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Case study: Feeding America

Case study: Feeding America

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“I could run what I need today, knowing that I can rapidly scale up or scale down to fit our needs, and serve up workloads. Now I just have an operational cost as opposed to a capital expense outlay.”

— Steven Carlberg, Managing Director of Infrastructure and Security, Feeding America

No Time for Managing Hardware in the Fight Against Hunger

With the challenge of providing 4 billion meals annually to the 1 in 8 Americans facing hunger, Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the U.S., doesn’t have time to worry about managing IT hardware. Instead, leaders of the non-profit need to devote time and resources to supporting its nationwide network of food banks. That’s why Feeding America opted out of a typical colocation data center arrangement, and opted into a managed services relationship.

Feeding America helps feed more than 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors, through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities nationwide.

In 2014, Feeding America was working with a colocation provider, leasing floor space, power, and Internet services. The hunger relief organization itself owned all the equipment to support workloads, including hardware, servers, and storage.

Focus on Core Priorities

Technology plays a huge role in keeping the network at Feeding America connected. But Steven Carlberg, Managing Director of Infrastructure and Security at Feeding America, wanted to eliminate hardware costs and allow his staff to focus on core priorities.

When Feeding America decided on managed cloud services, Rackspace helped migrate the company’s VMware vSphere-based private cloud infrastructure, moving 350 servers and more than a petabyte of storage to the Rackspace data centers.

Rackspace hosts hardware, software, servers, storage, and other infrastructure components, while handling myriad tasks including system maintenance, backup and resiliency planning, and delivering highly scalable resources that can be adjusted on demand.

Now the Feeding America team can focus on managing core operations, applications and workloads while the day-to-day support of the backend, hardware and software is managed by certified Rackspace experts.

Mission Focused

“By going to a managed service model with Rackspace, I just worry about the workloads and applications to support our mission and our members’ mission,” says Carlberg. “I could run what I need today, knowing that I can rapidly scale up or scale down to fit our needs, and serve up workloads. Now I just have an operational cost as opposed to a capital expense outlay.”

Rackspace operates a world-class data center in Chicago, where Feeding America is headquartered. “It allowed us to tap into best-in-breed technologies, where we could run all our workloads virtualized on VMware who is, by far, the best-in-breed on the server side in virtualization today,” Carlberg says.

The relationship also eases security concerns for the organization, as it can rely on Rackspace to help it protect sensitive data without imposing additional burdens on users.

By relying on a trusted managed services provider, Feeding America can focus more intensely on its critically important mission of fighting hunger. To view a video and learn more about its transition, click here.

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