• IT that grows your business

  • 5th October 2022

Norwood Aquarium – IBM i Replacement Project Case Study

norwood aquarium case study image - Norwood Aquarium - IBM i Replacement Project Case Study

Norwood Aquarium – IBM i Replacement Project Case Study

1024 683 Nicki Smith

KFA Connect helps Norwood Aquarium to replace their IBM i server.

KFA Connect were delighted to assist Norwood Aquarium with replacing their IBM i server and software.

Read here about the IBM i replacement project we have recently delivered for them, which was Phase One of a number of projects we are now working on for Norwood Aquarium.

The Project

Norwood Aquarium, a wholesale distributor of aquarium & water garden equipment, needed to replace
their IBM i server, migrate the data from their existing system and implement a new DR (Disaster
Recovery) solution.

The Requirements

The project included:

  • Installation of a new IBM i (v7.4) server.
  • Migration of the existing system to the new system.
  • Implementation of a new DR solution.

Including the following ongoing services:

  • To maintain and back up the backup server (to be held in the KFA Connect datacentre).
  • 12 months of 24/7 hardware maintenance.
  • 12 months of IBM software maintenance.

The Challenge

The requirements were clearly communicated, so there were no unknowns for this project.

The KFA Solution

The existing IBM i solution had been in situ for a number of years and Norwood Aquarium had found it to
be reliable and fast. The Norwood team were comfortable with it so were keen to replace it like-for-like
with a modern version of the same product.

There were housekeeping/clean-up tasks to complete before the data was migrated to the new system.
KFA Connect procured the server, migrated the data from the old server and installed it for Norwood,
ensuring every scenario had been considered.

The new DR solution which replaced Norwood’s method of backing up to tapes and removing from
premises overnight now includes program & database backups which are held in the KFA Connect
datacentre (pushing data from IBM using FTP) and maintaining and backing up that server.

The Outcome

The transition to the new server was scheduled to happen overnight, ensuring minimal disruption to the
the day-to-day running of the business.

Development and integration icon e1500558926911 - Norwood Aquarium - IBM i Replacement Project Case Study

The project was delivered on time and to budget.

This initial project for Norwood was a crucial step to prepare for an eCommerce project (which is already
underway) for a new Magento 2 eCommerce site, which will be integrated back into their new IBM i

The aim of the new Magento website is to give Norwood’s trade customers an enhanced user experience
when ordering, offering functionality that was not in place in their current solution.

The IBM i replacement was a crucial first step ahead of the commencement of the eCommerce project.

“KFA Connect upgraded our IBM i Series Server. Constant updates throughout the project and their customer service is second to none.

They ensured the system worked fully before transitioning between servers and were there to provide help at any stage in the project.

From first enquiry to final delivery of the project I cannot fault them at all.”

—Sam Street, Sales Manager – Norwood Aquarium
norwood aquarium logo - Norwood Aquarium - IBM i Replacement Project Case Study

The Future

The KFA team are now working on a new project for Norwood Aquarium including:
Development, Implementation & Integration of a new Magento (2.4) eCommerce B2B website
to include hosting, ongoing support and bespoke functionality which allows Norwood Customers to:

  • View stock availability (traffic light style) with data pulling from the IBM i.
  • View the products specifically available to them with their price list.
  • Place orders directly on the site.
  • View and select relevant upsell items during the checkout process.
  • View, download or print their customer-specific pricelist.
  • View discounts available specifically to them.
  • View invoices (generated by IBM i) from within Magento, as a PDF.
eCommerce solutions icon - Norwood Aquarium - IBM i Replacement Project Case Study


In addition to the Magento development the project will also include the following integrations, some of which will be completed using the BPA Platform (Business Process Automation) tool from Codeless Platforms:

  • Integrating their IBM i system with the Magento site to include product & category extract, stock levels & order details.
  • Orders placed will be allocated to the relevant delivery day & route to that customer.
  • Pick notes will be able to be printed from Magento with the information relating to the delivery day and route number (this data will originate on the IBM i).

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