India’s Essar Group Invests in Nutanix
Essar Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company with investments in the steel, energy, and infrastructure sectors, and combined annual revenues of over $39B (USD).
Wanted to improve end-user productivity, lower IT costs, and increase application performance.
- Nutanix Enterprise Cloud
- AHV virtualization
- Prism management infrastructure
- Unified management of all Nutanix infrastructure using Prism
- Minimized management costs by 93%
- Increased end-user productivity by 94%
- Improved performance and availability using Nutanix Auto Tiering
- Achieved 93% savings in rack space, power, and cooling by converging all applications to 2u rack servers
The Essar Group is known throughout the industry for its use of cutting-edge IT solutions to increase business productivity and workforce transformation. As early adopters of cloud and virtualization technologies, Essar has now reached a virtualization footprint of nearly 70%, with a total server count of 800+.
“Our IT team is responsible for architecting, building, operating, and enhancing all of the IT infrastructure for our core business groups,” explained Gaurang Doshi, Head of IT Infrastructure and End User Systems at Essar Group. “We thoroughly understand our company’s roadmap and goals, and work closely with all of our business units to support their initiatives and technology transformations. By ensuring that we have robust infrastructure, highly skilled professionals, and an internal pool of platform expertise—we can be well equipped and ready to support the changing business needs and technology developments in today’s digital IT environment.”
Essar’s IT organization was having difficulty managing, efficiently scaling, and provisioning resources in its isolated 3-tier infrastructure—while also ensuring security and maintaining compliance. The legacy environment consisted of 30 aging, physical servers with built-in HDD, but no redundancy or easy scalability. The infrastructure was being used to support Essar’s DMZ landscape, including its critical Internet-facing enterprise web site, mobility, e-banking, e-bidding, and retail applications.
“We faced all of the native challenges of poor performance that come with 3-tier infrastructures,” Doshi noted. “Ongoing management was a costly affair, along with the necessary investments in rackspace, power, and cooling for all of the separate components. We want IT to be seen as a business enabler for our company, and hence it was important for us to not only optimize and improve system performance, but to do all of that while decreasing overhead.”
Doshi’s plan was to consolidate all of the company’s outdated physical servers onto a single platform in order to minimize operational and maintenance costs, with a focus on ease of management and improved performance. “The chosen platform should also support on-demand compute needs for our various digital transformation initiatives, including adding more enterprise cloud capabilities,” Doshi added.
Essar enlisted the help of Creative Infotech, a Mumbai-based IT technology partner, for the infrastructure upgrade. Creative Infotech recommended Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS Software with AHV hypervisor to Essar’s IT team. “Given Nutanix’s maturity and leadership in the hyperconverged and enterprise cloud space, it became the natural choice for our upgrade,” said Doshi.
Essar purchased its first 3-node Acropolis cluster, with SSD and built-in data management and protection capabilities, earlier this year. “Nutanix has several distinct advantages over the other hyperconverged solutions, but the biggest one for us was that they were able to support all of our business applications and SQL database solutions in our DMZ landscape, while minimizing our management costs,” Doshi reported.
Simplicity and Ease of Management
Essar’s IT team has already migrated 27 of its physical servers to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud. All of the Nutanix systems were deployed in less than 60 minutes. They are now using Nutanix Prism to manage the hyperconverged environment. “Nutanix Prism simplifies the management of our datacenter infrastructure into a single console and enables us to run any application at any scale,” Doshi said. “With Prism, we can control the entire platform within a unified management layer, dramatically simplifying our infrastructure and improving efficiency. By moving to Nutanix, we have lowered our ongoing maintenance overhead by 93%, enabling our IT staff to focus on other services that power the business and contribute to productivity.”
Higher Availability and Better Performance
By moving to Nutanix Acropolis and AHV, system downtime due to hardware failures in the 3-tier environment has been mitigated. “We were also able to eliminate the performance bottlenecks we were facing with our legacy infrastructure using Nutanix’s Auto Tiering capabilities,” Doshi reported. “As a result of moving to Nutanix, we have obtained significant performance improvements across all our business-critical workloads, enabling us to increase business efficiency and end-user productivity by 94%.”
Smaller Footprint and Lower TCO
Essar Group was also able to obtain significant savings in rack space, power, and cooling by converging all applications from 32u in the 3-tier environment to just 2u rack servers with Nutanix. “The TCO analysis we did shows a tremendous savings over five years – close to a 93% reduction in the costs of facilities, power, and cooling,” Doshi said.
Essar is now looking at using the Nutanix platform for its Citrix VDI deployments and moving additional tier-1 applications over to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS Software with AHV hypervisor. “Nutanix has been an excellent technology partner. They’re constantly looking for ways to improve our deployment and answer our questions very quickly. We appreciate how they have embraced all of the challenges we have pushed their way, and we’re definitely looking to grow together with them for many years to come,” concluded Doshi.
“We wanted to minimize our costs, ease management by reducing IT complexity, and improve application performance through server virtualization. Given Nutanix’s maturity and leadership in the hyperconverged and enterprise cloud space, it became the natural choice for our upgrade.”
– Gaurang Doshi, Head of IT Infrastructure Systems and EUS, Essar Group