Heartland Jiffy Lube revs up the reliability of its IT services with hyperconverged infrastructure from Lenovo

Overview
Oil change and car service provider Heartland Jiffy Lube found that its diverse and aging IT infrastructure was increasingly impacting operations and employee productivity. To boost availability and reliability, the company implemented Intel® Xeon® processor-equipped Lenovo Converged HX5500 Appliance with Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor – radically simplifying its infrastructure. Today, Heartland Jiffy Lube has peace of mind that IT systems will run uninterrupted, all while leaving room for growth.
 
“I can sleep soundly knowing that we can rely 100 percent on the Lenovo servers –  we know that they won’t just crash in the middle of the night!”
 —Chidi Alams,
Head of IT,
Heartland Jiffy Lube
 
Solution components
Hardware
Lenovo Converged HX5500 Appliance with Intel® Xeon® E5 family of processors
Lenovo RackSwitch G8272 switches
 
Software
Nutanix Acropolis and Prism Enterprise Cloud Platform Software
Nutanix AHV
Lenovo XClarity
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Windows Server
 
Services
Lenovo HX Series Implementation Services
Lenovo Workload Migration Services
 
“The Lenovo HX Series solution meets all of our architecture principles in terms of availability, reliability, serviceability and scalability – more so than any other platform we’ve ever used before.”
 —Chidi Alams,
Head of IT,
Heartland Jiffy Lube
 
The American quick lube industry provides more than 100 million oil changes every year from over 10,000 standalone locations. Within this industry, there is one dynamic, growing company that stands out from the rest – Heartland Automotive Services, dba Jiffy Lube, the largest franchisee of quick lube retail service stores in the country. Operating more than 550 Jiffy Lube locations from coast to coast and serving almost 5 million guests each year with nearly 5,000 professional teammates, Heartland strives to provide a ‘WOW experience’ for every valued guest on every visit.

Chidi Alams, Head of IT at Heartland Jiffy Lube, begins: “Heartland Jiffy Lube ensures that customers’ motor vehicles run like well-oiled machines. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for our old IT infrastructure. The servers supporting key applications would often crash, seriously impacting employee productivity.”

Ready for change
With multiple generations and models of servers in place, Heartland Jiffy Lube found it difficult to manage its diverse infrastructure effectively and would suffer regular outages to its finance systems, reporting services, and other key business applications.

Chidi Alams recalls: “We would spend an inordinate amount of time firefighting issues – time that could be better spent working on more value-added, strategic tasks. In spite of all the time spent on maintenance, system availability was still not up-to-scratch. We had very little in the way of disaster recovery – when servers crashed, it could take hours to restore operations.

“What’s more, we had no way of scaling up the old infrastructure to meet increased demand. Scalability is crucial for any growing business, so we knew that we needed to make a significant change to our core infrastructure.”

Teaming up with Lenovo and Nutanix
After evaluating offerings from several vendors – and even considering outsourcing its infrastructure altogether – Heartland Jiffy Lube decided to minimize its footprint by implementing a hyperconverged solution to support a hybrid cloud environment.

Chidi Alams comments: “With hyperconverged solutions, durability is paramount. For that reason, we didn’t want to implement any old commodity servers – we wanted a high-quality and robust infrastructure. The superior build quality of Lenovo machines stood out right away.”

Working closely with Lenovo, Heartland Jiffy Lube implemented three 2U single-node Lenovo Converged HX5500 Appliances integrated with Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform software and Nutanix AHV, and Intel® Solid State Drives, creating a single simplified and streamlined software-defined environment.

“With help from the Lenovo team, we were able to complete the implementation over a single weekend,” recalls Chidi Alams. “This ensured that there was no disruption to business services – an impressive feat. Furthermore, because the Nutanix software came preloaded on the Lenovo hardware, all we had to do was run a few patches and firmware updates to get the solution up and running.”

Turbocharging IT operations
By pooling compute and storage into a single shared virtual structure, the Lenovo solution dramatically simplifies infrastructure management while offering easy flexibility and scalability. Powered by the Intel® Xeon® E5 family of processors, the Lenovo hardware also gives Heartland Jiffy Lube’s IT operations a significant boost in performance.

The Lenovo solution seamlessly supports hybrid cloud services by integrating Heartland Jiffy Lube’s private cloud environment with Amazon Web Services (AWS) via Nutanix Cloud Connect. This enables the company to backup data offsite quickly and easily.

Chidi Alams comments: “After our pre-defined retention period, data is automatically replicated to AWS for offsite archiving and long-term retention of important business information. The fact that we no longer have to backup files to disk will unlock huge cost savings. In addition, Cloud Connect is also helping us to lay the foundations for a sophisticated disaster recovery plan, whereby systems automatically failover to virtual resources in AWS. We expect to be able to recover from disaster within minutes. Previously, with no real disaster recovery processes in place, systems would be down for several hours in the event of an outage, which had a serious impact on business.”

“The reliability of the hardware is also important,” he continues. “I can sleep soundly knowing that we can rely 100 percent on the Lenovo servers –  we know that they won’t just crash in the middle of the night! The flexibility and scalability of the Lenovo technology also give us a lot of room for growth. In fact, we’ll never completely tap in to all of the utilization potential of the servers, but that’s just how we want it to be, as it means we never have to worry about capacity management – we can just keep adding and removing nodes to meet demand.”

Thanks to the hyperconverged nature of the Lenovo hardware, Heartland Jiffy Lube expects to reduce data center operating costs by at least 50 percent, as Chidi Alams explains: “With just three nodes in place, we have significantly reduced our physical server footprint. By downgrading from two cabinets to one, we automatically halve our data center costs and we expect to also see considerable reductions to our power and cooling costs. In terms of capital cost, we realized a cost avoidance of approximately USD 100,000 compared to similarly positioned infrastructure solutions.”

Chidi Alams concludes: “The Lenovo HX Series solution powered by Nutanix meets all of our architecture principles in terms of availability, reliability, serviceability and scalability – more so than any other platform we’ve ever used before.”

For more information
To learn more about Lenovo Data Center Systems solutions, contact your Lenovo Sales Representative or Lenovo Business Partner, or visit: lenovo.com/systems
For more information about Heartland Jiffy Lube, visit: www.heartland.jiffylube.com or connect with @HLJiffyLube
 
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