With a portfolio of 629 hotels across the United States and Canada, Extended Stay America is one of the largest owned and operated hotel properties in the world. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, it offers quality, comfortable accommodations for a variety of guests.
When uptime is non-negotiable
In 2013, Extended Stay America was preparing to transition from privately-held to publicly-traded. Challenged by ongoing outages, cooling issues and connectivity disruptions with its existing colocation provider, the company knew it needed to make a change to achieve the uptime it needed to safeguard its production environment. Without this reliability, it could not check guests in or out, book online reservations or conduct internal business. Simply said, any downtime could shut down operations.
Although the company evaluated various architectures, it opted for the complete control of colocation. With many of its applications hosted in the cloud by third-party vendors, its data center presence was relatively small, making colocation a cost-effective choice.
Colocation delivers security, compliance and effective processes
While Extended Stay America investigated a wide variety of providers, it opted for a provider near its headquarters to ensure convenient access to the data center, when needed.
Based on location, level of services, business model approach, and overall price point, Flexential’s North Charlotte data center was chosen. Touting state-of-the-art features including five-level physical security; customized cages; environmental controls; best-in-class network; raised flooring; and power and network redundancies, Flexential offered the most complete package to satisfy Extended Stay America’s pressing needs. Additionally, its 24/7/365 onsite technical experts and yearly independent audits further solidified the decision, providing an assurance that the data center would pass regulatory audits – critical to Extended Stay America’s need to be SOC compliant within a year of going public.
Within a year, the company established a colocation-based disaster recovery (DR) site at Flexential’s Downtown Louisville data center.
Unwavering stability drives business productivity and accessibility
By late 2013, Extended Stay America had migrated a newly re-architected network and infrastructure to Flexential. Flexential helped implement the new environment by racking and stacking equipment, providing cross-connections to various telecommunications providers, and delivering requested support. Flexential engineers and technicians also assisted in testing and coordinating Extended Stay America’s DR site ensuring the primary and DR sites come online simultaneously.
In fact, this footprint changed within the first year. Initially, Extended Stay America brought its own storage system into Flexential, locating it in the data center’s open space. When the company scaled from two to six cabinets, it used the opportunity to relocate its equipment to Flexential’s combination-lock cabinets, heightening security and consolidating all six cabinets to one central, secured location.
With its production environment, including business intelligence and financial workloads, colocated at Flexential, Extended Stay America has achieved the highly stable, secure and resilient environment it needs to thrive.
“Having a rock solid data center environment like what Flexential provides us enables me to focus on things that drive business value,” emphasizes Mark Walker, vice president of technology and chief information security officer.
Also essential to the efficiency of the environment is Flexential’s ability to interface with third party vendors. Extended Stay America relies heavily on the expertise and services of these outsourced providers to keep its staff lean and focused on architecting solutions and managing business-driving projects. Flexential’s competence in working productively with outside vendors creates a synergy that seamlessly supports business operations and efficiency.
Leveraging Flexential expertise and managed services into the future
With the reliability of its environment and its compliance under control, Extended Stay America can focus on its IT future. This will undoubtedly include continuing to leverage outside expertise to develop and support its business intelligence – a role Flexential is well-equipped to handle.
Rosenberger is open to investigating Flexential cloud-based solutions in the future, including the Recovery Cloud, to enhance the effectiveness of its DR solution. Currently deploying Zerto to back up its environment, there is potential to leverage Flexential’s partnership with Zerto to streamline this process. Additionally, Extended Stay America will consider Flexential for consolidating its future managed solutions needs.
Regardless of the path Extended Stay America forges, Flexential offers the stability, scalability and value to service and support their future expectations and demands.