Specsaver migrates to open source with Red Hat

Specsavers has migrated its UK operations' IT infrastructure, including servers, desktops and tills, away from Microsoft Windows 2000 to Red Hat.

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Specsavers has migrated its UK operations' IT infrastructure, including servers, desktops and tills, away from Microsoft Windows 2000 to Red Hat.

The optician retail chain is now expanding this Red Hat migration to its 830 stores in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Spain.

In addition to replacing all desktops and servers in the stores, Specsavers has also replaced several head-office Solaris servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Specsavers has also developed a new in-store application, called Socrates 7, which was developed as a Java application for the new infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on an Intel platform on Fujitsu Siemens hardware for both servers and store desktops.

Crucial to the move is the adoption of Linux open standards so it can avoid being locked into using any single vendor's software.

"With our new store system, every single business-critical application is running on Red Hat, from the till to the test room hardware," Nigel Spain, Specsavers’ global architecture manager said in a statement.

Spain added that the Red Hat Satellite Server, which centrally monitors and updates all Red Hat Enterprise Linux installations, was a key factor that lead Specsavers to choose Red Hat technology.

"The Satellite Server is strategically essential for our operations. We can now automate our whole deployment and manage maintenance and updates centrally. This used to be completed manually going to every single store one-by-one and delaying the process extensively," he said.

Additionally, Specsavers is using other open source solutions such as Apache webserver and JBoss business process management software, jBPM, to manage its workflow.

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