Anexinet Transitions Day & Zimmermann Into Hybrid Cloud
Day & Zimmermann is a century-old, family-owned company specializing in construction & engineering, operations & maintenance, staffing, security, and defense for leading corporations and governments around the world. The company operates through 150-plus locations with 41,000 dedicated employees, enabling the company to realize an annual revenue of $2.4 billion (as of 2021) and rank #165 on the Forbes Largest Private Companies list.
The company’s IT infrastructure was aging and approaching its five-year refresh cycle. The organization was stretching their Dell-based data center operations as long as they could, without having to incur a significant CAPEX upgrade for two on-premise data centers; one for the production environment and the other for disaster and recovery protection. In addition, the service and support contracts on the IT equipment were expiring and Day & Zimmermann was facing increased costs for renewal.
The aging IT infrastructure and quickly approaching maintenance renewals were converging and the company began to consider moving to a cloud strategy.
Day & Zimmermann was the ideal candidate for moving data center operations to the cloud—if they could find the right solution and partner to cost-effectively make the transition. Bender and his IT team performed an extensive cloud analysis and found their solutions partner in Anexinet and a hybrid IT approach using HPE hardware on-premise and Microsoft Azure for the cloud.
“We wanted to transition to the cloud, but many of the options we reviewed were actually more costly than our existing two on-premise data centers
“We have a very talented IT team that maintained a cost-effective on-prem solution however, the IT equipment was growing older and the support costs were escalating.”
— Edward Bender, VP Technology and Operations, Day & Zimmermann.
“The solution was the perfect cloud-play since DR in the cloud is low cost while you are just replicating data. In the event of a disaster we can quickly spin-up the needed server resources in the cloud to keep our businesses running”
The Anexinet hybrid cloud solution was predicated on addressing application and business needs as opposed to other proposed solutions focused more on securing vendor hardware margins. The award-winning service provider took Day & Zimmermann from a traditional IT infrastructure consisting of a production data center in Philadelphia and a disaster recovery colocation facility in Delaware to a hybrid cloud environment consisting of HPE Synergy/Nimble and Microsoft Azure/Zerto respectively. The new solution allowed Day & Zimmermann to achieve better application performance with agile disaster recovery that leverages a future-proof hybrid cloud implemented with the assistance of Anexinet’s managed services.
Production Data Center:
HPE SYNERGY Composable Software-Defined Infrastructure and Nimble Storage delivering high availability and performance to all business applications.
Cloud Disaster Recovery:
Eliminated physical DR Data Center and associated hardware by using Azure.
Leveraged Zerto platform to orchestrate and replicate data to the Microsoft Azure cloud.
The move from a two-tier architecture to a hybrid cloud proved to be a seamless transition with improved recovery point objectives and more data being backed up than ever before. In addition, the HPE relationship Anexinet brought to the table paid dividends in other unexpected ways.
In an unrelated situation, Day & Zimmermann began experiencing unexpected equipment issues and Anexinet was able to leverage their HPE relationship to help the company realize an early upgrade to hardware that was not planned to be replaced for another year. Together, Anexinet and HP Financial Services created a program that allowed Day & Zimmermann to pull a future 2021 upgrade project into 2020 (the current year at the time) for completion.
“We had never leased IT equipment before. The Anexinet and HP Financial Services program allowed us to upgrade our IT equipment a year early, with all new higher-performance equipment at an attractive price. It was a no-brainer to move forward with that”
As a result of the new hybrid environment, Day & Zimmermann also achieved better SLAs with record uptime and improved recovery point objective to minutes in lieu of the hours it took utilizing the former two-tiered data center approach.
In total, Bender estimates that the company has achieved substantial savings on a complex upgrade—executed on time and under budget with no negative impact to the business.
“It was also easy to gain buy-in for the project from senior management as well because the new IT equipment would be more reliable, provide faster failover/recovery, and perform better. And above all, Anexinet’s solution was less expensive compared to what we would have paid out in maintenance and facility fees alone—even with adding extra bandwidth for the increased replication speed needed,”