October 12, 2006 13:06 ET

IBM Japan Develops LAWSON's New Information System Platform

System z Mainframe's Virtualization and Linux Capabilities Drive Consolidation From UNIX and x86-Based Servers

TOKYO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 12, 2006 -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced today that IBM Japan has developed a new information system platform for Japanese convenience store chain, LAWSON, Inc., to allow LAWSON to simplify and consolidate its IT systems and more quickly develop new services for its customers in LAWSON's 8,300 stores.

IBM is enabling LAWSON to optimize its overall information system by simplifying and consolidating system components. For example, operations that used to be located in four data centers were integrated into only one data center. At the same time, mission-critical applications, including finance and accounting, which used to require more than 200 UNIX and PC servers, have been consolidated to IBM's open mainframe, the IBM z990. IBM also is providing outsourcing services to these system resources as well as operation and maintenance.

LAWSON is closely linking its information systems to its business strategy, updating to the latest technology to quickly meet new business needs. It is reconstructing its information system platform to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of application development to offer innovative new services more quickly.

The new LAWSON system takes advantage of the IBM mainframe's ability to run its flagship z/OS operation system concurrently with open and industry standard technologies such as Linux and Java on a single server. With IBM's unique virtualization technology, multiple logical partitions can be configured on the machine.

For LAWSON, IBM set up over 30 logical partitions on two z990s. These logical partitions were further divided to run many Linux-powered virtual servers on the two z990s to integrate tasks that used to run on UNIX and PC servers. With fewer servers and CPUs, the operation and maintenance load is substantially reduced. Also, the CPU unit charge of software license fees is expected to be reduced.

By utilizing logical partitions and IBM's z/VM virtualization technology, which allows the creation of numerous virtual servers on a single mainframe, each virtual development environment can be quickly created, enabling the creation of new applications. This will allow LAWSON to avoid setting up a physical environment, minimizing the need for additional servers and networking devices and shortening application development by approximately one month.


LAWSON is the one of largest convenience store franchisers in Japan, having 3,000 employees; the number of stores exceeds 8,300 as of February 28, 2006. LAWSON has three different types of convenience stores. Regular LAWSON targets male customers, from their 20s to their 40s, who are the so-called CVS core target. Natural LAWSON provides beauty and health products to female customers, from their 20s to their 40s, willing to pay premium prices for premium products. Lastly, LAWSON STORE 100 targets housewives and elderly customers, offering products at a flat-rate price of only 100 yen per item. For more information, please visit

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