Case Study:
New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing moves to the cloud to accommodate seasonal fluctuations in web traffic while reducing their carbon footprint.

Traditional data centers with physical servers use vast amounts of energy and have a significant impact on the environment. By contrast, cloud computing helps companies reduce energy consumption while also decreasing capital expenditures on IT resources and improving operational efficiency.

New Belgium Brewing's Strong Commitment to the Environment

Jess Askey, Webmaster at Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing, was on a mission to find a green data center that offered managed cloud hosting to complement the company’s strong environmental commitment. Maker of popular Fat Tire Amber Ale and 18 other beers, New Belgium Brewing minimizes its environmental impact in many ways, including optimizing the brewing process to use far less water than traditional breweries.

The Challenge: Finding a Green Data Center Offering Managed Cloud Hosting

Beer has a seasonal selling pattern, peaking in summer. To be prepared for usage spikes, New Belgium’s physical servers were configured to support the height of summer activity all year round.

“We were over-committing our resources nine months out of the year,” said Askey. “This was bad for our pocketbook and inconsistent with our company’s philosophy of minimizing environmental impacts.”

In order to decrease energy consumption by only using power when it was actually needed and ensure there was always enough space, New Belgium Brewing wanted server capacity that could be quickly upgraded or downgraded based on their seasonal web traffic and marketing campaigns.

In addition to always running for peak web usage, Askey’s legacy data center did not use energy saving practices like high-efficiency cooling or renewable energy sources. The location - nearly 2000 miles away - presented material challenges in completing tasks like changing server configurations, swapping out disk drives, or performing updates.

“It was also tough for us to monitor issues such as unexpectedly running out of hard drive space,” said Askey.

To meet their requirements of a flexible solution and match the use of IT resources with real demand, while taking advantage of excellent customer service and energy efficient technology, New Belgium Brewing chose Green House Data.

Cloud for Flexible Service Levels and Reduced Environmental Impact

Green House Data offers managed cloud hosting with a 100% uptime guaranteed service level agreement in a secure, energy efficient environment. Using 40% less energy than traditional data centers, Green House Data is also powered through renewable wind energy. The cloud means flexible server capacity for clients like New Belgium Brewing.

“I did have some concerns about a high-traffic, virtual SQL Server that we use for large graphics files and is accessed by designers all over the country.  However,” said Askey, “the implementation and performance was absolutely flawless.”

The Results: "Incredible Uptime, Phenomenal Response"

With a relationship built on shared values of protecting the environment and offering outstanding customer service, Green House Data and New Belgium Brewery were a natural match.

“We’ve never had a server go down,” said Askey. “When I do have to submit a ticket, the response is phenomenal. I’ve never had a situation where I’ve had to wait on them.”

The cloud is the perfect technology for handling ebbs and flows in seasonal web traffic. If Askey has an upcoming marketing campaign, Green House Data adds another CPU to their servers - and removes it when the campaign ends.

With his old data center, Askey unexpectedly ran out of disk space on a physical server. Green House Data’s team proactively monitors New Belgium Brewing’s servers and remedies the situation long before a server reaches 100% of capacity.

“Green House Data is a key partner in reducing our environmental footprint, and their first-rate support team is responsive and proactive,” said Askey. “I recommend them for any organization who cares about efficiency and performance.”

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