4-page Case Study
Posted: 5/16/2013
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KPIT Cummins IT Solutions Provider Upgrades Operating System; Gains Efficiencies, Improves Productivity and Security

KPIT Cummins, a global IT consulting and product engineering company, is constantly looking for the most efficient solution to streamline its processes and gain competitive advantage. The company saw the chance to do so with the release of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Enterprise. It deployed Windows Server 2012 so that IT staff can use its centralized, flexible tools to control employee access to file data and enhance data security. KPIT is taking advantage of the desktop virtualization enhancements included in the server platform along with the enhancements in availability, networking and management. Additionally, with Windows 8 Enterprise, KPIT benefits from an intuitive interface, robust functionality and near-seamless mobility. With the upgrades, KPIT provides an exciting user experience, along with improved performance.

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* Desktop management is much better... Applications and security updates are much faster. And, most importantly, we have greatly enhanced our ability to control data security. It’s outstanding, how robust the operating systems are. *

Mandar Marulkar
Head-IT Infrastructure, Systems and Chief Information Security Officer, KPIT Cummins

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Situation

KPIT Cummins is a global IT consulting and product engineering company focused on co-innovating domain intensive technology solutions for corporations. It specializes in automotive and transportation, manufacturing, and energy and utilities. A leader in technology solutions and services, it currently partners with over 165 global corporations including Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and Tier 1 companies.

With annual revenue of over US$ 410 million for financial year 2012-13, KPIT’s highly focused approach has helped pioneer innovative solutions and file 43 patents in the automotive domain. Headquartered in Pune, India, it has 25 offices in countries including the United Kingdom, China, India, France, South Africa, Germany, United States, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. KPIT has over 8,300 employees worldwide who work at the forefront of technologies and processes to help global corporations become efficient, integrated and innovative enterprises.

Technology has always been a key competitive differentiator for KPIT and the company has worked hard to create a world-class infrastructure, based primarily on Microsoft technology. It has been using Microsoft Windows Server technologies for quite a few years starting with Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, and then Windows Server 2008. It has standardized on the Windows client platform too.

Overall, KPIT is always exploring innovations and rolling out new solutions that help the company to be more productive and competitive. With substantial investment in the Microsoft EA, KPIT wants to use it to the fullest and derive maximum returns.

Solution

KPIT tracks Microsoft products while in development. The company was interested in adopting the Windows Server 2012 and the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system mainly because of the enhancements to the features in Windows Server 2012 and the capabilities of the Windows 8 Enterprise operating system.

As KPIT is a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) customer, the company has access to new products even before they are available in the market. “We work closely not only with Windows 8 Enterprise and Windows Server but most of the Microsoft products, and we test these three to four months before launch,” says Mandar Marulkar, Head-IT Infrastructure, Systems and Chief Information Security Officer, KPIT Cummins.

Evaluating and Deploying Windows Server 2012

KPIT started evaluating Windows Server 2012 in October 2012, which provides several innovations that enhance efficiency while lowering infrastructure costs and increasing the overall availability of production systems. “Usually, when we implement any Windows Server operating system, we think it is a normal server operating system where we can run various applications,” explains Mandar. “However, our decision to migrate to Windows Server 2012 was because of the immense functionalities it has to offer, which were not there or were limited in the earlier versions.”

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* Windows 8 works very well with touch or keyboard and mouse…The hardware flexibility, touch, and the work-from-anywhere possibilities that it delivers, help to boost productivity almost instantaneously. *

Mandar Marulkar
Head-IT Infrastructure, Systems and Chief Information Security Officer, KPIT Cummins

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KPIT chose Windows Server 2012 to benefit from improvements to Active Directory Domain Services in the areas of domain controller deployment and management. It is now easy and safe to clone a virtual domain controller by using the new Domain Controller Promotion Wizard. The wizard integrates seamlessly with the Server Manager, the management interface that comes with Windows Server 2012. As the Active Directory is aware of changes in a virtualized environment, a virtual domain controller is able to detect when the images are applied. Mandar adds, “Cloning was not available in Windows Server 2008. We had to do it from scratch, which took about a day’s time.”

The Windows Server 2012 feature that KPIT was eager to evaluate was Dynamic Access Control, an in-built file authorization mechanism. Administrators can define claims-based employee access privileges using Dynamic Access Control in combination with Active Directory. This automates access control decisions at the domain level. It automatically saves file classification and makes it available to all applications. Dynamic Access Control is also in use to define and configure centralized audit policies.

