Moscow, 17 May 2022 – X5 Group ("X5" or the "Company", LSE and MOEX ticker: FIVE), a leading Russian food retailer, has launched a proprietary cloud platform.
The platform, called Salt, is a private cloud based on open-source software and technology developed by X5. The solution is designed to bring cost-saving efficiencies to IT infrastructure owners, accelerate time to market for digital projects, and reduce their carbon footprint by leveraging green technologies at state-of-the-art data centres operated by X5 and its partner Selectel. Once the Company addresses internal business challenges, it will consider introducing the Salt solution to the public cloud market.
Salt is much more than a collection of infrastructure and platform management services: it also offers a set of automated processes that allow digital projects to quickly launch in the cloud with all the necessary security settings. Salt relies on a new approach to data security which ensures a high level of data protection without sacrificing convenience and efficiency for the user. Some of the platform components are made available to Х5's internal customers as a service. This includes the data centre, which is offered as a data storage and processing service. In this way, the Company can ensure its 99.9% accessibility.
By launching Salt and hosting its cloud at the partners' high-tech data centres, X5 is building a new approach to infrastructure operation. Selectel, a major cloud and IT infrastructure provider, will be responsible for administering servers, racks and communication channels, which will help to significantly reduce the cost of platform services for Х5's internal customers and considerably improve the reliability and resilience of the system.
Anton Mironenkov, Head of X5 Technologies, commented:
"By launching Salt, we are embarking on a cloud-driven transformation to migrate the majority of our IT systems and key products to a private cloud. Х5 took a systematic approach to transitioning to its own cloud infrastructure – we embraced the challenge to shape the development of the system, design and roll out the services and operate the platform without being dependent on vendors and market fluctuations. Salt offers opportunities to extend the customer experience beyond conventional cloud services and provide the full range of IT solutions to Х5's business and digital project teams, using the cloud as a single entry point for billing.
The Company's approach to selecting an IT infrastructure provider, a reliable data centre and a server architecture supports our goal of promoting sustainable technology, which will help us to significantly reduce global carbon (CO2) emissions. To achieve high energy efficiency, the provider's data centre already uses free cooling refrigeration units, which makes it possible to use the power of outside air for cooling. In addition, the data centre does not require battery use thanks to the instalment of dynamic uninterruptible power supplies with double energy conversion. This is a good example of how we harness innovation to make our business more efficient and the planet greener."
X5 launched the initiative to migrate to its own cloud in 2021. The solution is based on a combination of open-source products, the Company's proprietary expertise and a service-driven approach. The key components of the platform — including a data orchestrator, a portal, a billing unit and the platform's general architecture — are a proprietary product of the Company. The Salt private cloud, based on OpenStack and Kubernetes technologies, has been rolled out at two data centres — at the Company's own data centre in Moscow and at Selectel's data centre in St Petersburg. Thanks to this synergy, X5 can focus on its business priorities while delegating the administration of the physical infrastructure to its partners.
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