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, the extended stay hospitality provider offers long- and short-term stays for a variety of guests ranging from overnight road warriors, relocating families, leisure travelers to business travelers. Its affordable suites with fully equipped kitchens that feature full-sized refrigerators, provide quality, comfortable accommodations for its guests whether their staying for a day, week or month.
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, Peak 10’s Tier 3 data center in the University Research Park area of Charlotte 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, Peak 10 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 one of Peak 10’s data centers in Louisville, Ky.
Unwavering stability drives business productivity and accessibility
By late 2013, Extended Stay America had migrated a newly re-architected network and infrastructure to Peak 10. Peak 10 helped implement the new environment by racking and stacking equipment, providing cross-connections to various telecommunications providers, and delivering requested support. Peak 10 engineers and technicians also assisted in testing and coordinating Extended Stay America’s DR site ensuring the primary and DR sites come online simultaneously.
“Peak 10 was flexible to do what we needed,” explains Ames Flynn, chief information officer, noting that Peak 10’s project management capabilities and readiness enabled Extended Stay America to meet its tight, compliance-driven timeframe.
“They were willing to be flexible with what the final footprint was going to look like.”
In fact, this footprint changed within the first year. Initially, Extended Stay America brought its own storage system into Peak 10, 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 Peak 10’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 Peak 10, 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 Peak 10 provides us enables me to focus on things that drive business value,” emphasizes Mark Walker, vice president of technology and chief information security officer.
Adam Rosenberger, manager of network and systems engineering concurs. “Since we’ve moved to Peak 10, I do not get called in the middle of the night due to a massive outage because of a power failure, etc.,” he says. “It makes our lives outside of work much more comfortable.”
Also essential to the efficiency of the environment is Peak 10 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. Peak 10’s competence in working productively with outside vendors creates a synergy that seamlessly supports business operations and efficiency.
Leveraging Peak 10 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 Peak 10 is well-equipped to handle.
Rosenberger is open to investigating Peak 10 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 Peak 10’s partnership with Zerto to streamline this process. Additionally, Extended Stay America will consider Peak 10 for consolidating its future managed services needs.
Regardless of the path Extended Stay America forges, Peak 10 offers the stability, scalability and value to service and support their future expectations and demands.