Business challenge

Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, Inc. is one of America’s fastest-growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains with more than 20,000 employees. The company operates over 600 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz provides an award-winning menu, and ordering is done through unique touch-screen order point terminals. All Sheetz convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Sheetz is recognized by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For”.

Sheetz previously used a collection of single function workstation class devices to provide various in-store technical services. They wanted to virtualize their environment with hyperconverged infrastructure that would quickly and affordably minimize hardware sprawl, simplify support and administration, provide a platform for in-store technological innovation and improve resiliency within its convenience retail store environments.

Solution

After reviewing several market options including VMware vSAN and Zynstra, Sheetz decided to standardize on StorMagic SvSAN software to virtualize and add high availability at all 600 of its convenience store locations. StorMagic was able to deploy and have Sheetz installed far ahead of schedule, both quickly and affordably. SvSAN along with the hypervisor were built into a simple-to-execute script that enabled the Sheetz IT department to deploy their first 100 post-pilot stores into production in less than two months.

Sheetz is open 24x7x365, so SvSAN’s high availability was a key selection criteria for Sheetz. StorMagic was chosen to simplify the underlying infrastructure and management of many business-level applications including in-store system orchestration, credit processing, the MySheetz Card® loyalty program and Sheetz’s proprietary kitchen management application suite. Centralized application management, a reduction of hardware failures, high availability and automated deployment have been key benefits realized by Sheetz since making the switch to SvSAN.

Each Sheetz location is configured with a two-node cluster comprised of Dell servers, VMware vSphere hypervisors and SvSAN Standard Edition. Thanks to SvSAN, Sheetz can focus on continuing to deliver excellent customer service while StorMagic handles their data needs seamlessly at each site with little to no intervention required.

Why StorMagic

  • Simple to Install and Manage: Sheetz’s initial deployment in 100 stores went so smoothly that they are speeding up deployment across the remaining locations.
  • High Availability: Sheetz convenience stores are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so its IT solution must also be always available to process and manage in-store technical services and solutions.
  • Ideal Solution for Retail environments: SvSAN’s ease of use, affordability and flexibility make it ideal for retail stores, where no IT staff is present, to administer and address the management time and failures associated with infrastructure that presents single points of failure.

SvSAN Configuration

SvSAN Edition StorMagic SvSAN Standard Edition
Servers Dell R440 Servers
CPU Single socket, CPU with 10 cores
Memory 64GB
Storage Capacity Approximately 2TB
Disk Configuration 4x 960GB 2.5” SSD 6Gbps, 3DWPD; PERC H330 RAID Controller
Networking 1GbE, 1x Broadcom 5719 4-port 1Gb NIC
Hypervisor VMware vSphere
Applications In-store system orchestration, credit processing, the MySheetz Card® loyalty program and Sheetz’s proprietary kitchen management application suite
Guest VM Operating Systems Windows 10 and CentOS Linux
sheetz

Company Name: Sheetz Inc.
HQ Location: U.S.A.
Type of Business: Retail
Number of locations: 680

"The StorMagic support team was top-notch and helped us plan out the deployment procedures and deal with any minor issues that popped up. They have been fantastic partners throughout this entire journey."

Scott Robertson, Universal Endpoint Unit Manager, Sheetz Inc.

"Sheetz has been able to centrally manage multiple in-store applications quickly and affordably and drastically reduce the number of hardware failures with StorMagic. Our initial POC and extended pilot of ten locations was spread out over the course of ten months. This was done so that we could get comfortable with the solution as well as the process to convert the stores in a manner that was minimally impactful to operations. Once we decided to deploy company wide, we were able to do so to over one hundred stores within a two-month period. Thanks to some automated processes and the relatively seamless conversions, we’ve escalated the timeline to standardize on SvSAN across all of our convenience stores."

Scott Robertson, Universal Endpoint Unit Manager, Sheetz Inc.

Simple

Provides a true 'set and forget' solution for any environment using centralized deployment and management - whether for thousands of sites or just one.

Cost Effective

Eliminates physical SANs by converging compute and storage into a lightweight commodity server footprint thereby dramatically lowering costs.

Flexible

Delivers on today’s performance needs leveraging any CPU and storage type whilst avoiding over-provisioning with the confidence of scaling for tomorrow’s demands.

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