Headquartered in Mumbai and with over 80 offices worldwide, Choice International offers its clients a diverse portfolio of financial services, including investment banking, stockbroking, consultancy, e-commerce, among others.
The firm's rapidly growing client base meant it needed scalable IT infrastructure. This quest resulted in the adoption of a flexible and highly virtualized ecosystem, which has not only solved the struggles of traditional IT, but is also adding to business growth and client satisfaction.
When it comes to IT servers, age matters
As Choice International's client workloads grew, so did IT issues and availability problems, making it clear that the ageing mix of servers and SAN was no longer up to the job.
The infrastructure was also proving costly to both run and maintain, with IT staff having to concentrate on keeping the datacenter lights on, rather than focusing on moving the business forward.
"With our diverse product offerings and unparalleled services portfolio, our business experienced stellar growth over the years, surging by 40 percent year on year. While this is great news from revenue perspective, it is an IT nightmare especially since the very nature of our business demands an IT backbone that offers high availability and integrity; in short there is no room for any downtime. With a rapidly growing client base, it was necessary for us to scale our IT systems to avoid any client escalations," says Amit Jaokar, CTO at Choice International.
With a move towards 100 percent virtualization and the development of a secure enterprise cloud also on the agenda, the company became convinced that hyperconvergence was the best way forward, even though the technology was relatively new to the Indian market at the time.
The company moved swiftly to installation, followed by a physical to virtual migration of existing server workloads to the new platform using a hypervisor.
The switch to 100 percent virtualized infrastructure
The IT infrastructure at Choice International is now 100 percent virtualized, supporting over a hundred VMs and growing. This has made it much easier to scale resources as demand grows, while at the same time significantly reducing management workloads and operational costs.
The company has also been able to take steps to enhance availability and security of its client services using the data replication and failover tools provided as part of the hyperconvergence deployment.
“One of the great things with the hyperconvergence software is the ability to automate operations using advanced analytics and an integrated approach to performance, capacity and configuration management," mentions Jaokar. This gives greater visibility and actionable intelligence to proactively ensure service levels, optimum resource usage and configuration compliance across physical, virtual and cloud environments.
Institution: Choice International
Vendor involved: Nutanix
Tech used: Hyperconvergence
Benefits: 85% reduction in rack footprint; IT infrastructure is now 100% virtualized; Reduction in operational costs; Zero downtime; 2x increase in volume of business transactions
According to Jaokar, one of the most obvious and immediate benefits has been an 85 percent reduction in rack footprint. This is an important factor given that Choice International rents space at a co-location datacenter, enabling it to reap the rewards of the smaller footprint in the form of significant savings in both rental charges and ongoing power costs.
"The single most important benefit of deploying a hyperconvergence platform for us is the zero downtime, which is crucial to our business and non-negotiable when it comes to keeping our clients happy," explains Jaokar.
He points out that the industry intelligence built into the solution effectively does away with a multitude of mundane and routine tasks that were earlier performed manually.
"A major chunk of our business processes is now on auto-pilot. Hence, despite a 2x increase in the number of our business transactions, we are witnessing a significant reduction in time and cost involved in maintenance and management," adds to Amit Jaokar, CTO at Choice International.