Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center Modernizes Its Network Architecture with Infoblox
“Among the main advantages of the Infoblox subscription model are cost savings, flexibility and scalability. Because we’re not locked into a static installation of purchased assets, we can also completely avoid the usual renewals cycle and avoid unnecessary tech support calls. We won’t have to deal with maintenance at all until 2024.”
— Tom Arnold, Network Specialist, Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center is one of the largest and most popular resorts in Florida. Set on 63 scenic acres just three miles from Walt Disney World, the resort provides guests with an exceptional experience of luxury. The resort features more than 1,400 guest rooms, nine restaurants, bars and shops, a spa and fitness center, pools, a water park and a world-renowned convention center. Its convention center currently has the second largest meeting space of any hotel in the state of Florida. The convention center space is being expanded from 400,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet of meeting space and 1,716 rooms.
Network Specialists Tom Arnold and Nova Mtunga are responsible for managing and protecting the Gaylord Palms massive network. They and their IT team have been successful users of Infoblox solutions for the past ten years and counting.
Customer: Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Location: United States
Initiative: Modernize network architecture, Simplify and centralize management of critical services, Continue and optimize existing Infoblox investment
Outcomes: Five-year subscription solution for digitally transformed network architecture, Centralized and simplified management of critical services, Stronger partnership and superior customer experience
The Challenge—How to Optimize Investment in Infoblox Technologies
The Gaylord Palms IT team adopted Infoblox core DDI in 2015 to upgrade an outdated implementation that was struggling to keep pace with the company’s growing business. This initial implementation provided excellent performance over the years, but with continued business growth, in 2019 the team began exploring a refresh of its existing Infoblox implementation. As they explored options, Arnold and Mtunga determined that a key issue to address was how best to continually benefit from rapid advances in networking technologies. With its initial Infoblox investment, the Gaylord deployed on Infoblox Trinzic appliances that delivered solid performance yet didn’t always enable the organization to incrementally adopt new offerings from Infoblox. In planning the refresh, a premium was placed on being able to add new functionality as needed to its DDI solution as it became available. Modernizing network infrastructure and upgrading to a simplified, subscription-based solution became top priorities for the Gaylord team. It decided to continue working with Infoblox to build upon its existing investment and position the organization to scale for future growth.
The Solution—Switching to a Multi-Year Subscription
Switching to a multi-year subscription solution was key to modernizing the Gaylord Palms network. The Gaylord team began implementing its Infoblox refresh in early 2020, upgrading to more advanced Trinzic appliances, updating its core NIOS DDI on-premises software bundle with Grid technology and adding Infoblox’s reporting and analytics capabilities. Crucially, the Gaylord team chose to continue its relationship with Infoblox by transitioning to the newly available subscription model rather than the more conventional one-time perpetual license model.
The Gaylord team is reaping several benefits as a result of committing to a five-year subscription with Infoblox, as opposed to a three– or one-year subscription or sticking with a one-time perpetual license. Lower costs, greater flexibility with installation and support are among those benefits.
Arnold explains, “Among the main advantages of the Infoblox subscription model are cost savings, flexibility and scalability. Because we’re not locked into a static installation of purchased assets, we can also completely avoid the usual renewals cycle and avoid unnecessary tech support calls. We won’t have to deal with maintenance at all until 2024.”
Improved Network Visibility Through Grid, Reporting and Analytics
With the new Infoblox subscription-based Grid implementation, the Gaylord team is better able to manage and support its security and networking efforts. Specifically, Grid technology enables Mtunga and Arnold to more easily scale and manage DNS, DHCP and IP address management operations. The Infoblox deployment also provides visibility across the entire network, making it easier for the limited IT staff to effectively manage and secure resources. Grid Manager supplies visibility into every appliance and every DNS query load on the network. It also makes it possible to log everything happening on the system—for instance, whether a sever is configured for the IPv4 or IPv6 domain scheme. All essential information on network resources is easily accessible. Likewise, the new reporting and analytics module simplifies the process of compiling network performance metrics that the Gaylord team can leverage for planning resource allocation and reporting to the executive team.
Delivering a Superior Customer Experience
In the past decade that Gaylord Palms and Infoblox have been working closely together, they have developed a true partnership and trusting working relationship. The resort originally chose Infoblox’s core DDI solution ten years ago. When it came time to modernize the network infrastructure to keep up with today’s rapidly evolving network landscape, Gaylord Palms didn’t have to think twice about continuing its current investment in Infoblox.
Mtunga states, “Our team is constantly met with deadlines and time-sensitive projects. The Infoblox team has worked with us every step of the way and has consulted with us on designing the best, customized solution that we knew would meet our new objectives. Infoblox technology just works so that our team can focus on priority tasks and drive innovation and the best experience for our guests and customers. Deciding to continue working with Infoblox was an easy decision, and it was the right one.”
Looking to the Future
Now that Gaylord Palms has successfully continued its investment in Infoblox solutions, the IT team is well-positioned to easily implement additional solutions to protect users anywhere and take its DDI services to the cloud.