It seems that there’s never enough time in the day – especially for those of us who spend our days toiling in the IT trenches. Whether it’s patching servers, provisioning a new application, or troubleshooting the network, it’s a rare day when you’re able to check everything off the to-do list. That’s why strategic initiatives like automation and virtualization remain a top priority for modern IT leaders who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to do more with less.
To better understand how these ideas are being applied in real-world environments, Scale Computing and Spiceworks recently hosted an “On the Air” panel discussion and invited Jose Solis, Sr. Systems & Network Engineer for Classic Hotels & Resorts, to discuss how hyperconverged infrastructure systems are being deployed to automate and simplify their virtualized environments.
Classic Hotels & Resorts is a small chain of six luxury properties operating across Arizona and California that caters to a mix of business and leisure travelers. In his role, Solis leads a lean team who together are responsible for managing the IT infrastructure across all of their properties with the goal of ensuring that the applications and the data that the business relies upon are always available and performing at the highest level. As Solis cautions, “in the hospitality business, there is simply no room for downtime.”
For Classic Hotels, virtualization has been a game changer that has enabled the IT team to wring greater efficiency from their infrastructure. However, as Solis points out, it’s not without its own complications: “virtualization of course is its own type of double-edged sword. While on the one hand, it enables you to maximize the utility of system resources, it can also introduce unnecessary complexity. In our old environment, if we needed to change something in our virtual infrastructure, it had to go through me. As the pandemic was just beginning to spread, the idea that one person calling out sick represented a very real risk to our daily operations.”
Resilience is also a key requirement for a hospitality-based business where any amount of downtime can quickly translate into an unpleasant guest experience. As Solis notes, “we have a three-fold approach to resiliency - we leverage the built-in automated capabilities of snapshots on the HCI core appliances and automate that process on a nightly basis. Then we have a few servers that we do snapshots every few hours because of the nature of the data they’re storing. And then on top of that we forward the data to Scale Computing Cloud Unity to provide another layer of protection. In addition to that we have Acronis to do on-prem backups with the ability to replicate those back ups to the cloud.”
But perhaps what Solis appreciates the most is the fact that since deploying Scale Computing in his environment, he has been given the most precious gift of all - time. As he explains, ‘the simplicity and automation of the Scale Computing Platform means I no longer have to babysit a solution all day and can spend my time working on projects that push the business forward.”