Supermarket Tesco is aiming to boost the performance of its online shopping site by moving it to a 64-bit IT infrastructure by the end of the year.
Tesco.com is about to complete the migration of its infrastructure from a mixture of Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows NT4 to an Active Directory-based implementation of the newly released Windows Server 2003 operating system.
Initial testing has shown a 20 per cent performance increase, but Mike Yorwerth, head of operations and infrastructure at Tesco.com, told vnunet.com that the company is likely to upgrade again to 64-bit before 2003 is out.
"We will have a new platform for the database by the end of the year," he said.
The rapidly growing website - which showed a twelvefold increase in profits to £12.2m in 2002 - currently handles 110,000 orders a week. The extreme peaks in demand led to Tesco.com outgrowing its old infrastructure, Yorwerth added.
"For us there were some challenges on Windows 2000. We used up all the headroom. Windows Server 2003 has improvements to the stability and security of IIS, there is support for hyper-threading and the 64-bit capability gives us options for upgrading," he said.
"The website is a peaking sort of environment. What we have seen with Windows Server 2003 under extreme loads is that performance is much better."
Tesco has previously stated its commitment to Microsoft's web services strategy by following a .Net route, and Yorwerth said developers are already using the beta version of Visual Studio .Net 2003 to build new services that are planned for later in the year.
"Web services is critical to the way our future architecture is built," he said.
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