demand for IDCs increases as enterprises outsource non-core
but business critical functions. Cyquator's world-class
IDC is geared to address this requirement. by Gaurav
Technologies Ltd, a part of the Rs 2,500 million Essel
Group has diversified into areas like Information Technology,
Communication, and Entertainment (ICE). Cyquator also
manages the entire IT infrastructure of the Essel Group
and has positioned itself as a complete IT outsourcing
company with a wide range of offerings, encompassing
basic co-location services and high-end managed services.
The company has set up a world-class 20,000 sq ft Internet
Data Center (IDC) at Vashi Infotech Park, Navi Mumbai,
which can host approximately 3,000 servers.
With enterprises increasingly outsourcing their non-core,
yet business critical services, Cyquator believes it
is the right time for professionally managed companies
to address this market and offer quality managed services
with clear Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The company
has gone in for HP OpenView network management software
for managing its vast and complex backend infrastructure,
and provide better customer service.
Technologies Limited is a part of the Rs 2,500
million Essel Group, which has diverse and widespread
business interests in areas like Information Technology,
Communication, and Entertainment (ICE).
The company needed a scalable solution to keep
pace with varying levels of IT infrastructure
deployment, seamlessly interfacing with quicker
rollout to evolve along with needs of company
business drivers. Also the need was for efficient
and timely after sales service within India,
and to have a unified central chain of command
for service desk.
Keeping in mind the vast data requirements (encompassing
bi-directional data flow), Cyquator needed a
solution that was scalable to the needs of the
organization. Cyquator also felt the need for
having an efficient network and systems management
software that helps deliver real-time monitoring
and technical reporting to the Network Operations
Center (NOC) and the customers alike.
With this implementation the company is now
enjoying a better balance of IT benefits against
IT costs, and also experiencing improvement
in business performance and in customer perception
of the delivered IT services. The implementation
has also helped IT staff in planning, scheduling
and budgeting through the introduction of processes.
It also helped in reducing incidences of poor
service, improved business performance and decreased
the cost of missed business opportunities.
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Like most IDCs, Cyquator's internal environment is a
complex mesh of systems and networks, linked in real-time
to its customers. The company's operations have to be
well synchronized to ensure zero downtime.
"Since our core business requires a robust, scalable
and secure network, we have deployed industry standards-based
structured cabling from IBM that carries the entire
LAN traffic within the data center," said Jitendra
Israni, Chief Technology Officer, Cyquator Technologies
The central backbone comprises of core fiber switches
from Cisco (Catalyst 6500, 4000 series and 3508G XL),
that interconnect all access and edge switches (Catalyst
4840 with layer 3/4 functionality), with redundant configurations.
The LAN network is also capable of interconnecting fiber-based
systems and switches for high-speed networked applications.
The company uses Alteon's L7 content-intelligent Web
switches to deliver load balancing services and help
maximize the performance and availability of their customer
Web servers and firewalls.
The company has an ISP Point of Presence (PoP) at Andheria
Mumbai suburb. This is connected to the company's Vashi
IDC using multiple T1 links terminating on Cisco 3600
series routers at both locations. "This interface
can also act as secure connecting blocks from the customer's
LAN to our IT infrastructure hosted at our headquarters,"
commented Vinayak Appugol, NOC Manager, Cyquator Technologies
Cyquator's redundant WAN architecture ensures local
loop redundancy, which terminates at different VSNL
gateways in Mumbai (Fort and Prabhadevi). Its customers
can access their infrastructure using X.25, DSL, ISDN,
VSAT and leased line connectivity to access their servers
for administrative purposes. Customers also have an
option of other gateways offered by Hughes Telecom Limited
(HTL) and Essel Shyam Satellite gateway above the same
premises at the company's Vashi IDC, connecting various
locations (more than 30) within India to their data
center at Vashi.
