Volume 9, Number 20 -- May 19, 2009

Vision Helps Australian Pharmaceuticals Optimize DASD

Published: May 19, 2009

by Alex Woodie

It's easy to forget that Vision Solutions has other products besides i OS high availability software, considering the company has become by far the biggest i OS HA software vendor. But the Southern California company sells other products, too, including software for optimizing DASD, and last week it announced a deal with Australian Pharmaceutical Industries for Vision's Data Manager software.

Data Manager is a data archiving and DASD optimization tool that Vision obtained in its March 2005 acquisition of British OS/400 software house OS Solutions. The tool brings routines that help administrators to identify and purge old and obsolete data from their databases, thereby decreasing the System i server's storage requirements and speeding up application performance and queries. The utility does this without taking the database offline (as some ERP product's native utilities do), and keeps a full audit trail of data purges for your auditor's pleasure.

Data Manager has enjoyed a solid reputation among Lawson M3 (formerly Intentia Movex) shops for years, and that trend continues with Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API), a $3.5 billion Australian (about $2.5 billion U.S.) pharmaceutical distributor based in Australia.

API relies on the i OS-based M3 ERP system to run its business, which includes distributing pharmaceuticals to more than 4,000 pharmacies in Australia and New Zealand from key distribution points. While the company's business is growing, the side effect of this growth is a never-ending flow of new data into the ERP system, which can take its toll.

Vision estimates that the 24/7-flow of data from customers, agents, suppliers, and pharmacists adds up to 30 GB of new data entering API's ERP system every week. Before purchasing Data Manager, the new data entering M3 tended lingered there, causing the M3 database to get a bit bloated.

Thanks to Data Manager's data purging routines, API was able to reduce the DASD consumed by the production database by 400 percent. "Without their technology, our database would now exceed 3.5 TB," says Brett Hart, application manager in the finance and business reporting segment of API.

Today, the production database is stable at around 1 TB. "We now control our data, rather than it controlling us," Hart says. "We're confident that with Data Manager, we can continue to grow our business without suffering because of the data volumes that our success generates."

Allan Campbell, vice president of sales for Vision's Asia Pacific division, isn't surprised by the successful reduction of production data at API. "Data Manager consistently demonstrates it is the best and most effective way to archive data on Lawson's M3 platform," Campbell says.


Vision Solutions Partners with ERP Vendor Intentia for Database Archiving

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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