KPIT is also using the software’s DirectAccess feature to connect remote users securely to the corporate network without VPN connectivity. “Every time an employee connects to the Internet s(he) has access to the corporate network. We can enable secure tunneling from any computer,” says Mandar. “DirectAccess automatically establishes a bidirectional connection from client computers to the corporate network, without requiring any management agent. It keeps our remote employees always connected and because it is part of the network, IT can manage these computers. With Windows 8 Enterprise, this feature is more seamless and easy when compared to the previous versions.”

The company is also interested in Windows Server 2012 for its improvements in failover clustering for file servers, which can be run in active-active mode with basic load balancing. Employees in different geographical areas can connect to the closest server running DirectAccess. Mandar explains, “Overall, it is a very powerful solution for management and load balancing, and, it supports multiple domains. We have already rolled out to some of the users and we are testing some critical third party applications to work with DirectAccess so that we can go live in the next one month to 45 days.”

KPIT was excited about the Hyper-V technology in Windows Server 2012, which has seen significant enhancements. It provides greater support for performance intensive scenarios and increases virtual machine density. This feature means that the company can improve on virtualization density and reduce costs by making the most out of its existing infrastructure. “In our virtualized environment, we have close to about 150 – 200 virtual servers, which are running on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V technology,” describes Mandar. “And, all our new investments in expansion will utilize Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V technology.”

Moving to Windows 8 Enterprise

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* The cloning feature is very powerful and allows rapid deployment. For example, we set up the image of the Active Directory in an hour at our new facility in Noida. *

Mandar Marulkar
Head-IT Infrastructure, Systems and Chief Information Security Officer, KPIT Cummins

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KPIT is also in the process of upgrading its client computers from Windows 7 operating system to Windows 8 Enterprise. The company aims to migrate critical set of users who are going to use Windows 8 Enterprise, mostly laptop users. To date around 700 - 800 machines have been migrated and the plan is to migrate most of the users during the next 18 months.

By standardizing on Windows 8 Enterprise, KPIT ensures a high level of security thanks to the secure boot process. It cleans the machine of any malicious software and other threats at boot up. Thus, it safeguards the network infrastructure from any virus entering via a client.

One of the features of Windows 8 Enterprise that KPIT found most compelling was BitLocker Drive Encryption. It is a robust, enterprise-ready technology, which helps administrators to encrypt all the volumes of the entire hard disk drive. “Compared to other third party products, BitLocker Drive Encryption is faster, as it encrypts only that part of the hard disk where the data is written,” explains Mandar. “And because it is built into Windows, we get a strong encryption solution at no additional cost.”

KPIT also uses BitLocker To Go to safeguard data on portable storage devices such as USB flash drives and external hard drives. Data is secure, as executives going to the client side with confidential data in their laptop hard drives or portable storage drives use BitLocker To Go to encrypt data.

KPIT found the battery performance to be more efficient in Windows 8 Enterprise. The company found that they had 15-20 percent more battery life as compared to previous operating systems, which was very useful from an employee’s point of view.

Additionally, file management is also more efficient in Windows 8 Enterprise. “Earlier, while copying files from one machine to another or from one location to another, one not possible to prioritize the process,” says Mandar. “It was not possible to even pause or resume the action. However, all these features are graphically available with Windows 8 Enterprise.”

With efficient desktop virtualization, Windows 8 Enterprise is helping KPIT to create multiple virtual machines and run any operating system or applications. It helps employees who require multiple desktops for testing purposes, to do so far more quickly and efficiently.

Benefits

KPIT is already seeing benefits and anticipates more, from its use of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Enterprise. The company enjoys simpler network access, simpler network management, enhanced data security and increased mobility. Mandar says, “Desktop management is much better. Deploying the operating systems, applications and security updates is much faster. And, most importantly, we have greatly enhanced our ability to control data security. It’s outstanding how robust the operating systems are.”

Increases Efficiency

KPIT has standardized on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Enterprise at its new facility in NOIDA. The highly virtualized environment delivers significant business efficiencies such as rapid deployed and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

“The cloning feature is very powerful and allows rapid deployment. For example, we set up the image of the Active Directory in an hour at our new facility in Noida,” comments Mandar. Similarly, with Dynamic Access Control, administrators can centrally manage access to information. Mandar adds, “Instead of setting up a new security groups or policies, administrators can classify data based on the criteria such as confidential, public information or restricted information. This allows us to meet the company’s global infrastructure and complex compliance needs.”

