In an ever-changing global marketplace, companies are looking for every opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and simultaneously grow revenue, profits, and customer loyalty. Virtusa’s goals and growth plans meant a significant increase in people as well as the revenues, at 22 percent year-over-year growth in Fiscal Year 2011. Each division and group within the company aligned its roadmap to meet these goals. The IT organization saw this as an opportunity to consolidate and optimize its data center and desktop infrastructure. Centralizing, and standardizing IT infrastructure on the Microsoft Server platform ensures it’s easier to manage, automates IT processes and requires fewer resources. As a result, the IT team now has better control of IT services. In addition, the company has a more reliable system that not only supports the revenue goals of the organization but also improves services to employees. The new IT Infrastructure fosters business growth while controlling costs significantly.
||With this suite of solutions, we can centrally monitor, manage, and optimize the performance of our entire datacenter landscape, including physical and virtual servers.
Head – Global Systems
Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU) is a global information technology (IT) services company providing IT consulting, technology and outsourcing services. It has partnerships with global software vendors including IBM, Microsoft, Pegasystems, OpenText and Oracle Corporation among others, to provide custom solutions and services in Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence.
The company, founded in 1996, has offices and delivery centers in Unites States, United Kingdom, India, Sri Lanka and Netherlands.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the company today is the decentralized IT environment. With business growth and rapid developments in new technologies, Virtusa has populated dozens of legacy information systems. The result is an IT infrastructure that is overly complex, inflexible, expensive, and difficult to manage.
Managing and improving a decentralized IT environment for business growth can be a daunting challenge. According to Head – Global Systems, Ranga Prasad, cobbled up legacy systems had led to an infrastructure that lacked responsiveness and agility.
Virtusa did not have a consistent method of software distribution. It was mostly manual. In addition, security was also compromised. Updates were installed manually as there was no central procedure that could ensure installation of latest security updates.
Problems became acute with large data centers. There was no way the CIO could quickly monitor the health of the servers and services. It was difficult to see up-to-date project status information at all times.
Rapidly growing data center increased the number of physical servers and machines. With this backup and restore time also increased.
To overcome its client side challenges, Virtusa experimented with Linux on non critical desktops. However, soon it realized that implementing Linux was not a good choice. Application compatibility was an issue and so was security. The time required to manage the desktops was also huge.
Virtusa decided to overhaul its technology infrastructure leading to an IT environment that could effectively support growth and help the business respond to market changes quickly.
||Also, because the company now has a fully managed IT environment, it will reduce its infrastructure maintenance costs. We can redirect these savings into core business development.
Global Head Information Technology
Virtusa wanted a centralized, optimized data center solution that would eliminate expensive and manual processes. It chose Microsoft System Center solutions designed to optimize and standardize IT infrastructures through the use of standards and policies that enable easier management of computers and servers.
It was essential, Ranga says, to streamline out technology infrastructure. “The company wanted an IT environment that would be a resource for supporting business growth," he says. “And Microsoft had the tools needed to streamline our technology infrastructure.”
To reach its goals, the IT team first standardized the operating environment. The company decided to use the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating system. The Active Directory® service was a critical part of the new solution. This change impacted the employees the most. Employees now log on to their desktops and access applications using a single password from anywhere within the organization. In addition, the physical security is integrated with the Active Directory Authentication. It sets permissions and controls user access to office buildings; restricting only authorized employees’ access to various parts of the campus.
Virtusa was one of the early players initiating adoption of Direct Access in India for production roll out. “The experience of being seamlessly connected to the corporate network any time over the Internet is great. We can access information on the intranet and applications easily and quickly,” explains Ranga.
This done, Virtusa was looking at optimizing its desktop environment. The IT staff deployed Office 2010, coupled with Windows 7, as the new standard operating environment on the desktop. With these technologies, the IT team can provide a consistent look and feel for improved employee productivity, and make it simpler to manage the same software on each PC.
With this overhauling of the infrastructure it was now more important to efficiently and effectively manage and monitor the same. It deployed all six components of System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE):
System Center Configuration Manager
System Center Data Protection Manager
System Center Virtual Machine Manager
System Center Operations Manager
System Center Service Manager
“We needed high quality processes to manage our server infrastructure. The fact that System Center includes a set of integrated, robust products for managing virtual machines, monitoring infrastructure health, and data backup was compelling,” says Ranga.
