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Sheetz Future-ready Data Centerz

Designing a state-of-the-art 40G infrastructure to support 600 stores

written by Tom Hodson and Chris McCall, November 14, 2018

The Challenge

Design a state-of-the-art 40G infrastructure ready to support 600 stores allowing Sheetz to meet the needs of customers on the go.

The Outcome

A highly efficient, forward-looking infrastructure with favorable total costs of ownership. The TCS HDA Fiber Patching System provided Sheetz a scalable and modular cabling system with a 25-year warranty.

Sheetz

Sheetz is a family-owned convenience store chain that has become an East Coast icon of delicious food, total convenience, and awesome customer service. For more than 60 years, Sheetz’ mission has been to meet the needs of customers on the go. Life has become faster and busier over those 60+ years. To meet their commitment to deliver when customers need them the most, Sheetz called upon Total Cable Solutions (TCS) to help design and deploy a structured cabling system at their new data center to handle Sheetz’ increasing demands and growth.

Sheetz Cafe

Meeting Sheetz Needz of Data Intensive Innovations

600 stores across a six-state footprint, Sheetz is experiencing impressive growth opening 30 new stores annually. From their inception, innovation has been instrumental to their success. In 1973 Sheetz introduced self-service gasoline to Central Pennsylvania. In 1994 Sheetz debuted touch-screen monitors – a first for the convenience store and restaurant industry.

To this day, utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver customers what they need, when they need it, Sheetz continues to reinvent themselves and bring innovation to the industry. “At Sheetz, we utilize cutting-edge technology to allow you to order your food ELECTRONICALLY through a touchscreen in our stores or using our App anywhere you want,” says Joe Sheetz.

Above all else, Sheetz is about providing kicked-up convenience while being more than just a convenience store. Creating a mecca for people on the go at 600 stores requires state-of-the-art infrastructure.

“We began introducing new, faster components to handle our growing demands to our network and TCS was instrumental in maximizing our investment from designing our new future-ready data center at HQ to retrofitting our existing site,” says Dan Miller, Data Center Manager at Sheetz.

Sheetz Mobile App

New Future-Ready Data Center Deployment

The data-intensive applications Sheetz innovates will continue to require faster and faster transmission speeds to find and send data back to their stores and customers anywhere as quickly as possible. To solve for Sheetz’ increasing demands, we had to design a future-ready data center connectivity solution for a simple, efficient, and cost-effective approach that could handle current speeds as well as a new 40G network backbone deployment.

HDA Fiber Patching System

The TCS HDA Fiber Patching System was a perfect fit – highly efficient, forward-looking infrastructure with favorable total costs of ownership. A pre-terminated cable approach, the TCS HDA Fiber Patching System provided Sheetz a scalable and modular cabling system with a 25- year warranty.

Plug and play components allowed a tool-less installation resulting in a 90% faster installation and significant savings than previous add/changes requiring contractors to field terminate on-site.

TCS organized and reduced cabling requirements for Sheetz’ new spine and leaf architecture installing color- coded fiber connections to differentiate storage area networks (SAN) and IP connections and permanent links. Color-coded triggers on the TCS Universal elite Fiber Patch Cables identify A and B networks.

“Moving from several name-brand proprietary components with interoperability challenges to an open standard cabling system was a big win for us,” says Miller.

"Having a direct line to the manufacturer was instrumental to our future-ready deployment."

Dan Miller, Data Center Manager at Sheetz, Inc.

Summary

Driven by a fun, customer-centric approach to meet the needs of busy customers on the go, Sheetz is utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver customers what they need, when they need it. In today’s ever-increasing data-intensive application environment, Sheetz’ increasing demands require greater transmission speeds that are critical to the success of their business.

Sheetz trusted Total Cable Solutions as subject matter experts to help prepare for rapidly changing technology in hyper-scale data centers allowing them to continue innovating award-winning products. As a result, Sheetz has a state-of-the-art 40G infrastructure ready to support their 600 stores allowing the team to focus on their mission to deliver on the needs of customers on the go.

About the Authors

Tom Hodson
Tom Hodson

Tom Hodson is a Solution Architect for Total Cable Solutions and a voting member on the TIA Engineering Committee TR-42.

Chris McCall
Chris McCall

Chris McCall is the Director of Marketing and e-commerce for Total Cable Solutions.

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