Mohawk Industries: Data Center Disaster Recovery Case Study

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Mohawk Industries, the world’s largest flooring manufacturer based in Calhoun, GA, found itself at a pivotal moment with its IT disaster recovery infrastructure. The $9.5 billion company produces floor covering products for residential and commercial applications in North America and residential applications in Europe, employing more than 37,800 people across the globe. Growth by acquisition had propelled the company to huge industry success but stretched the capacity of their existing backup and disaster recovery equipment.

“We had two main drivers for the data center transition,” said Matt Mumford, Director of IS-Infrastructure for Mohawk. “Mohawk’s growth in needed IT Infrastructure had exceeded our current in-house capacity, and we were also due for an equipment refresh. Our biggest questions at that time revolved around continuing to insource despite exceeding our in-house capacity or outsourcing our data center disaster recovery facility.”

More than 15 years prior, Mohawk had remodeled office space to house their data center. This approach saved costs and preparation on the front end, but offered less robust recovery capabilities. When management determined that the current process for updating the data center could no longer meet the needs of the growing enterprise, Mohawk evaluated other options including possible repurposing of existing equipment and investing capital for equipment upgrades.

In early 2015, Mohawk began researching data center locations across the region while continuing to evaluate their internal options to develop recommendations for their management team. After nearly a year of extensive review, Mohawk IT leadership made the determination to outsource their data center disaster recovery site to a partner.

“When it came down to it, we are not a data center company; we’re a flooring company,” said Mumford. “We needed a partner who could provide us with ample power and flexibility to design the data center that would work best for us.”

In Search of a Data Center Disaster Recovery Partner

Mohawk had specific decision criteria with the highest being power, design and total cost of ownership. They sought a company that would guarantee Mohawk would always be a top priority account, and desired a partnership with a data center provider that would be attentive to their needs. As a global company, data management and recovery were other very important decision criteria to Mohawk. The IT staff and leadership required a dependable partner in close proximity to existing Mohawk operations who had the ability to expand to match their growth projections. They required a provider that would be able to understand and be prepared for swift expansion of Mohawk’s space.

DC BLOX Data Center Emerges

At the time of Mohawk’s need for a data center disaster recovery solution, DC BLOX — an Atlanta-based data center operator — was preparing their own expansion by building a data center in Chattanooga, TN. With an increased push in recent years to improve infrastructure services outside of high-tech and major metro cities like the Silicon Valley, Chicago and Dallas, the development of Edge data centers emerged.

“When the opportunity arose to work with DC BLOX, you could say it was one of those moments where the stars aligned,” said Mumford. “It’s safe to say that through this relationship, we got everything we wanted in a data center facility.”

DC BLOX presented Mohawk with tremendous flexibility during the construction process and the opportunity to customize their private space into a backup and disaster recovery data center that is uniquely theirs. Once the newly constructed data center was complete, Mohawk would have the ability to expand their data storage quickly and efficiently, have abundant power at their fingertips and obtain these services at an aggressive price. DC BLOX offered all of the attributes desired by Mohawk including wholesale colocation in the form of a new data center that happened to be one of the most efficient in the region.

DC BLOX’s expansion into Chattanooga would place Mohawk’s company headquarters at a convenient distance to Mohawk’s IT staff. Diversity in power, network and geography were all solved by moving Mohawk’s Disaster Recovery facility to DC BLOX’s location. The location also allowed Mohawk IT staff to travel easily to the data center when required.

The company required a facility where sensitive company information would be safe and stored in a stable environment. Mohawk’s disaster recovery system would be as new as the DC BLOX data center, creating an opportunity for Mohawk and DC BLOX to grow together.

Out With the Old

In Dec. 2016, Mohawk finalized their decision and chose DC BLOX for their long-term data center partner, making the DC BLOX Chattanooga data center their backup and disaster recovery site.

While engineers from Mohawk worked with DC BLOX to design their space, DC BLOX completed construction, commissioned the data center and was granted a Certificate of Occupancy. The two teams worked side-by-side for more than half a year on pre-work and planning the data center migration to avoid any and all issues before cutting over to the new disaster recovery location. Mohawk’s preparation and planning paid off. Together, the two teams implemented in-depth strategies to accelerate the transfer time and minimize the risk of unplanned outages, ensuring a seamless transition.

The physical transfer project happened on May 20, 2017, being completed in only 12 hours. Mohawk enlisted users from across the country to test processes. These tests ensured Mohawk operators could access data stored in the Chattanooga location and confirmed all procedures were working properly.

Companies that find themselves in the same technology end-of-life scenario as Mohawk have critical decisions to make to protect their data and ensure the continuity of their operations. Mohawk – recognizing the value DC BLOX presented in flexibility, scalability and location – chose a near-site data center disaster recovery strategy.

“We knew DC BLOX was new and agile enough to help customers from a relationship-standpoint,” said Mumford. “They offered more flexibility and less red tape.”

About DC BLOX

DC BLOX brings hyperscale efficiency, carrier-grade connectivity and cloud flexibility to an agile, multi-tenant data center footprint. DC BLOX Edge-enabled data centers provide customers with the ability to securely backup, transfer, restore and synchronize data at light speed. With locations in Atlanta, GA, Chattanooga, TN, the company recently announced the construction of another interconnected data center in Huntsville, AL and plans to build three more in under-served markets throughout the Southeast by the end of 2018.

About Mohawk

Mohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring. Its industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate Mohawk brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Mohawk brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, Karastan, IVC, Marazzi, Mohawk, Pergo, Quick-Step and Unilin. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.

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