Chronodrive is a drive-through grocery service in France: customers shop online and drive to neighborhood pickup points where their purchases are loaded into their cars. With more than 60 grocery stores in France, two in Italy, and more on the way, Chronodrive needs up-to-the-minute knowledge of what’s selling in each store so that it can order the right inventory for the next day. To stay agile, competitive, and operationally lean in a highly competitive and fast-growing market, Chronodrive migrated its entire on-premises datacenter to the cloud in late 2014, with most workloads moving to Microsoft Azure. Azure is a public cloud environment that provides compute, storage, networking, and other services for creating and hosting applications in Microsoft datacenters.
In late 2014, Chronodrive deployed a supply-chain management application called Slim4 (from Slimstock) used for forecasting, demand planning, and inventory control. Chronodrive originally ran Slim4 on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines using Microsoft Azure Standard Storage. However, the database layer of the application, which runs on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 database software, required more performance that what the standard storage offered. As a result, Chronodrive was unable to complete its daily calculation of products sold, then reorder products needed for the following day by its 6:00 P.M. deadline. Without this calculation, Chronodrive managers had to make educated guesses about what to order, and the company wound up with expensive unused inventory or with not enough of some items, which resulted in lost sales.