Need for a NMS
One of the key components in any data center is an efficient
network and systems management software that helps deliver
real-time monitoring and technical reporting to the
Network Operations Center (NOC) and the customers alike.
in mind the vast data requirements (encompassing bi-directional
data flow) Cyquator needed a solution that was scalable
according to the needs of the organization.
"We selected HP OpenView among other products because
it suited our internal business modus operandi and our
vision to deliver qualitative integrated services to
our customers," commented Israni. "While other
products were equally comparable, we had to consider
the challenges and ROI from all the management products.
HP OpenView complimented most of these challenges with
timely deployment, cross-platform/multi-vendor integrations,
operational and functional support, available expertise,
reporting and presentation, ease-of-use and administration,"
Unlike other HP OpenView installations, where the solution
integrates seamlessly with the organization's existing
IT infrastructure, Cyquator's business needs were unique--there
was no pre-set IT infrastructure or a networked road-map
as a frame of reference. The challenge was to provide
a solution that would progress synchronously with every
stage of evolution of Cyquator's business model.
"We had unique requirements with reference to our
business model. Since Cyquator didn't have a set IT
infrastructure in place, the twin pillars of our service-driven
business model namely IT infrastructure and network
management evolved simultaneously.
The adoption of a collaborative approach to manage such
a vast and myriad scale of operations was important.
Therefore, the inherent challenges were immense,"
Cyquator felt the need for an enterprise management
solution as the data center evolved. The success determinant
of IT solutions outsourcing companies hinges on their
ability to manage their entire Web hosting infrastructure
and commerce services (e-businesses)on which a
large number of sophisticated and media-rich websites
and related portals depend.
Unlike other companies in this domain, Cyquator wanted
to be much better prepared and in the highest state
of alertness, to ensure a glitch-free operating environment.
The evaluation exercises were expectedly elaborate with
the top management team well primed to focus exactly
on the solution that was needed. The critical decision
points includedfaster rollout, seamless interfaces,
efficient and timely after-sales services, strong locals
roots, breadth of functionality and the ability of the
product or solution to evolve (in terms of relevant
R&D initiatives) with the needs of the company.
"We wanted to choose a company that would provide
the management tools for a service provider like us
to offer managed services to a varied and multi-location
clientele. Even at the setup stage of the company itself,
we were firm on being software and carrier-neutral.
The evaluation agenda involved evaluating a mix of products
that would offer the best of breed of individual functionalities.
The vendors had to put together most of the modules
and integrate them with other investments," affirmed
He added, "The aim was to choose a vendor with
strong Indian roots to support us all through, once
we became operational. The top management including
the CEO, CIO and the CFO played a key role here."
The company did consider competing products in the network
management market place. "While all products/companies
evaluated had almost equivalent features and technical
competency; we had to consider what suits our business
and service offerings and we zeroed on HP-OpenView,"
Once the implementation process was underway, the important
part was to manage systems in-house. They also had to
take into account the rapid growth in installed server
base. Another factor considered was that Cyquator would
be adding nearly 100 servers a month. To be sure, HP
OpenView was scalable enough to meet the emerging operational
Powerful management tools from HP OpenView with other
point solutions provided a unified view of the entire
Internet Data Center, ensuring maximum uptime and also
tracks SLA's for servers, networks and services.
business operations hinges around the NOC. It helps
in monitoring the servers, applications, databases and
the networking devices by defining processes and by
using industry standard monitoring tools. The NOC also
enables capacity planning and trend analysis of various
Cyquator managed Internet services are designed to give
complete visibility into the workings of websites and
the attendant backend Web infrastructure. This is achieved
through the implementation of the HP OpenView suite
of products: Vantage Point Operations (VPO), Vantage
Point Internet services (VPIS) and Vantage Point Web
Transaction Observer (WTO).
