster recovery solution that protected daily drugstore transactions.

As a test for the future cloud migration of its key pharma platform, the company ran the entire production environment for seven uninterrupted days in Oracle Exadata Database Service, with no delays or increases in latency in the applications.

The company’s additional considerations included not having to buy backup-specific servers or pay for associated data center maintenance costs, along with the guaranteed availability, security, and maintenance of OCI.

RaiaDrogasil is no stranger to Oracle products. It uses Oracle Exadata as a core database and Oracle GoldenGate for replicating billions of data points flowing between data centers, distribution centers across the country, and pharmacies. For the Stix loyalty ecosystem, shared with supermarket chain GPA, RaiaDrogasil deployed Oracle CrowdTwist Loyalty and Engagement and Oracle Responsys Campaign Management, part of Oracle’s suite of customer experience solutions.

RaiaDrogasil’s hybrid architecture guarantees no downtime, while recovery occurs in hours versus days. Also, the drugstore chain eliminated 75% of hardware costs to handle increased data volume.

Results

By using Oracle Exadata Database Service, RaiaDrogasil was able to create a backup of its voluminous database in 10 hours versus the 10 days it previously took to copy to tape in a secondary site. Now the company can recover the system after unplanned downtime in only hours, with minimal impact on customers. RaiaDrogasil gained business continuity without financial losses from system downtime.

With a 10 gigabyte OCI FastConnect link, which provides a dedicated and secure connection over trusted endpoints, the company connected the Oracle data center in São Paulo to Oracle Exadata Database Service to synchronize data in real time.

The high performance and elasticity of dual Oracle Exadata Database Machines, on-premises and in the cloud, guaranteed high availability of pharmacy systems in stores and online. They handled and replicated 300,000 calls per second from 2,600 pharmacies, and added daily to the decades of data stored in the system. The hybrid architecture helped ensure that no downtime hampered the availability of medicines and vaccines, and that store stock was replenished, invoices were issued, and accounts were paid.

Without migrating core applications sensitive to latency from the back-end data center structure, the synchronization between on-premises and OCI paved the way for RaiaDrogasil’s future cloud native strategy, favoring hybrid and multicloud environments.

Also, synchronizing data to Oracle Exadata Database Service enabled RaiaDrogasil to provision the disaster recovery environment in hours instead of the 60 to 90 days previously spent on ordering, importing, and installing new servers.  The cloud’s consumption-based pricing model yielded a cost savings of 75% over three years by eliminating the purchase of additional hardware to handle increased data volume.

Using Oracle Analytics Cloud on OCI, the company mined the data stored in Exadata data for trends in pharmacy preferences, buying behavior, improvements in supply chain, and market forecasts. The analytics contributed to better customer engagement, with strategies such as the Stix loyalty rewards program and special promotions based on purchasing history.

Published:15 September 2022

About the customer

RaiaDrogasil is the largest drugstore chain in Brazil. The company operates 2,600 pharmacies, 11 distribution centers, and the Vitat health platform.