KMart Adopts AWS Solutions to Enhance the Efficacy of Operational Applications
AWS solutions enabled KMart to develop the best possible solutions for scalability and productivity
Kmart is a leading product development company and a trusted retailer with more than 300 stores throughout Australia and New Zealand. Kmart ran over 30 mission-critical applications, including product registration, order replenishment, and supply chain systems on a mainframe system that had been in place for over 25 years, with some legacy code still running from the earliest days of the system. The mainframe was costly, and some mainframe systems were still run using green screens and simple terminals.
Kmart was spending millions of dollars each year on a mainframe that housed its core merchandising system and that was inflexible and difficult to maintain. Migrating Kmart’s mainframe applications to the cloud was going to be a huge but necessary task, and the transition needed to be completed quickly so Kmart could avoid renewing its contract with its mainframe provider. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a solution provided by Micro Focus, an AWS Partner, Kmart migrated its mainframe applications to the cloud in 14 months, saving millions of dollars and increasing its agility and ability to innovate for the future.
Kmart had already been using AWS for data warehousing, and the company planned to migrate its mainframe applications to AWS beginning in 2017. Although Kmart wanted to completely redesign its applications to be cloud-native on AWS, the redevelopment process was going to continue beyond the end of Kmart’s contract with its mainframe provider. To avoid getting locked into an expensive, multiyear mainframe contract, Kmart searched for alternative solutions to accelerate the migration. It selected Micro Focus, which offers a solution that runs on AWS with a mainframe-compatible execution environment to make it simple to migrate mainframe applications to the cloud. In March 2019, Kmart began migrating its core merchandising system off the mainframe and onto the Micro Focus solution on AWS with the help of Infosys, another AWS Partner.
In May 2020, Kmart’s mainframe applications went live on the Micro Focus solution on AWS, and the mainframe was decommissioned shortly thereafter. The mainframe had operated at approximately 500 million instructions per second and had consisted of COBOL, JCL, and PL/I applications and older backend databases. The solution also uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), a service that makes it simple to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.
Micro Focus’s solution also uses Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), a service that automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets and virtual appliances in one or more availability zones. Amazon FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file storage to the environment. Kmart has reduced its annual operating costs now that it has moved off its legacy mainframe. Using AWS and Micro Focus’s solution, Kmart also has better visibility into its applications and more flexibility to integrate the merchandising system with systems in other parts of the business.