IT and ITES
Trendsetter in messaging
Winner of the Intelligent Enterprise Award 2005 in the IT/ITeS
segment, Wipro deployed technology to tackle the messaging conundrum, says Shivani
GM, Global IT
Wipro received the award for its next generation messaging infrastructure that
delivers availability, agility and access.
The earlier systems working on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and Exchange 2000
Server were designed in 2001 keeping in mind the companys growth at that
point of time. However, growth in terms of number of work centres and people
forced the IT team to look at other options to scale up without disturbing the
workflow. The new system offers reduced downtime, a centralised management interface
for smooth and efficient functioning.
Problems and Concerns
With a growing number of people, the older messaging system had started giving
problems. There were issues such as scalability and hardware that could not
adjust to the increasing number of users and performance requirements. There
were more than 100 Active Directory or Exchange servers managing more than 25,000
We were also planning to have additional features such as e-mail access
on mobile devices, which was not possible with our earlier servers, remarks
Aameer Azeemi, GM, Global IT, Wipro Technologies. Moreover, the business has
been demanding higher availability of at least 99.9 percent or more and faster
and better e-mail access within office or on the move.
I feel elated after winning
the Intelligent Enterprise Award 2005. After the implementation we were
appreciated for the work, but being recognised at a national level is
another thing. It's a reward for me and a recognition for my teammates.
Also, with a growing number of users, the company wanted to
automate several administration processes and enable self-service applications.
Another key objective behind the project was to increase user awareness to leverage
new features and enhance productivity. Security concerns were also growing,
especially in terms of spam, virus attacks, and secure accessibility of e-mail
and collaboration over the public Internet.
Another need was to consolidate the messaging infrastructure to improve manageability.
This was done by server resizing and using SAN storage.
The new system would permit the automation and customisation of routine activitiesuser
self-service, mail admin portal, inventory and patch management (SMS), SAP integration
(account management, dynamic aliases), and proactive service management (Microsoft
Operations Manager 2005).
A New Exchange
Azeemi says that after looking for options they finally decided to use Microsoft
Exchange 2003 and Windows 2003 as the principal issue was one of scalability
and support. I suppose this would certainly be the first of its kind in
terms of implementation. For us the confidence in the system came when we saw
it being used successfully at Microsoft, says Azeemi.
The detailing of the project was done for two months. The migration of 45,000
users spread across 25 sites was done in just 45 days. The total cost of the
project was Rs 10 crore including licencing costs, hardware, and migration to
a new client environment.
- Hinduja TMT's Garden Insurance Process Performance
System (GIPPS). The organisation has been able to integrate its legacy
system in insurance claim processing to facilitate online routing to
save time and enhance efficiency.
Wipro achieved 99.9 percent availability with this implementation.
Azeemi believes that the biggest advantage of the system has been the comfort
with the mobile community. The 45-day migration, completed without any
down time and with hardly any disruption of service, called for some innovation
and meticulous planning, he says.
Some of the features that have been incorporated are mobile e-mail access, anti-spam
control, disk staging, query-based distribution list and N+1 clustering. Azeemi
explains, An Exchange 2003 platform technology called RPC over HTTPS,
provides secure e-mail access to mobile users through the Internet.
Wipro has deployed a SAN which allows the company to consolidate 24,000 users
on to a single site.
corporate e-mail access is provided on smart phones and PDAs using the Microsoft
Outlook Mobile Access and Active Sync technologies of Exchange 2003. The use
of high-end servers with a user base of 4,000 caused the backup and restoration
window to increase making it difficult to maintain SLAs.
To address this critical concern, Wipro deployed Veritas Netbackup with
a disk staging option. This option helped in shrinking the backup/restore window
by backing up the huge e-mail database to less expensive ATA disks and then
to the LTO 2 tape library.
The biggest benefit of the new messaging system has
been reduced downtime for users. Earlier we had a distributed model, and
hence a DR systemwas not in place. Since the controls are centralised
now, patch installation is easier
Azeemi says, The biggest benefit of the new messaging
system has been reduced downtime for users. Earlier we had a distributed model
and hence a DR system was not in place. Since the controls are centralised,
patch installation is easier. He further adds, Since we have a clustered
environment, if at any time one cluster is down the other server is up and takes
The system has already started showing results on the RoI
front too. There has been the reduction in TCO due to server consolidation and
process automation. Since almost 4,000 mail users can be consolidated on one
server from the earlier 1,500.
Started: August 2004
Cost: Rs 10 crore
Objectives: To create
a messaging infrastructure that would be scaled up with the growth of
the organisation and could also allow the addition of features along the
Innovation: The consolidation
of messaging servers by setting up clusters and a SAN fabric with four-node
clusters of Window Server 2003 and Exchange 2003. The volume of e-mail
users being consolidated on these servers is perhaps the first of its
The success of the systems is just the beginning of
further enterprise consolidation.The roadmap constitutes e-mail archival
and Information Lifecycle Management to comply with the regulatory climate,
especially in backing up e-mail
The success of the systems is just the beginning of further
enterprise consolidation. Azeemi wants to consolidate the growing sites (city
and regional) and eventually bring the number of messaging sites to 10, including
global sites. The road map constitutes e-mail archival and Information Lifecycle
Management (ILM) to enable them to comply with regulatory climate, especially
in backing up e-mail.
Some other objectives are the implementation of IPSec for secure communication
in messaging infrastructure, service continuity as part of BCP, identity management,
integration with SAP data, and single-sign-on facility for users through the
active directory implementation across Wipro.