“OpsRamp has been built from the ground up for managing both traditional physical and infrastructure as a service (IaaS),” says Rao. “It is lightweight, cost-effective and everyone loves the role-based dashboards”.
BJ’s Wholesale Club Reduces Costs and Centralizes Hybrid Cloud Monitoring with OpsRamp
BJ’s Wholesale Club is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, with over $12 billion in annual sales. The company operates 219 clubs and 149 gas stations, serving 6 million members in 17 states.
The company is focused on delivering unbeatable value to its members and making it more convenient to shop. BJ’s ability to ramp up its same-day delivery, buy online, pick up in-club and curbside pickup services for essential groceries and products is a key part of its strategic priorities.
“We’ve made significant progress rolling out new digital services, and we have approached new models cautiously and the well-being of our team members, members and communities is always our top priority,” said Bhaskar Rao, Sr. Director of IT and Cloud Engineering.
Executing quickly upon new delivery models for members depends upon having an agile and reliable IT infrastructure to support the company’s transformational efforts.
About BJs Wholesale Club
149 gas stations
6 million members
- Continue growing rapidly.
- Modernize infrastructure while keeping pace with marketplace demand.
- Simplify and centralize hybrid IT monitoring with a unified ITOM platform.
- Single pane of glass for comprehensive infrastructure visibility.
- Flexible, role-based dashboards.
- Alert correlation to reduce noise and speed root cause identification.
The Need For Change
BJ’s runs its operations on a modern hybrid IT infrastructure consisting of on-premise data centers and cloud landing zones across public clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Since beginning its journey to the cloud four years ago, BJ’s now has a significant percentage of its technology and infrastructure services running in the cloud. As the hybrid infrastructure has evolved, the company wanted to ensure it could maintain consistent high performance for users across all applications and multiple environments. The company’s legacy infrastructure monitoring and management solution wasn’t designed to effectively monitor public cloud infrastructure. There was also mounting technical debt and complexity from unretired technical architectures over the years.
“We had been using traditional monitoring tools, where there were multiple products strung together,” Rao says. “We needed to learn all the different components of each tool to use it, which was not an efficient use of our team’s resources. We wanted a modern, holistic solution to make this easier and more cost effective. We also wanted to achieve the benefits of a single pane of glass.”
Simplifying and Centralizing Hybrid IT Monitoring
BJ’s decided to gradually replace its legacy monitoring systems with OpsRamp’s modern IT operations management platform. OpsRamp satisfied two major use cases at BJ’s: hybrid IT and synthetic monitoring and proactive event management through AIOps. At a higher level, IT wished to enhance its ability to be an agile service provider for all the company’s lines of business.
Implementing OpsRamp across an extensive legacy infrastructure was at times challenging, according to Rao, due to older operating systems such as IBM AIX. “This is a difficult environment to monitor but OpsRamp worked very hard to get us set up quickly and support the technologies we needed to maintain.”
The First to Know of Issues Across Hybrid Cloud Environment
From central visibility and tool integrations to expanded cloud support and cost savings, BJ’s IT command center has realized several benefits from OpsRamp so far, allowing teams to be more proactive and efficient in maintaining the performance of important business services. Those key areas of value include:
- Unified cloud discovery & monitoring. OpsRamp has eliminated ample manual work by automatically discovering systems and services in AWS and VMware. OpsRamp is monitoring thousands of BJ’s resources in AWS, delivering for the first time, comprehensive visibility into cloud resource utilization and spend. BJ’s is also using OpsRamp for synthetic monitoring of Azure-hosted applications and services, with eventual plans to add OpsRamp’s Google Cloud monitoring to the mix.
- Single pane of glass. Since OpsRamp delivers out-of-the-box integrations for many popular tools like APM and ServiceNow, BJ’s has the flexibility to keep the tools they want, yet easily enable those tools to feed alerts automatically into OpsRamp. “We have an integrate-or-replace strategy and, with any net new monitoring requirements that come up, we will use OpsRamp for the job,” Rao says.
- Easy reporting/visualization. OpsRamp dashboards are now standardized in the IT command center and are also used by other IT teams such as application support. “Its simplicity and ease of management allowed us to delegate respective teams to create, change and manage their own alerts and dashboards,” Rao says. BJ’s team members also appreciate the visibility into business service health that OpsRamp service mapping delivers through its customizable dashboards.
- Intelligent alert management: OpsRamp’s AIOps engine is filtering and correlating alerts to reduce noise and deliver faster time to root cause identification, along with suggested remediation. “As an example, a file system full situation making a database offline or inoperable is one alert,” Rao says. “We are going to use OpsRamp increasingly for auto-recovery actions.”
- Staff engagement for increased ROI: As OpsRamp becomes more integrated into daily processes and workflows, IT team members are expanding its use cases. In one example, OpsRamp was quickly deployed to monitor an integral point-of-sale system used at BJ’s gas stations.
“With OpsRamp, we always have the latest updates on the health of our infrastructure and applications, which means we are first to know about issues before something fails and affects business operations,” says Rao. “These capabilities are extremely important for our organization to continue supporting team members and members with high-quality digital tools and services on a daily basis.”