Continuing to foray into new innovative business opportunities while simultaneously strengthening its traditional base, SIVA Group wanted to modernize its infrastructure and reduce costs by replacing its disparate systems. The group decided to set up a private cloud solution built on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V technology, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft System Center family of products. The move ensures a strong competitive outlook for the group’s evolving business and IT needs. As a result, it has reduced costs by 75 percent, promoted cross-unit collaboration, and improved business efficiencies. Additionally, the new platform is easier to manage, and allows for better collaboration and communication between employees.
||With the private cloud environment we have significantly reduced our costs by 75 percent. Hyper-V makes a massive financial difference to our overall business.
||Dr. Selvam K
Group Chief Information Officer
Started in 1986, SIVA Group today is a U.S.$ 3 billion conglomerate, with operations in oil palm, commodities trading (agro & minerals), shipping & logistics, wind energy, realty & hospitality, telecom, project engineering, and education & software business. As a future spotter, early entrant and market maker, the group’s reputation as a pioneer has grown rapidly. It went on to build leading brands in broadband connectivity, mobile telephony and food & beverages, proving with each venture, the core competencies of the group in terms of entrepreneurial spirit, operational capability, and unmatched skill in scaling.
The group has 1200+ employees distributed across 20 offices spread across India and abroad. Recent initiatives by the group are helping it evolve into a stronger and more cohesive group of companies with an even greater focus on performance, competitiveness, value creation and customer-orientation.
Although the group had an IT infrastructure in place, it was concerned that its technology couldn’t keep up in an increasingly demanding business environment. The group was managing a fragmented information infrastructure, as each business unit maintained separate technologies and processes. “Our needs were growing quickly because our business was expanding much fast,” says Dr. Selvam K, Group CIO, SIVA Group. “The various flavors of the infrastructure were not working well together.”
Standardization was extremely important for SIVA Group in order to manage its dispersed infrastructure. The company wanted a unified environment to achieve centralization and control.
With an eye to the future, the group knew that cloud computing was the way to go. “We were ready for a new IT strategy and knew that a private cloud solution was the simple way to overcome our challenges,” says Mr. P Swaminathan, Group President, SIVA Group.
||The private cloud proved very successful with significant improvements in efficiency, utilization of shared services, and scalability. Overall, the IT experience was notably more streamlined, setting the stage for future growth as the need arises.
As a forward-looking organization, SIVA Group needed technological advancement and was intrigued by the capabilities and possibilities of a private cloud environment. The group decided to choose technologies from Microsoft, which it saw as the forerunner in the cloud computing world.
The group along with Microsoft designed and implemented the private cloud core infrastructure which was built on Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V technology, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2010, and Microsoft System Center family of products. The implementation which started in October 2010 went live in March 2011. Today, approximately 750-800 users are deployed on this environment. The group implemented the complete infrastructure including email, desktop, unified communications, document management, and collaboration.
Hyper-V technology was used for all virtualization efforts at SIVA Group. It makes the best use of their server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines. Overall, the technology not only helped to reduce hardware and operations costs but also greatly improved the group’s ability to provision new servers. “Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V provided the fastest, cheapest, easiest, and most flexible approach to building out our cloud infrastructure,” says Dr. Selvam K. “Simpler management and better availability were added advantages.”
The solution also features Active Directory Domain Services found in the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. The result was single sign-on, server consolidation, greater manageability, and a more functional, hierarchical structure.
The group also deployed Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010 to enhance and unify knowledge management and also address all its collaboration needs. Additionally, Microsoft SQL Server 2010 data management software was deployed for business intelligence. The email system was upgraded to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, reducing capital and operating expenses while adding high availability, disaster recovery, larger mailboxes, unified messaging, and faster performance.
In addition, the group has also deployed Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010, which is a secure web gateway that provides comprehensive protection against web-based threats. Multiple layers of protections allow employees to safely and productively use the Internet for business without worrying about malware and other threats.
With this overhauling of the infrastructure it was important to efficiently and effectively manage and monitor the same. The group thus chose Microsoft System Center solutions designed to optimize and standardize IT infrastructures and also enable easier management of computers and servers. Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 was selected to assess, deploy, and update servers, desktop PCs, and laptop computers. Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007 is being used to manage the physical and virtual infrastructure components and centrally manage and allocate server resources to help further improve server utilization. Additionally, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 is being used to monitor all virtual machines and, eventually, all physical servers.
“With a centralized and standardized environment, we are working to reduce costs and optimize the company’s existing IT infrastructure,” says Mr. P Swaminathan. “Overall, we are enhancing efficiency, flexibility, and growth potential for the future.”Benefits
By using Microsoft technologies to deploy a private cloud environment, SIVA Group has transformed its business culture. The solution allows for growth and ensures that any future business needs are met. The group has successfully promoted cross-unit collaboration and communication, significantly reduced costs and enhanced efficiency, and improved infrastructure management and business continuity.
More Efficient Business Processes
By standardizing on Microsoft technologies, SIVA Group has gained the ability to use those technologies together in ways that better serve the business. The group is using collaboration and data management solutions from Microsoft to drive growth and innovation at the company and fundamentally change its business culture. “The diverse and incompatible technologies the group supported before were restricting and inefficient,” says Dr. Selvam K. “However, with the deployment of the private cloud solution; business operations are much smoother and increasingly efficient.”
Reduced Costs by 75 Percent
Using virtualization to consolidate servers means that SIVA Group is spending less time and money on its physical infrastructure. Now the group can devote more resources to driving its competitive advantage and focusing on core business needs. The savings come from a variety of sources, including hardware, power, and maintenance. “With the private cloud environment we have significantly reduced our costs by 75 percent,” says Dr. Selvam K. “Hyper-V makes a massive financial difference to our overall business.”
With the ability to store, search, and share profiles and documents, employees and teams in the group have access to all the knowledge resources in the entire organization. They can work together seamlessly across units from virtually any location. With easy remote access to collaboration resources and work information, employees can efficiently resolve internal issues and respond quickly to customer queries, which enhance customer satisfaction and drives revenue opportunities.
“The private cloud proved very successful with significant improvements in efficiency, utilization of shared services, and scalability,” concludes Mr. V Srinivasan, Group CEO, SIVA Group. “Overall, the IT experience was notably more streamlined, setting the stage for future growth as the need arises.”Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
For more information about the Microsoft server product portfolio, go to:
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For more information about Siva Group products and services, visit the website at: http://www.svl.co.inThis case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.