Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Provides the Ease of Management, High Performance, and Modular Scalability Needed to Create Innovative Bikes and Improve Employee Morale
By moving to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, Trek can continue to provide the world’s most technologically advanced road and mountain bikes to scores of happy customers around the world each year, while enabling its employees to increase job satisfaction and improve their work-life balance.
|Reduced the number of employees needed to manage the infrastructure by 66%, freeing up resources to focus on strategic projects
||Cut turnaround time for IT requests from weeks to hours, freeing engineers to work on innovative new products
||Reduced storage/compute datacenter footprint by 75%, lowering overall datacenter costs significantly
"Nutanix gives our employees the freedom to ride. Since they don’t have to spend all of their time fighting fires in the data center, they’re welcome to jump on their bikes and take a nice, hour-long ride during the work day in the fresh air."
Trek is a 40-year-old, privately held family company that is world renowned for its high-quality bicycles. Trek also makes helmets, jerseys, pedals, kickstands, and equipment bags—essentially everything a person needs to enjoy riding a bike. “What really makes Trek special as a company is how it treats its people in the sense of fun and flexibility it offers,” stated Dane Sandersen, global security and infrastructure director at Trek.
When its legacy server storage environment was reaching end of life, Trek’s IT team decided to look at some of the newer solutions in the market. The platform they had previously chosen, requiring substantial upfront investments, was falling short on performance and difficult to manage. “We needed a high-performance environment that could take everything we threw at it,” explained Brian Oamek, senior enterprise IT architect for Trek Bikes. “Agility, scalability, and management simplicity were also important since we don’t have a lot of extra IT resources to manage a complex, 3-tier infrastructure.”
Running the PoC
Trek performed an extensive PoC before choosing its new platform, comparing Nutanix with two other hyperconverged vendors. “We really wanted to virtualize our remaining physical servers because we understood the agility it would provide, but they were just too big and everybody was afraid to take the risk on the legacy infrastructure,” explained Oamek. “Part of our PoC was to virtualize our ‘biggest monster workload’—our business intelligence environment. We obtained fantastic performance on the PoC systems, exceeding the expectations of our business unit. That’s when we knew that Nutanix was the right solution for all of our enterprise workloads.”
Trek enlisted the help of Nutanix Consulting Services for the datacenter infrastructure modernization project. “Our consultant helped us migrate all of our virtual workloads over to Nutanix,” said Oamek. “That engineer really blew us out of the water with his technical knowledge. He enabled us to migrate every workload from the legacy infrastructure to Nutanix during the day, without any interruption to end users.”.
Trek is now using Nutanix to run all of its on-premises workloads, including the company’s design and manufacturing applications and product life cycle management software. “Our most important workload is our JDE ERP system which handles our finance, accounting, warehousing, and distribution systems,” Oamek said. “That software is essential to our continued operations, and with Nutanix, we know it will be running all of the time.”
“Technology goes into every part of designing and building a bike—making it more efficient, aerodynamic, lighter, stronger, and faster,” noted Sandersen. “Our bikes are as advanced as possible, and all of our design and manufacturing processes are now being powered by Nutanix.”
Increased IT Efficiency and Developer Productivity
The biggest advantage of migrating to Nutanix was the increased efficiency in deploying, maintaining, and administering the environment. “What used to take three employees to manage, now takes just one,” Oamek said. “Turnaround time for IT requests has gone from weeks to hours. By freeing up our IT resources from management tasks and upgrading environments, we can spend more time on innovation.”
Better Visibility with Prism
“We used to have to hunt for issues using ten different management tools in our legacy environment,” noted Sandersen. “But not anymore—Prism allows us to centrally manage our storage, compute, and hypervisor with a single management pane. As a result, troubleshooting and management tasks that used to take hours, take just minutes with Nutanix.”
Simple, One-Click Upgrades and Easy Scalability
“The Nutanix one-click upgrades are one of our favorite features,” added Oamek. “Our primary engineer loves to gather people around to see him click the button, and then sit back and watch the system upgrade itself. The modular scalability of Nutanix has been great as well. It’s much easier to buy one node and simply insert it, versus buying half a rack of new disks and trying to assimilate everything into the legacy environment. As a result, we can provision new capacity in just a few hours with Nutanix, instead of the months it took in our legacy environment.”
Savings in Power, Cooling, and Space
Another efficiency Trek discovered with Nutanix was the reduction in rack size and power consumption. “Our legacy environment filled four racks, and we’re now down to less than half a rack of equipment with Nutanix,” said Sandersen. “By moving to Nutanix, we were able to cut our co-lo costs by 75% for power, cooling, and space.”
Improving Work-Life Balance
“At Trek, we absolutely value work-life balance,” said Oamek. “In a lot of IT shops, the engineers and admins are responding to calls all day long and never leave their keyboards. That’s a real drain on resources and employee morale. One of the biggest advantages of moving to Nutanix is that all of that goes away. The system just runs, and anything that needs to be done can be completed quickly and efficiently. Our Enterprise Systems Team loves working with the new infrastructure—we’ve had zero turnover since deploying Nutanix into production. Nutanix frees up our IT engineers to work on more important projects, and then go ride their bikes during breaks.”
Trek is now deploying Nutanix at a secondary data center for disaster recovery. “If anything happens in our primary production environment, we’ll be able to recover all of our tier-1 apps within a very short period of time, enabling the business to continue flawlessly. Nutanix gives us freedom from worry, especially in the disaster recovery arena,” noted Sandersen.”
Adopting a Hybrid Cloud Approach
Trek is also looking at implementing a hybrid cloud approach for its applications and services. “The next big step in IT is being able to move our workloads seamlessly from on-premises infrastructure to the public cloud, and then back in-house if our requirements change,” explained Oamek. “That flexibility is built into the Nutanix solution.”
The Freedom to Ride
“Trek is a company that wants to build the best bikes in the world, and Nutanix is enabling us to meet that goal. I truly believe that if we shut off Nutanix today, Trek would go out of business. Not only does it enable us to innovate, Nutanix gives our employees the freedom to ride. Since they don’t have to spend all of their time fighting fires in the data center, they’re welcome to jump on their bikes and take a nice, hour-long ride during the work day in the fresh air. And that’s the most important measure of success for all of us at Trek,” concluded Oamek.