Malibu Boats Finds Success Out of the Water with Rackspace and CloudEndure

If you’ve been out on the lake recently, chances are you saw a Malibu Boat.

The boats — thousands of them are produced every year in the company’s Loudon, Tennessee factory — have become some of the most sought-after tow boats in the world. One of every two tow boats on the water is a Malibu.

“Whether it’s wakeboarding, wakesurfing, tow boating, skiing, tubing with your family, you name it,” said Malibu’s Vice President of Information Systems and Technology Greg Ward. “That’s where we want to excel and be the best in the world.”

Now, thanks to a Rackspace-led disaster recovery plan that illustrated just how much faster an AWS public cloud environment was than its on-premise servers, Malibu Boats has moved more of its infrastructure and applications to AWS, with expert migration assistance from Rackspace.

Given Malibu’s popularity, it’s critical that its backend applications stay up and running.

Last year alone, Malibu built more than 3,600 boats. To put that into perspective, the company was building two a week when it was founded in 1982.

“If the technological systems go down, our factory will shut down,” said Ward. “We don’t have much time to recover from any type of incident and we need to make sure we can have full availability of our systems 24x7x365.”

Ward looked to Rackspace for help creating a disaster recovery plan that would prevent a disruption of work at the factory should a server go down. Rackspace AWS experts pointed him to CloudEndure, which provides disaster recovery and live migration for applications using a variety of leading cloud platforms.

Malibu was able to quickly migrate its environment to a disaster recovery mode in AWS, supported by Rackspace. As it turns out, the plan came in handy a lot sooner than expected.

“We had an issue where we had the server go down and we needed to get the environment back up and running,” said Ward. “Working with CloudEndure, we were able to get the server back up on our AWS environment and we were back up and running quickly.”

Production at the factory was able to continue, and Ward said he and his team were relieved to avoid a factory shutdown.

“If we didn’t have the ability to recover as quickly as we did, we would be dead in the water,” Ward said. “We would not be able to operate and that would not be good.”

Once the server outage had been resolved, however, Ward noticed that the performance of the disaster recovery server, running on AWS, was at least twice as fast as Malibu’s datacenter environment, with the same hardware and specifications.

“The performance of the server itself was just really fast, which was quite eye-opening,” said Ward. “It helped us to move forward with our plans to have a larger AWS presence.”

The company has since moved more of its applications and infrastructure to AWS and Ward said he’s pleased with the results. Throughout it all, Rackspace Fanatical Support played a major role in helping Malibu Boats upgrade its IT strategy.

“Fanatical Support is more than just a slogan,” Ward said. “I’ve never called and gotten a ticket system, or a voicemail. I always get a person — and not a person who doesn’t know what to do. You get somebody who’s engaged, who knows your environment, and knows how to address your problem. It doesn’t have to get kicked up to a second level, or a third level. You’re dealing with an engineer.”

Visit Rackspace to find out more about Fanatical Support for AWS and disaster recovery planning. We help businesses of all sizes tackle their toughest IT challenges.

Abe Selig joined Rackspace in May 2015 as a senior writer. He writes and edits for the Rackspace blog as well as other outlets throughout the company. He’s an Austin native with a background rooted in journalism; he enjoys music, dogs and being outside.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The company has since moved more of its applications and infrastructure to AWS and Ward said he’s pleased with the results. Throughout it all, Rackspace Fanatical Support played a major role in helping Malibu Boats upgrade its IT strategy.

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