4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/6/2009
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Auction Leading Online Retailer Reduces Costs with Optimized Database Infrastructure

Auction was established in 1998 as the first company to provide Internet auction services in Korea. It reorganized its business structure in 2002 and positioned itself as Korea’s leading online marketplace. In 2007, Auction began developing an online shopping portal and wanted to ensure its IT infrastructure would support its business strategy. Auction partnered with Microsoft Korea to migrate from Microsoft® SQL Server® 2000 to Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005. The upgrade has ensured Auction can deliver high levels of service to its customers, and has maximized management and operational efficiencies. Auction now has the opportunity to optimize its database infrastructure further through server consolidation, resulting in cost savings for the company.


Auction, located in Seoul, Republic of Korea, is Korea’s largest online trading company with approximately 80,000 daily products registered, two million daily visitors, as well as a daily maximum of 50,000 purchaser notes. Auction’s business has followed eBay’s global business strategy since eBay became Auction’s largest shareholder in 2001.

Auction recognizes the importance of investing in its database infrastructure. The company believes that smooth operations and reduced risk of loss of data will help to improve user experience, and consequently boost customer loyalty and engagement.

* After migration to SQL Server 2005 the database infrastructure performance of core business systems has improved. This improvement has resulted in accelerating the speed of all services used by customers. *
Kim Su Ji           Manager              Auction
Auction began as an Internet auction platform and evolved into an online marketplace after its business reorganization in 2002. Since 2007, Auction has operated as an online shopping portal. Soon after, Auction decided to upgrade its enterprise wide database environment to improve the performance and reliability of its IT infrastructure to ensure it could support its long term business strategy.

Kim Su Ji, Manager, Database Team/Site Ops Department, Auction, says, “We were at a point where we needed to change the server hardware, so we decided to take this opportunity to perform an extensive upgrade of our enterprise wide database.”


In the second half of 2007, Auction partnered with Microsoft Korea to migrate its enterprise wide database from Microsoft® SQL Server® 2000 to Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005. Microsoft Korea provided SQL Server 2005 upgrade resources and consulting services to Auction.

During the planning stages for the SQL Server 2005 upgrade, the Auction Database Team/Site Ops Department was most concerned about minimizing downtime. Database availability is critical, as any amount of downtime can cause an immediate loss in revenue.

Kim comments, “Unlike other industries, it is not easy for online service companies to have scheduled system downtime. Due to this, we allocated time for scheduling preparations and testing, before completing the migration to SQL Server 2005.” To ensure services delivered to customers were not affected, the Auction Database Team/Site Ops set itself a goal to upgrade its eight systems, including the main database, within four hours.

After the upgrade, the Auction Database Team/Site Ops Department collaborated closely with several related departments, to ensure the upgrade to SQL Server 2005 ran smoothly.


After migrating a total of eight core database systems to SQL Server 2005, Auction has ensured high service levels delivered to customers, created management and monitoring efficiencies, optimized its database infrastructure, and achieved cost reductions. In addition to these benefits, Auction plans to achieve its mid-to-long term goal of achieving infrastructure optimization by reducing the number of enterprise wide servers.

Ensures High Service Levels

Auction has strengthened its ability to deliver the highest levels of customer service. SQL Server 2005 provides deep visibility into the performance and operations of Auction’s systems for end-to end service monitoring. IT administrators can quickly isolate problems and proactively manage multiple services.

Kim says, “After migration to SQL Server 2005 the database infrastructure performance of core business systems has improved. This improvement has resulted in accelerating the speed of all services used by customers. In the past, queries were using 100 percent of the central process unit (CPU) power and inevitably caused delays. However now we can immediately locate problematic queries, enabling us to maintain the highest levels of service to our customers.”

Increases Management and Monitoring Efficiencies

SQL Server 2005 dynamic management views (DMVs) provide greater transparency and visibility into the database and a powerful infrastructure for proactive monitoring of database health and performance. Auction is now equipped with robust insights into its enterprise wide database operations.

Kim confirms, “From a database point of view, it is not easy to locate the source of the problem when it occurs.” He adds, “In the past, we conducted monitoring with our in-house developed tools but they were lacking compared to the data viewed through DMV. With SQL Server 2005 and using DMVs, we can clearly analyze problems or query applications.”

Auction believes that performance development processes including database monitoring, bottleneck analysis and problem source search and tuning have become much faster.

Optimizes Database Infrastructure

Over time Auction plans to migrate its entire enterprise wide database to SQL Server 2005, and expects to reduce its number of servers. Kim says, “In the past, it was not possible to consolidate our servers but in the SQL Server 2005 environment, it is now possible. By making the move successfully to SQL Server 2005 we now have new possibilities and opportunities for database server integration.”

Achieves Cost Savings

Auction expects its SQL Server 2005 upgrade to lead to cost savings. The Auction Database Team/Site Ops Department is considering applying all SQL Server 2005 functionalities to achieve performance improvements and cost savings. Kim comments, “In cases where mass data is contained in one table, we feel that the partition table of SQL Server 2005 will be useful. Also we can expect to reduce system downtime using online indexing.”

Furthermore, Auction expects to achieve mid-to long term cost reductions in storage and data inserts by using the data compression function provided by Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008.

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 100 employees

Organization Profile

Auction is the first company in Korea to provide Internet auction service. In 2002, it reorganized its business structure to position itself as a Korea’s leading online marketplace and has evolved into an online shopping portal.

Business Situation

Auction needed to optimize its existing technology infrastructure to more closely align with key business objectives.


To support its business strategy, Auction partnered with Microsoft Korea to upgrade its database, Microsoft® SQL Server® 2000, to Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005.

  • Ensures high service levels
  • Increases management and monitoring efficiencies
  • Optimizes database infrastructure
  • Achieves costs savings


Unisys ES7000/One

Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2000
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005

Vertical Industries
Specialty Retail