VMware Virtualisation Soln Saves The Day For Essel Propack

VMware's virtualisation solution helped Essel Propack cut major costs.

Esha Birnur November 09, 2009 08:45:47 IST
VMware Virtualisation Soln Saves The Day For Essel Propack

If you go shopping today, chances are high that the many attractive packaging options offered by showrooms will leave you wondering about the innovation in this space. Well, the possibility that most of these striking tubes and laminates have been manufactured by Essel Propack floats high with the company having spread its wings over 21 locations and 13 countries. When overviewing its operations, Essel Propack realised that it needed to centralise its servers spread across the group for different functions.

Zoeb Adenwala, CIO, Essel Group, says, "Essel Propack is a multinational company; we have a presence in 21 locations across 13 countries worldwide. One of the main problems that we were facing was that we had a date centre in every country in addition to various processes. We therefore, were facing major challenges with regard to centralised management, standardisation and operations."

Virtualisation, the saviour

With the prime objective of consolidating its servers worldwide and reducing operating costs, virtualisation seemed to be the most feasible option for Essel Propack.

The company’s prime objective was to overcome all challenges and standardise things. It decided to embark on a two-fold plan for this. The first was to consolidate the servers that were sprawled across the globe, at one place. The second was to standardise and house all the applications in one place.

Adenwala says, "For the first part of the plan, we decided to host the servers in India due to the obvious reason of costs. As we have a data centre in India already, it was feasible to move all the servers here. With this move, we reduced the operating cost in all the countries and started designing the solution. We worked with a partner to complete our solution architecture. When the solution was designed, what came out was that we needed around 21-22 services for the roll-out of this initiative. Once we had decided that we would embark on this, we started looking at aspects such as cost, feasibility, manageability, expansion options, DR, back-up etc. Looking at all these factors, we came to the conclusion that we have to virtualise."

VMware, the partner of choice

After going through the rigmarole of evaluating numerous vendors, Essel Propack found that VMware was a suitable partner for the virtualisation strategy.

Moving on, the company began checking up references of users, who had deployed a similar solution. After a detailed market survey, the company came to the conclusion that VMware was the most popular and ‘tried and tested’ by almost all big enterprises; it was also termed as stable and dependable, which made the choice easy for Essel Propack.

Implementation phase

Consolidating across 13 countries with issues such as language and cultural differences, the implementation was definitely not a cakewalk. The biggest hurdles that the company had to glide over were network issues and user resistance. With a top-down approach, the implementation was completed in five months.

"As we had to consolidate across 13 countries worldwide, we had to take into consideration people from different time zones and cultures because people are resistant to change. Besides these, we faced major challenges with regard to the network and typical user change management problems. We had to take employees through the entire process as they were used to working on certain systems. The only way that we could combat this resistance was by driving it top down. We needed to buy the support of the leadership teams and drive it through the organisation, explain the benefits and train extensively," shares Adenwala.

Essel Propack then put a plan in place with its service provider, which spanned over four months. In these four months, it planned to tackle one country at a time. "Here, we faced challenges in locations where there was no local IT staff because there were a lot of changes associated with each desktop. Everything was done from India and the countries were informed well in advance when they would be approached. We finished this project in five months," explains Adenwala.

Huge cost benefits

The biggest benefit that VMware’s virtualisation solution has brought to Essel Propack is reduction in its OPEX by 40 percent worldwide, in addition to increased productivity and 0 percent downtime.

The initial CAPEX for the company reduced by $ 40,000. It has also realised a reduction in operating costs by 40 percent as mentioned above. The biggest benefit was with regard to standardisation and saving of money in the operating costs of the data centre because the number of servers were reduced by the ratio of 1:4. Now instead of occupying two racks, the servers occupy only one rack.

Adenwala concludes, "The biggest saving with VMware is that if we want a new server then we can construct it in ten minutes as there are spare blade servers. If a physical server fails, it shifts to the next server without even giving the slightest hint, almost acting as a disaster recovery unit from a hardware perspective. For the past six to seven months, we have had 100 percent uptime in conducting our day-to-day activities. We have also added some collaboration and communication solutions. Our voice costs have gone down by 20 percent."

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