System Center Configuration Manager plays a major role in the company’s strategy for keeping software up to date and managing assets. PC power management capabilities offered by System Center Configuration Manager are also being used by Virtusa.
In addition, Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, for application deployment has been implemented.
With System Center Operations Manager, servers are proactively monitored, and if a potential fault is detected, the IT team receives alerts and guidelines on how to resolve it.
Also, by choosing the Hyper-V technology, Virtusa is saving money and gaining an enterprise-ready solution for comprehensive server virtualization, monitoring, and management to maximize data center efficiency. The IT landscape contains 28 physical servers in virtual environment with approximately 112 guest virtual machines.
Virtusa deployed System Center Virtual Machine Manager to facilitate the management of the Hyper-V virtual machines.
The IT team has also gained new efficiencies by using Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager to automatically back up its critical Microsoft workloads. “System Center Data Protection Manager provides much tighter integration with our Microsoft workloads,” says Ranga. “It provides a superior level of protection and efficiency to the data backup process.”
Opalis, an automation platform for orchestrating and integrating IT tools to drive down datacenter costs, was also implemented. Automation of compliance reporting for quarterly audits is done using Opalis reducing the time needed for audit reporting significantly.
This stable, proactive IT environment helps Virtusa review the manageability and maturity of its existing IT tools; while it also helps eliminate expensive, manual management processes. With this solution, the company continues its journey to optimize its IT infrastructure and gain an advantage relative to competitors. “With this suite of solutions, we can centrally monitor, manage, and optimize the performance of our entire datacenter landscape, including physical and virtual servers,” concludes Ranga Prasad.Benefits
Stability, supporting growth and lowering costs are some of the key objectives that Virtusa as met. Also, a consistent, reliable enterprise infrastructure and desktop solution, and automated processes have given the IT team better control of IT services. Enhances IT Management, Reduces Costs
With IT infrastructure now standardized and centralized, the IT team has better control of services and can provide better administration and management. Implementation of user policies has helped increase overall security within the infrastructure by reducing virus and spam attacks.
Sudheera Rajapakse, Global Head Information Technology, Virtusa says, “Also, because the company now has a fully managed IT environment, it will reduce its infrastructure maintenance costs significantly. We can redirect these savings into core business development. In addition, because the IT department can better manage the systems and servers, it has more time to focus on other business issues.”Improves Productivity
Virtusa predicts it will improve productivity because employees can work together more easily with the new infrastructure in place by IT for inventory, patch management, software updates, software deployment etc.,
||Earlier it took us 4 weeks to deploy a new physical server. “The same can now be done in just 24 hours. Self-service portal and virtualization have made this possible, which also increases alignment with business needs.
Head Global Systems
The physical and IT security are combined with the Active Directory carrying location information as well. In addition, the company’s desktop computers are now promptly updated with the latest security updates. “With System Center Configuration Manager, security updates are performed with 98 percent of PCs with up-to-date patch levels,” says Ranga Prasad. “This is critical for us. Even a single mistake can be a huge vulnerability to us.”Accelerates Server Provisioning
“Earlier, it took us 4 weeks to deploy a new physical server,” explains Ranga. “The same can now be done in just 24 hours.” Self-service portal and virtualization have made this possible, which also increases alignment with business needs.Creates Reliable, Scalable Infrastructure, Supports Growth
Because the solution uses a standardized set of upgraded Microsoft software, the IT team can now administer IT services from a single point and provide a better overall experience for more than 4,000 employees using the systems. “Since deploying the solution, we now have a secure and reliable environment,” says Ranga.
This infrastructure enables transitioning to private cloud environment and hence allowing managing the growth with much faster response to business needs.
Microsoft System Center
System Center solutions help IT pros manage the physical and virtual information technology (IT) environments across data centers, client computers, and devices. Using these integrated and automated management solutions, IT organizations can be more productive service providers to their businesses.
For more information on Microsoft System Center please visit:
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For more information about Virtusa Corporation, visit the website at: www.virtusa.comThis case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.