VPIS works in conjunction with HP OpenView Vantage Point
Web Transaction Observer (WTO) and integrated keynote
services (optional) so that problems and glitches with
the end-user desktop environments or ISP can be identified
"We have implemented world-class support processes
built around HP OpenView suite of products. Integrated
support processes cover operations, performance and
business intelligence associated with the management
of IT infrastructure. This service management solution
integrates processes such as order management, call
management, incident management and problem management,
together with quality management processes: configuration,
change, workflow and service level management. HP OpenView
also complements the workflow processes of specialists
and trained professionals inside the NOC," informs
From a service point of reference, an efficient and
unified Service Desk is critical for maintaining the
centralized chain of command--important for a multi-data
center and multi-location network. HP OpenView Service
Desk thus becomes first point-of-contact for all the
customers. Once customer calls are generated and logged
in via various customer interfaces (i.e. Web, e-Mail,
fax and phone), the tool automatically generates a trouble
ticket and sends the status back to the customer giving
thorough transparency to processes and solutions to
each service call.
"Over a period of time, our personnel also became
adept in realizing even more benefits out of the various
product features of HP OpenView. They have been very
innovative in the use of the products and have been
able to add value in a unique way in various key functional
applications. For example, our technical specialists
were able to integrate the Service Desk functionalities
back to the network management level thereby value adding
to the existing Service Desk functionality," commented
At Cyquator, HP OpenView is deployed on Windows and
Solaris platforms. "We selected these platforms
on account of performance, scalability and ease of administration,"
For the implementation of HP OpenView, the company has
spent roughly 30 percent of the total product cost.
However, they have plans to spend more on developing
reporting capabilities to suit individual client needs.
This is one area where HP-OpenView has to meet the aspirations
of service providers. It took close to four months to
implement the project.
HP OpenView solutions have helped Cyquator maintain
standards based operations and escalations. Some of
the immediate benefits were to leverage ITIL based processes
and workflow into their work orders, service calls,
incident and service level management processes. ITSM
compliant tools like Service Desk help them build IT
service delivery mechanisms and improved customer satisfaction.
The integrations also helped them forward alerts as
incidents into the Service Desk's Incident Management,
giving accountability and correlativity between customers'
IT infrastructure and its associated incidents.
IT service management processes are key to Cyquator's
vision of complete service delivery and customer relationship
management. Service Desk suits automated response and
accountability giving their customers transparent and
immediate access to their problems and services subscribed.
"We have deployed Service Desk as a primary interface
to all customer support calls. This interface allows
our customers to log, view and update their service
calls online with optional mail and telephonic call
logging features, giving our customers immediate attention
and reduce mean time to resolution," informed Israni.
Their internal workflow on this includes work order
authorizations, finance approvals, provisioning and
accounting. While service call escalations and resolution
times are accurately recorded and reviewed for frequent
problems and support patterns, it also helps them account
their internal support personnel. Service Desk helps
them achieve a process driven IT management.
There were quite a few hiccups that Cyquator had to
contend with during the implementation stages after
the initial preparatory and exploratory exercises. But
thanks to the proactive measures of the HP team, most
of the project constraints were resolved without putting
Cyquator's business operations at risk.
As far as the implementation of HP OpenView was concerned,
the main challenge was to customize it to suite their
service offerings. According to Israni, the implementation
team displayed exceptional understanding of the requirement,
although initially it was unclear on the type of solutions
and services that were expected out of OpenView.
As some of the products were partly inclined towards
enterprise centric networks, they had to customize these
to compliment their managed offerings. Another big challenge
during implementation was data security and reporting.
some data could be exposed to other customers, we had
the challenge to present only customer specific data
and views. OpenView SIP 2 came to the rescue and helped
us deliver the right kind of integrated and secure access
to their specific IT infrastructure," he added.
In the near future, Cyquator plans to integrate HP OpenView
with other developed applications, to provide proactive
notification, paging and trouble ticketing. In conjunction
with HP, CTL is open to build a collaborative working-cum-competency
center (beta site), for HP OpenView products.
"We look forward to more value-added services and
partnership to bring best-of-breed products and valuable
services to our customers," said Israni.
Gaurav Patra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org