Revlon CIO details private cloud success story

Cosmetics company CIO details his private cloud’s disaster recovery and transaction capabilities at Gartner summit.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The technology behind lipstick sales managed to pull one of the larger audiences during Gartner’s recent infrastructure conference.

Revlon, a global cosmetics enterprise, moved to a private cloud infrastructure two years ago as part of a restructuring project to increase capability, speed, security and to enable consumerization all while cutting costs.

The success of its private cloud model was detailed by David Giambruno, Revlon senior vice president and CIO, during a presentation called “Revlon: Making the Cloud glamorous” at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit here last week.

As part of the project, Revlon cut down the number of servers used from 600 to 70 and reduced power consumption by 72%. Afterwards, the data center air conditioners would freeze because the servers weren’t producing much heat, so they turn them off and move equipment around to warm them up, Giambruno said.

“We haven’t bought a server for CPU in two years. We buy memory. It’s all about memory and I/O,” he said.

The company’s private cloud handles 531 applications that run at 99.9996% uptime and it supports 98% of Revlon’s compute. The result is $70.4 million in savings and cost avoidance over the last two years, said Giambruno.

In addition, Revlon’s cloud makes 15,000 automated moves a month, handles 14,000 transactions a second with a change rate of 17 to 30 terabytes a week. Revlon replicates all its data “minus 15 minutes” globally, he said, making it easier to get back up and running without much data loss.

“This can be done. We do it. And it works. And we’re up all the time,” said Giambruno.

Network knowledge has been critical to the project’s success and tools such as Riverbed’s WAN optimization technology play an important role in Revlon’s infrastructure, he said.

Giambruno also illustrated the value of the disaster recovery capabilities of Revlon’s private cloud. When its Venezuelan data center had to shift all inbound transactions to its New Jersey data center due to a fire at the Venezuelan facility, they “brought up 400 virtual desktops all in an hour and 45 minutes,” he said. The technical process only took five minutes.

Giambruno said Revlon isn’t beholden to rules and regulations that many enterprises are, so it had the flexibility to take some risks.

“I do make lipstick. I’m not a bank. I have no PCI compliance. … So we’re able to do things that most people can’t,” said Giambruno.

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