Speed. Flexibility. Expansive capability. IT expertise. These are the essential elements of Factory Express, an exciting federal government program being managed within World Wide Technology’s (WWT) cutting-edge Integration Technology Center in St. Louis.
When a U.S. Federal Agency needed to consolidate multiple data centers into a cloud infrastructure in just 45 days, World Wide Technology Advanced Solutions (WWTAS) got engaged.
In this unique program, in which the federal government chose to utilize a commercial enterprise for both integration services and delivery, WWTAS instituted the Factory Express Initiative to deliver 78 custom racks and six complete cloud systems with FlexPod® Data Center Architecture in time to meet the client’s aggressive deadline.
WWTAS leveraged its people, processes and powerful partnerships to ensure the success of this project.
The WWTAS team is comprised of specialists in systems, virtualization, storage, testing, network engineering and database development with vast experience in high-availability clustering and enterprise systems management. Over 30 resources spent two months in the warehouse working 12-hour days, seven days a week to meet the client’s aggressive timeline. Over the course of the project, WWT’s OEM-certified professional services team used video conferencing to work directly with the remote customer to design custom assemblies, configurations, integrations, cabling and testing schematics and provide day-to-day project updates.
As all of the FlexPods required configuration, custom cabling, testing, staging and shipping, WWTAS utilized WWT’s North American Integration Center in St. Louis, Missouri. WWTAS immediately established 30,000 sq. ft. of dedicated space for the program comprised of 17,500 sq. ft. for inbound material staging and cabinet builds, 12,500 sq. ft. for staging, storage and crating, and 2,500 sq. ft. for testing. A transformer with 380 amps and 208 voltage was added to support increased power demands. Within this optimized setting, WWTAS simultaneously assembled, configured, tested and asset tagged all 78 racks so that they could be completed and delivered to the client at once.
Longstanding partnerships with NetApp and Cisco Systems helped streamline product procurement for the FlexPod components, including NetApp unified storage systems, Cisco® Unified Computing System™ servers and Cisco Nexus® fabric. WWTAS also worked hand-in-hand with NetApp pre-sales engineers to validate all configurations, establish pricing and create a bill of materials (BOM).
NetApp Professional Services representatives joined WWTAS on site during the configuration period, during which WWTAS experts validated firmware and BIOS levels on all hardware, provided custom cabling and labeling, and leveraged an automated testing program to confirm port-to-port connectivity and performance. Working together as true partners, the WWTAS and NetApp teams conducted troubleshooting to address any problems they encountered along the way.
WWTAS packed, shipped and delivered optimized systems to the customer in time to meet their aggressive 45-calendar-day deadline. The project is ongoing and, to date, WWTAS has been awarded three increments totaling 12 systems, over 100 racks and over $40M in revenue.