Möbius Partners and Rent-A-Center

Data Center Migration Amid A Pandemic


Rent-A-Center (RAC) needed to migrate its on-premises data center to a co-location center, but the process absolutely could not affect its stores, so downtime had to be minimal. While the company had an extensive inventory in its existing footprint (more than 1,200 servers and 194 applications), there was an expectation of identifying legacy systems along the way, removing what wasn’t needed or was outdated.

Initial efforts required validation of existing inventory and data available to ensure the presented landscape was accurate enough to be used for the detailed planning required for such a move. If the information was not accurate, the schedule would require modification to include additional discovery work to complete the inventory.

Planning for these objectives required the Möbius Partners team to complete dependency mapping for all equipment and applications. If an application had multiple components, these components would have to be moved at the same time. So, the team validated dependencies in both directions to ensure flawless execution. To accomplish this, Möbius Partners used new computer hardware for the new clusters and VMware software.

Möbius Partners had been working closely with the RAC team, and everything was running smoothly. However, about halfway through the project, COVID happened, and it threw everyone for a loop. The project team had to change their approach to support the new “normal.”

The Möbius Partner team was able to pivot and created a virtual desktop so the RAC team could work remotely to manage its day-to-day operations while the Möbius team managed the migration project. It really was a great example of balancing priorities and still meeting deadlines.

It was imperative that Möbius Partners leverage its strengths — detailed planning, analysis and data transfer — so RAC could focus on how to shift its own day-to-day operations in light of COVID. The Möbius Methodology of managing engagements and delivering solutions highlighted best practices that RAC was able to see in action.

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We work with Mobius in a true partnership. They bring outside best practices to any of our projects. So, it’s been a rich relationship.

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Erik Sabadie VP of Enterprise Technologies, Rent-A-Center

challenges:

  • RAC required minimal downtime for physical servers, no downtime for virtual servers and the move could not affect customers or retail store operations
  • The data center move was to occur in conjunction with other changes needed to support the move
  • The Möbius Partners team needed to identify legacy systems and “spring clean” along the way
  • The COVID-19 pandemic required a change in approach

solutions:

  • Determined a way to move the virtual machines (VMs) that did not require new software or downtime
  • Moved VMs during the day without scheduling any outages and saved RAC more than $1 million
  • Moved store-related systems on physical equipment after store hours during the week and during low-traffic weekends

benefits:

  • No impact to customers or retail stores
  • By engaging Möbius Partners to conduct most of the detailed planning and analysis for the project, RAC was able to focus on its day-to-day operations
  • RAC learned how to affectively work a project through completion with daily huddle calls and weekly progress reports
  • The RAC team, which was not familiar with agile methodologies, learned the process, appreciated the of value of it and will continue using it
  • RAC’s executive team was incredibly complimentary of the initiative and its success
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