4-page Case Study - Posted 2/7/2013
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Manufacturing Giant Plans to Move to Private Cloud to Drive Efficiency and Reduce Costs
The existing server infrastructure at Ashok Leyland was being underutilized and becoming obsolete. The company wanted to decrease the number of physical servers and consolidate resources without compromising on business services. After evaluating
several virtualization technologies, Ashok Leyland chose to consolidate and build their new private cloud with Microsoft Windows Server® 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology. As a result, the company plans to cut down the number of physical servers and make it simpler
and easier to manage the data centers. Costs will be substantially lower because the need for hardware is much lower and similarly, power and maintenance costs will come down significantly. Overall, Ashok Leyland’s new IT infrastructure will assist in providing
better IT services and boost business agility.
||The need for fewer physical servers helps us save U.S.$ 1.26 million a year in power and cooling costs and U.S.$ 0.80 million in annual maintenance costs (AMC). From a business perspective there will also be a huge reduction in licensing
costs: U.S.$ 0.74 million a year.
| Venkatesh Natarajan
Special Director – IT, Ashok Leyland
For over six decades Ashok Leyland, one of India's leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles, has been moving people and goods across 50 countries worldwide. Operating six plants, the company manufactures trucks, buses, as well as emergency and military
vehicles. It sells about 90,000 vehicles and about 16,000 engines annually. Ashok Leyland also makes spare parts and engines for industrial and marine applications. With 15,734 employees, the company’s revenue was U.S.$ 2,378 million in 2011-12.
Headquartered in Chennai, India, the company’s manufacturing footprint is pan-India with two facilities in Prague (Czech Republic) and Ras Al Khaimah (UAE).
The company operates three Data Centers and one of the biggest challenges for it was managing a large farm of over 200 physical servers, which had been bought over a period of time. These were partially loaded and most were underutilized. They were reaching
only 10 or 15 percent of their potential workload. In addition, the IT team was not sure when the peak workload for each server occurred, whether at month end, month beginning, or was there a similar workload throughout the month? Ramesh Soundararajan, DGM
– IT, Ashok Leyland says, “The problem was the server sprawl. Maintaining such a large number of servers is time consuming and costly. We are spending a lot on power and cooling. Additionally, our servers are also getting old and obsolete.”
Ashok Leyland needed a new approach to its IT infrastructure. The company decided to consolidate the servers and set up a virtual environment managed as a private cloud.
Ashok Leyland reviewed server virtualization solutions available in the market, including solutions from both Microsoft and VMware. After a detailed assessment, the company determined that Windows Server® 2008 R2 Hyper-V™ technology was the best fit for
its business requirements. “VMware is a good solution but it was turning out to be very expensive,” says Ramesh Soundararajan. “The Hyper-V solution is more flexible and suits our needs from a cost, scalability, and performance standpoint.”
The company decided to consolidate servers at two locations – Ennore and Hosur. Before implementing the solution, the IT team ran some tools (Capacity Planner from VMware and MAP Toolkit from Microsoft) on the servers. These tools gathered information over
five weeks on services, applications, and their utilization. Once complete information was available, Ashok Leyland finalized the optimization with the help of sizing tools. This eventually led to consolidation of servers into fewer physical machines.
The company has planned to roll out (by May 2013) Windows Server 2008 R2 across the organization to support the Hyper-V technology, which optimizes server hardware investments by consolidating multiple server roles as separate virtual machines running on
a single physical machine.
At the Ennore data center, 66 servers will be consolidated into seven physical servers. And, at Hosur, 35 servers will be consolidated into six physical servers. “We plan to use the Windows based virtualization platform to consolidate our servers,” explains
Ramesh Soundararajan. “Our goal is to optimize the server environment, control operational costs, and streamline IT management tasks. This will help us to reduce our server footprint and power consumption as well.”
After consolidating the servers, Ashok Leyland plans to set up a private cloud solution. This will help in building an environment that offers high flexibility to meet employee needs and at the same time will be easy to manage and cost-effective to run.
“As a manufacturing company we were apprehensive about giving our company data out in a hosted cloud environment,” says Ramesh Soundararajan. “We wanted to go for a private cloud model within the company and Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V provides us the fastest,
cheapest, easiest, and most flexible approach to build the foundation of our cloud infrastructure.”
The new environment will improve utilization of resources, scalability, and growth. It will allow high availability and easy manageability of the platform. The management will have a better understanding of the expenses both at the user level and at the
business unit level.
||For example, our staff will be able to provision a server in a couple of days rather than the 10-12 weeks that is currently required… We will be able to quickly meet our business requirements and improve application performance, resulting
in faster response times for users.
| Venkatesh Natarajan
PSpecial Director – IT, Ashok Leyland
Using Hyper-V virtualization technology, Ashok Leyland will consolidate the server environment that streamlines deployment of new services. The company sees tangible benefits with the implementation of a private cloud. The new IT environment will ensure
stronger business continuity apart from substantially reducing costs and improving infrastructure management.
Reduces Costs Significantly
Transition to a virtual environment will help Ashok Leyland consolidate the number of physical servers. With consolidation and optimization, the company will be able to use its hardware much more effectively, which will contribute to significant cost savings.
Venkatesh Natarajan, Special Director – IT, Ashok Leyland says, “The need for fewer physical servers will help us save U.S.$ 1.26 million a year in power and cooling costs and U.S.$ 0.80 million in annual maintenance costs (AMC). From a business perspective
there will also be a huge reduction in licensing costs: U.S.$ 0.74 million a year.”
Drives Business Agility
Virtualization will help Ashok Leyland to improve its IT processes. The company will benefit from enhanced efficiency and agility. Venkatesh Natarajan says, “For example, our staff will be able to provision a server in a couple of days rather than the 10-12
weeks that is currently required. It will be much easier for users to request for services as we would be in a better position to allocate resources. We will be able to quickly meet our business requirements and improve application performance, resulting in
faster response times for users.”
With fewer physical servers, IT administrators will spend less time and effort managing the environment. “Virtualization will allow us to perform maintenance tasks without affecting overall performance,” says Ramesh Soundararajan. “With the time savings
and reduced administrative overheads, our teams will be able to focus on strategic tasks and broader business goals.”
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For more information about Ashok Leyland products and services, call +91 44 2220 6000 or visit the website at:www.ashokleyland.com
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