The Savers family of stores is a for-profit, global thrift retailer offering great quality, gently used clothing, accessories and household goods. Operating in over 330 locations, and with 22,000 employees, IT struggled to satisfy a growing demand for resources without an increase in IT team headcount.
Savers had documented a manual process for deploying Virtual Machines (VMs) in their development lab environment, including how to build a VM, deploy a system, and how to customize a VM. Once customization was complete, the system was passed to the applications team, who also performed manual installation before finally passing the system off to the end consumer.
Not only was this manual process time-consuming at the front end, but finding information months later, such as who requested, approved and deployed each system, was also a time-consuming task.
With the organization consuming more and more resources but the IT headcount remaining flat, the only way forward was going to be technology, so the search then began for a solution that provided a level of automation, scalability and efficiency that would enable the IT team to deliver more services, more quickly.
After evaluating several products, the team chose Embotics vCommander because it delivered the full list of initial requirements, plus additional features that the company can grow into in the future. "The lack of intrusiveness that vCommander offered was key," said Charles Blair, IT Infrastructure Manager at Savers. "Other products had hooks into the VMware infrastructure that would really affect our upgrade and migration strategies. With vCommander simply overlaying on top of the infrastructure and not requiring any agents to be installed, those concerns were alleviated."
Lab Automation was the organization’s initial, and still primary, use case. Creating linked clones in sandbox environments allows Savers to carry out destructive testing to validate that they can upgrade those systems with a very high success rate.
Savers uses vCommander IP pools for network zones and to statically assign IP addresses to the deployed servers. Blair continued: "vCommander brings the additional value of ensuring that the service is safe and secure, and also introduces the high availability aspect to it. By reducing administrative overhead, we can enable the supporting infrastructure teams to spend their time vision casting for engineering and making other architectural changes, rather than spending time operationalizing what can be automated."
You can read the complete Savers case study here, or if you'd like to take vCommander for a test drive, to see how easy cloud management and visibility can be across your public and private cloud infrastructures, download the vCommander trial today.