GameStop (NYSE: GME), a global, multichannel video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer with its headquarters in Grapevine, Texas, has reported the successful migration of its domestic retail data center operation to Amazon Web Services (AWS Cloud). GameStop enlisted the help of Pariveda Solutions, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner, to architect and lead the data center migration.
GameStop made the decision to migrate its domestic retail data center after a prior successful migration of its international retail systems proved that AWS Cloud would better support GameStop business goals with flexible, cost effective infrastructure. Pariveda Solutions also automated cloud infrastructure and software deployments, and transformed team processes with DevOps.
When migration planning began, GameStop IT reviewed its retail systems portfolio and identified opportunities to improve the effectiveness of its teams through emerging technologies and practices. The GameStop domestic systems portfolio included strategic investments in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft SQL Server, but many of the installed systems were on older versions and limited GameStop‘s ability to use the latest Microsoft operating system and database features.
Therefore, as part of its move to AWS, GameStop decided to deploy the latest version of the Windows operating system and upgrade its SQL Server database management fleet to Microsoft SQL Server 2016.
The Microsoft upgrade plan was significant in scope. “Normally, an effort to upgrade GameStop’s database systems would constitute its own project.” said John Schoonover, Director of Enterprise Technology, GameStop. “Through collaboration, deliberate planning, and Pariveda’s expertise, our team quickly evaluated and upgraded to Microsoft SQL 2016 on AWS Cloud.” The team installed, configured, and confirmed key systems and processes in a matter of weeks.
The upgrade effort required identifying edge cases and validating compatibility across an array of custom and commercial applications. As part of the cloud migration process, the team developed AWS CloudFormation templates to deploy Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and used Chef and PowerShell to automate the configuration of SQL Server 2016 clusters. The result was an automated AWS DevOps process for managing Microsoft workloads.
GameStop operates more than 7,500 stores across 14 countries. The company’s consumer product network also includes Kongregate – a browser-based game site; Game Informer magazine, a print and digital video game publication; and ThinkGeek – a retailer for the global geek community featuring exclusive and unique video game and pop culture products.