Modernizing IT for West Coast Utility Provider
In this case study
Incorporated in 1905, this West Coast utility company is one of the nation's largest and oldest providers of gas and electric and serves more than 16 million people. The utility provider maintains more than 100,000 miles of electrical lines and 40,000 miles of gas pipelines — all of which are tracked and managed through its IT organization.
Recently emerging from a well-publicized bankruptcy and feeling financial pressure from the court to recover, the company needed to be smarter about spending, compliance and cost savings. Its initial steps were to reduce operating costs without affecting service to customers and address the challenges of its legacy systems.
To help accomplish these goals, the utility company turned to WWT.
A well-established history and legacy systems influenced the company's approach to managing its data center. Several obstacles stood in the way of success, including:
- Significant process and technical debt.
- Strained IT staff due to many repetitive and manual tasks.
- 80 percent of applications at risk due to infrastructure rapidly nearing the end of its lifecycle.
After analyzing the customer's current and future data center needs and financial concerns, we recommended a Transformational Program Agreement (TPA), also known as an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA). The TPA was designed to drive transformational outcomes using a combination of technology and services to address the customer's aging infrastructure and serve as an accelerated cost-savings path.
By leveraging our Platform at wwt.com and Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to research the proposed Dell and VMWare technologies for the data center and cloud platforms, the customer was confident that this comprehensive refresh program would cover its technology needs over the next five years.
To help address the court's concerns over the customer's financials, the utility provider needed to:
- Reduce the costs per virtual workload and improve the response time to business units on provisioning those workloads.
- Transform the operating model within the organization regarding how it utilizes the IT environment internally to its advantage.
Knowing these objectives, we recommended a multicloud approach to help optimize workload performance, increase reliability, and offer cost savings and scalability.
Before the teams could work toward a hybrid cloud model with a multicloud environment, the customer needed to transition off the private cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail. Together, we leveraged ATC labs to test version interoperability and ensure migration success. The VCF solution was then stretched across two data centers in the environment to provide vSAN failover capabilities.
Following this, WWT helped migrate approximately 10,000 workloads from the legacy environments to the new VCF infrastructure. This would help consolidate the customer's on-premises environments and reduce operating costs while providing the framework needed to deploy VMware Tanzu and a hybrid cloud model through VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services (VMC on AWS).
With the TPA, the customer earned significant savings for purchases and ongoing support. In addition, it now has a strategy to build a modern and more agile data center that will refresh its infrastructure and allow IT to focus on critical business needs.
The customer also gained several benefits under the new cloud operating model, including:
- Redundancy and recovery capabilities between on-premises and cloud infrastructure through VMware vSAN to be able to failover quickly between data centers.
- 75 percent reduction in cost per workload.
- 90 percent reduction in workload provisioning time.
- Fully operationalized multicloud infrastructure across AWS, Azure and Google.
- Modern application workload service provisioning for both on-premises and cloud environments.