Empowering the enterprise network
Provisioning corporate connectivity and infocom solutions
is gaining importance. That is where Comsat Max, a subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises,
steps in. by Newly Paul
Comsat Max packages its services portfolio as the Host, Protect, Deliver and
Manage concept. The company offers co-location, Web hosting, connectivity, network
management, security and disaster recovery (DR) solutions. These services are
operated out of the companys Enterprise Data Centres in Delhi and Mumbai.
Comsat Maxs hosting services can be broadly classified into co-location
Standard features of the co-location service include a stable power supply,
redundant gensets, redundant UPS backup, 24x7 monitoring, air-conditioned environ-ment,
and fire alarm & suppression system. Hosting services fall into three categoriessimple
hosting for small capacity users, dedicated hosting, and shared hosting on platforms
such as Windows NT, 2000, Linux and Solaris.
Comsat Maxs co-location and hosting services are SunTone- certified. According
to Vinay Maheshwari, DGM, Technical Services (Connectivity) of the company,
this is an advantage. Our customers benefit from the services of a true
service provider. Moreover, since we are open to varied platforms, it proves
beneficial for customers who use varied platforms.
Securing the enterprise
The companys security offerings include managed firewall and secure business
service access for corporate houses.
The managed firewall services include design, implementation and management
of firewalls; Comsat Max offers Check Point and Cisco PIX firewalls.
Apart from selecting, configuring and installing the firewall and hardware,
Comsat Max also offers round-the-clock monitoring services. Firewall policies
Maheshwari adds that apart from connecting clients with high-bandwidth links,
the company also provides VPN services.
As part of its Secure Business Service Access (SBSA) offering, Comsat Max offers
security in the form of authorisation and authentication. According to Maheshwari,
this is important as networking and accessibility to customers, vendors and
internal employees raise issues of unauthorised access.
The two options Comsat Max offers its clients as part of SBSA are mobile identification
(mID) and mVPN. mID is a double factor authentication solution. It renders three
forms of second factor login; by a downloaded token, by an installed token,
or by SMS-based passwords.
mVPN enables access via a Web browser with enhanced security reach functions
and applications on the internal network. It works as an application based gate
keeper and lets only authenticated and secured traffic through to internal
systems. It also creates a secure tunnel for transactions. mVPN solutions have
features such as zero footprint clients, no keyboard logging and no local caching.
Apart from lowering costs, managed connectivity services ensure better monitoring
and quicker control. Comsat Max uses VSATs, IP VPNs, clientless VPNs, and managed
terrestrial links from infrastructure providers for its delivery services. Point-to-point
and point-to-multipoint network connectivity are also possible. VSAT connectivity
is available in extended C and KU bands. Bhartis acquisition of Comsat
Max means that a network of over 9,000 VSATs is available.
Preparing for the worst
DR is another service offered by Comsat Max.
In 2002, when we started providing a DR service, the concept was just
gaining ground, says Maheshwari.
Comsat Max conducts an analysis, maintenance and audit
plan, and recommends DR solutions based on these. It works closely with
clients in terms of devising DR programmes and the process is split into
Under the ambit of DR, Comsat Max conducts an analysis, maintenance
and audit plan, and recommends solutions based on these. It works closely with
clients in terms of devising DR programmes and the process is split into many
stages. First, we have a meeting with all the customers business
heads and decide which applications are critical. Then, based on our current
infrastructure and input, we devise a DR plan, says Maheshwari.
The solution formulation process consists of five steps:
1. Assessing risk and analysing business impact
2. Developing a strategic outline for recovery
3. Reviewing onsite and offsite backup and recovery
4. Developing and testing a recovery plan
5. Maintaining and auditing the plan.
The DR site can be hot, warm or cold, depending on the time
period decided by the customer for data recovery. As part of the DR programme,
we conduct fire drills once every six months. We also take care to replicate
the database at the main site in Delhi on a day-to-day basis, explains
The DR service is structured like an insurance-based model. The insurance premium
is linked to the type of disaster solution recommended.
Comsat Max also provides Overseas Technical Support Services (OTSS) and Network
Infrastructure Management Services (NIMS).
Under OTSS, the management solutions offered are onsite facility management
services, technical support services and remote network management services.
The facility management service includes IT infrastructure and vendor management,
installation of new system hardware, support of servers, LAN and WAN.
Technical support services are targeted to VSAT service providers, operators,
private VSAT networks, ISPs, and datacentre service providers. For technical
support, the offerings include project management services, onsite support services
and remote support services. The remote network management service encompasses
remote, link and bandwidth monitoring, apart from remote administration and
NIMS includes configuration management, e-mail and voice support for specific
devices. The advantages that Comsat Max says it offers its clients opting for
this service are cost effectiveness, availability of expert resources and services,
and monitoring and support services.
A call away
The help desk for all services offered by Comsat Max works at two levels. The
first level handles basic client assistance queries. At the second level, calls
are handed to the advanced technical help desk that is manned by skilled technicians.
Established in 1995, Comsat Max was born as a result of privatisation
and the accompanying boom in the telecom sector. On August 31, 1995, Comsat
Max formally launched operations by starting VSAT connectivity services
When Internet services were opened to private companies in 1999, Comsat
Max got the licence to provide services to enterprises all over India.
We have been providing DAMA services since 1998, and in 1999, we
started TDMA services, says Vinay Maheshwari, DGM, Technical Services
(Connectivity) of Comsat Max.
As the number of clients grew, the company changed itself to adjust to
the growing market demands. In order to address the demand for value-added
services and grow in the value chain, we aligned ourselves to customer
requirements and established a data centre in Delhi. In 2002, when the
broadband market was emerging, we introduced our broadband product Skyblaster,
Another step towards expansion was the collaboration with Gilat, a satellite
network company from Israel. Comsat Max has 17 points of business covering
all the major Indian cities. Its chief offerings include connectivity,
hosting, security and management services.
Comsat Max has been recently acquired by Bhartis AES (Advanced Enterprise
Services) group. This has increased the combined VSAT base to 9,000. Bharti
also gets managed services in its portfolio of enterprise services under
AES. This has made it the leading VSAT provider.
However Ramanish Kochgave, the companys Marketing Manager, declines
to comment on the rebranding options that are likely to follow this merger.
The rebranding initiative is still being debated. When mergers occur
on a large scale, it takes some time for companies to get integrated,
he explains. We shall know the final outcome in about 15-20 days,
when the company merges with Airtel Enterprises.
Ramanish Kochgave, the companys Marketing Manager, states that their major
clients include ICICI, Citibank, Castrol, National Panasonic, Videocon, Kodak,
Hero Honda and Essar.
Comsat Max has a strong overseas client base. We started working with
clients abroad about two years back, says Maheshwari. We have done
projects in Morocco, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Madagascar and many other places.
For their overseas clients, Comsat Max provides services such as consulting,
design, implementation and training. The company also offers network consultancy
and troubleshooting. The SAARC and Africa regions have good markets for
these services. Within India, we provide internal training to franchisees and
sometimes to our customers, but for the overseas market training is a paid service,
Newly Paul can be reached at