Poised for growth, the new Reliance datacentre has scalability and power on tap
weekly service calls
Reliance Home Comfort™ is the leading provider of heating, cooling and water heater solutions to Canadian homeowners. They are trusted by more than 1.5 million homeowners across Canada to deliver year-round home comfort solutions and peace of mind.
Until 2013 the company had two major business lines: Reliance, for home comfort solutions and Protectron, which dealt exclusively with security solutions.
The two organizations operated independently with the exception of the provision of IT infrastructure services which were housed within, and largely operated by Protectron. In 2014, the parent company decided to divest the security business, leaving Reliance in need of an IT provider and new IT systems.
With IT Infrastructure and data physically located in Montreal, the challenge was both to move the Reliance elements to new IT infrastructure in Toronto (Reliance's home base), and ensure that the Protectron environment remained up and running and effective.
Reliance turned to Compugen to move, build and completely manage the high-performance IT environment they were looking for.
The multi-phased project required several months to plan, architect and deliver. Compugen selected a unified computing platform comprised of Cisco (UCS) blade servers, Cisco networking, NetApp unified storage and VMware technologies for the virtualized IT infrastructure. Together the solution handles the computing, network and storage needs while providing an end-to-end virtual and flexible datacentre for Reliance to operate their business.
Compugen worked closely with the Reliance business units to ensure minimal disruption during the process. Migration was scheduled in waves, groups of systems were moved one at a time and network connections were established as fail-safes to accommodate any transition issues.
The migration was completed within ten months and on schedule. Reliance was able to move all of their systems onto three server racks, a significant consolidation that allowed for easier maintenance, management and lower datacentre hosting fees. Immediately upon completion Reliance saw vast improvements in their processes.
During the migration, Reliance's parent company acquired National Home Services, one of its main competitors. The necessity for the quick transfer of IT services and scalability became a priority.
"The acquisition of National Home Services stressed the importance of being able to scale our infrastructure quickly and cost-effectively," says Mello. "There are definitely limitations when you're relying solely on an in-house team and datacentre. Because we were outsourcing our IT infrastructure to Compugen, we were able to add 25% more space and computing capacity virtually overnight and were able to accommodate the acquisition expediently. We simply wouldn't have been able to do this without a flexible architecture design as well as Compugen's resources and expertise."
photo credit cc Reliance Home Comfort