Big Ass Fans upgrades to modern IoT cloud infrastructure capabilities on AWS

This global manufacturer of high-volume, low-speed fans took the customer experience to new levels with a high-performance IoT application.

Big Ass Fans Logo Industry Consumer Goods Challenge

Big Ass Fans needed modern capabilities, like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, to scale its compute capacity before traffic changes and to apply backup practices for new feature and functionality implementation.

Solutions Cloud Platforms Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Our customer

Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Big Ass Fans is a leading manufacturer of high-volume, low-speed fans and controls, bringing industry-leading airflow and energy savings to industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential customers worldwide.

The company is best known for its iconic design and innovative solutions. After debuting the world’s first smart fan, the Haiku, in 2014, Big Ass Fans continues to innovate products and services using cutting-edge technologies, inspiring design and conservation principles

"Rackspace Technology provided the technical support and expertise we need to manage our technology and infrastructure, allowing us to focus on delivering added value to our customers."
Bill Kidwell, Cloud Systems Architect, Big Ass Fans
Man pushing a big industrial fan

The obstacles they faced

Big Ass Fans was using SenseME™ technology to deliver automated, personal comfort in its line of leading-edge residential fans. The applications used AWS services, such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which ran the applications that handled all web socket connections from each IoT device and integration using services such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and smart thermostats. The applications were load-balanced with an Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon RDS database.

The IoT components of the service required a cloud infrastructure that an outsourced provider had previously supported. Over time, the provider was no longer able to keep up with the necessary services, such as scanning the network for patches, monitoring specific instances, and ensuring sufficient levels of security without a lot of human involvement or expensive third-party solutions.

This impacted Big Ass Fans’ ability to leverage modern capabilities, automatically scale its compute capacity in advance of traffic changes and apply modern backup practices to support the smooth implementation of new features, functionality and capabilities.

To support its internal team, Big Ass Fans looked for an experienced AWS partner who could take ownership of its applications, enhance its operations and maximize efficiency with 24/7/365 expert support. With a referral from AWS, Big Ass Fans partnered with Rackspace Technology, gaining the depth and breadth of AWS expertise the company needed.

Big Ass Fans ventilator

“Rackspace Technology is a great partner for a growing business. They kept our staffing costs low by filling critical roles as needed."

Bill Kidwell, Cloud Systems Architect, Big Ass Fans
Big Ass Fans Ventilator

How we helped

The IoT cloud infrastructure project was completed within the requested time frame, along with several additional features Rackspace Technology developed for the application. Rackspace Technology was also able to provide several enhancements to Big Ass Fans’ applications running on AWS to improve IoT infrastructure operation.

Combined with the comprehensive monitoring, deployments were smooth, running with no failures. Rackspace Technology was able to deliver an IoT application and cloud configuration solution that was reliable, secure, cost-effective and delivered a robust user experience.

“The Rackspace Technology DevOps experts quickly work through our training exercises,” said Bill Kidwell, Cloud Systems Architect at Big Ass Fans. “They communicated well, asked questions when it was necessary and offered solutions that worked. Their team continues to impress us with their knowledge and deep commitment to customer service.”

Also, in collaboration with the Rackspace Technology team, Big Ass Fans instituted a new process that included a regular, monthly release schedule. This allowed the company to address small updates without waiting for scheduled releases. This enabled the team to release smaller applications and updates faster and meet customer expectations sooner.

What we achieved together

Big Ass Fans’ level of trust in its new IoT cloud infrastructure and confidence in its systems has expanded considerably since working with Rackspace. Some of the benefits it’s seen include enhanced system performance and uptime, insight into infrastructure needs, greater employee efficiency, increased manageability and improved platform reliability.

About Rackspace Technology

Rackspace Technology is a hybrid, multicloud solutions expert. We combine our expertise with the world’s leading technologies — across AI, applications, data and security — to deliver end-to-end solutions. We have a proven record of advising customers based on their business challenges, designing solutions that scale, building and managing those solutions, and optimizing returns into the future. 

As a global hybrid, multicloud technology services pioneer, we deliver innovative capabilities to help customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and create incredible experiences. Named a best place to work, year after year according to Fortune, Forbes and Glassdoor, we attract and develop world-class talent to deliver the best expertise to our customers. Everything we do is wrapped in Fanatical Experience® — our obsession with customer success that drives us to help each customer work faster, smarter and stay ahead of what’s next. 


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