Founded in 1874 on the company’s core values of providing customers with superior service and products, Haines is among the oldest privately held companies in America. They are also the largest floor covering distribution company in the country with operations covering the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
With a history of growth and concrete plans for future expansion, mergers and acquisitions, diversifying product lines and merging of new and old IT systems are inevitable. JJ Haines’ five-member IT team supports 850 employees nationwide, so preparing for these business initiatives provided ample motivation to streamline their infrastructure. With specific business goals in mind, Haines looked to VSS for a simple and powerful solution that would give their IT staff the flexibility, control and consistency needed to manage and scale their infrastructure.
Hardware nearing end-of-life or end-of-lease allowed VSS to approach project design from a base level to create an efficient, cost-effective infrastructure solution that could be maintained by their five-man IT team. During a six-month discovery phase, VSS and JJ Haines determined that VersaStack was the ideal solution based on the company’s business objectives and internal technology capabilities.
After outdated systems were retired, the integrated VersaStack solution let JJ Haines utilize one SAN for both their IBM AS400 and Cisco UCS virtual environment and maintain both via a single interface, reducing their equipment footprint by half.
To minimize disruption during migration, VSS worked with JJ Haines to mirror the older systems with the new SAN over a period of two weeks while training their IT team on VersaStack.
Final migration to the new VersaStack solution was seamless, had no disruption to production environment, and took less than 3 hours. The entire process, from delivery, set up, to final migration, took 30 days.
VersaStack worked with a number of the existing servers at JJ Haines, configuring them for future growth.
The VSS solution included Virtual Desktop Infrastructure allowing warehouse employees to access and catalog inventory. The streamlined system also lets their five-man team solve more than 99 percent of JJ Haines’ IT issues internally, compared to just 40 percent before.
With VersaStack, JJ Haines can handle firmware updates internally rather than hiring multiple teams of experts. Weekly pre-implementation hardware service calls have been eliminated.
Overnight system backups no longer require users to exit systems, causing major disruption for four hours. With AS400/SAN FlashCopy, backups take less than five minutes, and allow for 24/7 operations.
The solution VSS provided lets JJ Haines utilize one SAN for both AS400 infrastructure as well as Cisco UCS virtual infrastructure.
Through integrating physical and virtual systems, the VersaStack solution reduced the amount of equipment used and data center footprint by 50 percent.
Working with VSS, JJ Haines reduced their inventory backup times from four hours to just five minutes. Plus, the streamlined system made it easier for their IT team to solve more than 99 percent of their problems internally compared to just 40 percent before. This accounts for about a 30 percent savings in time spent resolving IT issues.
“Technology changes so much every year that it’s hard to keep up. That’s why I rely on our business partners like VSS. I tell them what I need and then they come back with a solution.”
– Chad Parson
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