Explains Mandar, “Both the server and the client are BYOD-ready. Windows Server has a number of features to control access that will make BYOD a reality. And, Windows 8 Enterprise allows seamless access on a wide variety of form factors such as tablets, mobile phones, laptops and PCs without additional development effort.”

Additionally, KPIT notes that Windows 8 Enterprise benefits the entire organization. It makes it easier for the teams to stay connected and raise productivity on the whole. Windows 8 Enterprise offers the technologies that transform KPIT’s business without sacrificing security and manageability.

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* Both the server and the client are BYOD-ready. Windows Server has a number of features to control access that will make BYOD a reality. And, Windows 8 allows seamless access on a wide variety of form factors such as tablets, mobile phones, laptops and PCs without additional development effort. *

Mandar Marulkar
Head-IT Infrastructure, Systems and Chief Information Security Officer, KPIT Cummins

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Improves Mobility

KPIT has improved remote access with its adoption of Windows 8 Enterprise and the DirectAccess feature in Windows Server 2012. Mobile users, who have to connect with corporate resources from just about anywhere, now have access that is very similar to the access of employees working within the office. Irrespective of the device being used, these users can connect over the Internet and access their desktop.

The IT organization is also experimenting with Windows To Go, a feature in Windows 8 Enterprise that enables the desktop image to start and run from storage devices and USB flash drives. In line with this, KPIT has invested in Office 365. It is in the process of migrating its entire workload to the Microsoft cloud. “Mobility is a great feature because we can access whatever we need from anywhere,” says Mandar. “With Office 365 and Windows 8 Enterprise, employees will get complete mobility and seamless access.”

Offers Excellent Performance

KPIT used cluster shared volumes to publish file shares such that simultaneous access to data through all nodes in a file server cluster is possible. Due to this, end points are no longer limited to the bandwidth of a single node, but can load balance between file server cluster nodes and use their aggregate resources. “Earlier we were using multiple server class hardware for file servers,” explains Mandar. “Deployment of Windows Server 2012 helped in consolidating file servers to a two node cluster, leading to datacentre power and space savings besides reduced administration overheads. KPIT is realizing a greater return on investment because every server in a file server cluster is an active node serving content to clients.”

Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V technology has resulted in better match of network load to processor use (increased network performance). This has helped the company achieve server consolidation and highly optimized virtual environment.

Enhances Productivity and Increases Usability

With the speed of Windows 8 Enterprise, the ease of operation, and the mobility available, KPIT benefits from increased efficiencies. “Windows 8 Enterprise works very well with touch or keyboard and mouse. Employees can switch between the two modes seamlessly,” says Mandar. “The hardware flexibility, the touch capabilities, and the work-from-anywhere possibilities that it delivers, help to boost productivity almost instantaneously.”

The Windows 8 Enterprise interface is so intuitive that employees do not require any training. Mandar continues, “Our end users want us to develop applications, which can be used in this interface. Currently, we are in the process of developing these applications and we feel that they will have much more power as compared to the earlier Windows operating systems. We are expecting that over the period of one year it will completely change the way people are working and increase end user productivity.”

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server drives many of the world’s largest data centers, empowers small businesses around the world, and delivers value to organizations of all sizes in between. Building on this legacy, Windows Server 2012 redefines the category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements that span virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more. Simply put, Windows Server 2012 helps you transform your IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of business value.

For more information, visit:

www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/2012-default.aspx

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about KPIT Cummins, visit the website at:
www.kpitcummins.com

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



Organization Size: 8300 employees

Organization Profile

KPIT Cummins is a global technology and product engineering solutions company. With eight offices in India, 17 internationally, and over 8,300 employees, it has customers in automotive, energy and utilities, industrial equipment, and semi-conductor industries.


Business Situation

KPIT is always looking for new technologies that can enhance its operations and provide a competitive advantage. The company wanted to build an environment that would deliver more IT management efficiencies, further lower costs, and enhance system availability.


Solution

KPIT upgraded to the Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Enterprise operating system to take advantage of high-availability features, enhancements in desktop virtualization, and storage and management efficiencies.


Benefits

  • Increases efficiency
  • Improves mobility
  • Offers excellent performance
  • Enhances productivity and increases usability


Hardware
• Vblock architecture from VCE

Software and Services
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server
  • Windows Server 2012

Vertical Industries
IT Services

Country/Region
India

Languages
English

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