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2 page Case Study - Posted 1/8/2013
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Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria

Ministry Cuts Costs, Reduces Deployment Time and Provides Better Service Using the Cloud

For the IT department at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria, managing its numerous servers was a major headache due to high costs and maintenance. Additionally, its open source cloud operating system was no longer meeting its needs. The Ministry of Finance needed a solution that would enable it to manage its servers more effectively, reduce costs as well as enable the IT department to respond more quickly and efficiently to requests from the organization. By deploying a cloud solution using several Microsoft technologies, the IT department was able to successfully address the growing needs of the ministry and the public.


Business Needs

At Bulgaria’s Ministry of Finance, the IT department was struggling on how to effectively manage and monitor the large numbers of physical servers it was responsible for - many of which were often underutilized. This was leading to high monthly maintenance costs, including out-of-warranty maintenance of critical hardware as well as electricity for powering and cooling the infrastructure.

This situation was less than ideal. Rather than spending a lot of time and effort maintaining the servers, the IT department wanted to focus on innovation, reduce costs, and provide greater performance and increased reliability of their information systems. It also wanted to achieve a higher level of efficiency in the department’s daily tasks as well as being able to rapidly deploy new IT services in the organization.

“We wanted to optimize the number of physical servers in our infrastructure and enable the flexible management of these resources. Additionally, there was a strong need to deliver higher quality and greater reliability of our information resources, including the ability to deploy server resources as fast as possible whenever it was needed,” says Ivaylo Mandjukov, who serves as IT Director at the Information Systems Directorate. “We were also looking for a high level of automation that would allow us to ensure faster deployment of new infrastructure resources such as servers, networking and storage based on predefined templates and standardized processes.”

The ministry had been using OpenStack, (an open cloud operating system) for quite some time. However, it was no longer robust nor feature-rich enough to meet the needs of the ministry. “We realized that it was just a matter of time where we would no longer be in a position to adequately serve the IT needs of the ministry and the public - which is totally unacceptable. It became clear to us that a viable solution needed to be found quickly.”

Solution

The IT department decided that it needed a complete integrated package that included operational management software and better support for its data center and workloads. The ministry also wanted to ensure its business continuity and pro-active operation remediation, including application monitoring. Based on the ministry’s business requirements, the IT department came to the conclusion that deploying a private cloud solution would best serve the needs of the ministry moving forward. The decision to deploy a private cloud solution was significant because this would be the first-of-its-kind in the Bulgarian government.

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* By moving to a private cloud solution, we have been able to dramatically increase our ability to meet the needs of the ministry and the public, while cutting costs at the same time. *

Ivaylo Mandjukov
IT Director, Information Systems Directorate
Ministry of Finance

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The account team of Microsoft Bulgaria invited specialists from the ministry’s IT department to a Private Cloud Value Day event, followed-up by a Private Cloud Immersion workshop where the Microsoft Private Cloud story was introduced together with the approach towards better process automation and IT services standardization, as well as faster application deployment and monitoring. “We were excited with the thought that we would be the first ministry in Bulgaria to implement a private cloud solution, but we were confident that this was the right decision.”

To ensure that this project would be a success, the IT department selected Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS-Bulgaria) as their implementing partner. “The Microsoft Consulting Services team in Bulgaria has proven to be a reliable partner to many organizations (both private and public) in Bulgaria. Their experience in developing complex architecture and deploying comprehensive solutions convinced our IT department that we wanted to leverage MCS for this critical project. Furthermore, we identified MCS as a partner whom we can count on in the post-implementation phase of the project and also in extending this private cloud solution in the short and mid-term.”

The IT department of the Ministry of Finance together with MCS-Bulgaria specialists discussed and designed scenarios using their existing Windows Server 2008 R2 and System Center 2012.

In order to achieve the most optimal outcome, it was decided that utilizing several Microsoft technologies would be the best way forward. These were: Microsoft System Center 2012, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012, System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 and SQL Server 2012.

Benefits

The deployment of the solution has proven to be a resounding success for the ministry.

Centralized Location and Faster Deployment Time

“We are happy that our highly virtualized IT systems are now managed and monitored from only one location, decreasing the required response time by about 50%. Furthermore, the time needed to deploy new systems is reduced by 75%.”

Significant Reduction in Costs and Maintenance

It has also saved the ministry a lot of money. “We managed to reduce the number of physical servers by 25%, as well as reducing our maintenance costs by approximately 15,000 euros annually.”

Better, Faster and More Reliable

Better performance and reliability of the infrastructure have given the IT department the means to deliver IT services 60 % faster than ever before to the organization as well as the public. This has led to more opportunities for rapid and effective deployment of new IT systems and services.

Higher Availability and Lower IT Complexity

The solution has allowed increased availability of the infrastructure with no downtime. This allows the ministry to respond quickly to business needs. Additionally, the reduction of the solution’s IT complexity means that the IT department no longer has to devote a lot of time in managing their infrastructure, as they did in the past.

The success of the implementation at the Ministry of Finance has sparked a lot of interest and has resulted in numerous visits from other ministries to see how the solution can be adapted to their own needs. Ivaylo Mandjukov is very pleased with their new solution and with MCS-Bulgaria. “By moving to a private cloud solution, we have been able to dramatically increase our ability to meet the needs of the ministry and the public, while cutting costs at the same time.”

“Additionally, by switching from OpenStack to Hyper-V, our organization was able to go further with virtualization and create a scalable and elastic private cloud environment that we believe will handle the continuously growing needs of the ministry. We are currently upgrading to Windows Server 2012 and look forward to having an even more flexible, cost-effective IT infrastructure that can support e-government initiatives in new directions. We can now maintain our service level agreements at a lower cost and continue to lower IT costs while meeting the growing demand for public e-services. All of these would not have been possible without the help and expertise of MCS-Bulgaria.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 700 employees

Organization Profile

The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria was established in 1879. Its main objective is to sustain a transparent fiscal, financial and budgetary policy in accordance with the government strategy for full-fledged EU membership.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Operations Manager

Vertical Industries
National Government Agencies

Country / Region
Bulgaria

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Services Bulgaria