Concept: California’s multi-cloud Kubernetes as a service provider Platform9 has launched a new software-defined store solution to assist retailers to catalyze the rollout of store applications and enhance digital experiences for consumers. The retail solution empowers retailers to centrally manage store IT with a converged infrastructure stack.

Nature of Disruption: Platform9 has introduced the software-defined store solution to assist retailers in deploying and managing apps that enable in-store customer digital experiences. The technology allows retailers to run a converged infrastructure stack in-store, transforming each location into a software-defined mini-cloud that abstracts several geographically dispersed regions and stores into a single shared global cloud. With the addition of KubeVirt support (which allows virtual machines to operate on Kubernetes), retailers can manage both containers and virtual machines using a cloud-native methodology. With the Platform9 Profile Engine, a new cluster governance and policy management tool, retailers can ensure clusters are set up in the same way throughout all stores. Retail DevOps teams can also use CI/CD technology, APIs, and an app library to make application management at scale easier. Platform9’s retail offering, which is available as a fully managed SaaS service, is backed by cloud specialists who provide proactive support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Outlook: Consumers have grown to demand a seamless, omnichannel digital shopping experience in stores, at the curb, and on the internet. Due to latency, bandwidth, or uptime concerns, many of these apps must run inside stores. Platform9’s solution can run a mix of classic and contemporary apps over a store network using a distributed cloud-native architecture. Additionally, with Platform9, merchants benefit from a managed solution with round-the-clock support. Platform9 has also produced a white paper that provides a reference architecture that retailers may utilize for their own use cases, based on its expertise in deploying large-scale retail store systems.

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