Business Case Study: How One Product deployed in 3 diverse enterprises reaped multiple benefits


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Business Case Study: Mithi's Email and Collaboration Server Software deployed across 3 large enterprises from Manufacturing, Telecom, Defense sectors having diverse requirements, reaped multiple benefits.

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Business Case Study: How One Product deployed in 3 diverse enterprises reaped multiple benefits

  1. 1. Business Case Study 2011 One Product, One Architecture, Multiple Benefits (Covering 3 diverse enterprises) Copyright (c) 2000-2012 Mithi Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. This paper is for informational purposes only. Mithi makes no warranties, express or implied, in this paper. Mithi™ Software Technologies, Mithi Connect Server™, ConnectXF™, Baya™ are trademarks of Mithi Software Technologies. Other product names and brands mentioned in this document are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
  2. 2. Background for an overwhelming case for hardware consolidation Background for an overwhelming case for hardware consolidation With each server supporting a single application or function on a typical deployment, technology research firm IDC estimates that overall only about 10% of the total computing resources within an average data center are actually utilized. So, enterprises are moving rapidly towards server consolidation, given the overwhelming benefits they stand to gain from it. For example, on its website, Vmware talks of the following as some of the possible benefits from consolidation of hardware resources using server virtualization • • • • • • • Reduction in hardware and operating costs by as much as 50% and energy costs by 80% Decreased downtime and improved reliability with business continuity and built-in data disaster recovery Increase in utilization of existing hardware from 5-15% up to 80% Reduction of hardware requirements by a 10:1 ratio or better Acceleration in provisioning time by 50-70% Lower planned downtime Elimination of many repetitive configuration and maintenance tasks etc. Reducing IT costs while improving performance and scalability Similar benefits are possible through a load balanced set-up of Mithi Connect Xf. The resulting hardware resource consolidation helps in reducing the costs at the same time as they improve availability and scalability. A load balanced setup in combination with virtualization of the hardware resources can provide even greater benefits. Here we trace the deployment of Connect Xf at three different customer locations with varying requirements. Each enterprise derived a different combination of benefits from a similar solution.
  3. 3. Enterprise A A large telecom manufacturing group company having about 3000 people on roll, with each group company having separate email domain names, and each hosted on a different email platform. The platforms went from an in house Exchange and Zimbra to fully outsourced email hosting such as gmail. Key challenges While all the people on roll belonged to one organization, they were carrying their own individual identities, not really adding up to the brand of the group company. Additionally, managing these diverse email platforms, and handling end user queries of these separate email platforms required a largish IT team having varied skill Requirements The goal for the IT team at this enterprise was to consolidate these diverse email domains and platforms into a highly available system which could provide them with a single identity on a single email domain, while maintaining business continuity (smooth disruption free migration) with the older domains being aliases to the single global domain (kept alive for accepting incoming mail). They required a solution which would allow users to share contacts, calendars, and chat with each other, Additionally, they were keen to put a corporate security policy in place for email usage to control mail flow and mail access for securing their setup and data. Solution The multi-tenant and coexistence capabilities of Connect Xf helped consolidate the infrastructure and simplify its management. Benefits The advantages of resource efficiency and a highly improved application management interface of Connect Xf were further enhanced by the load balanced set-up, considerably lowering the costs for licensing, hardware resources and services.
  4. 4. Enterprise B This is a large telecom service provider of networks having about 7500 active users, also comprising of various group companies, each having a separate email domain. Their email was hosted on home grown Linux and qmail systems, spread across multiple servers (about 20 odd servers), with security being provided by a gateway server hosting the McAfee security suite. Key challenges This enterprise found it difficult to manage these hand crafted email solutions on so many servers. The skill set required was of expert level and effort to make changes to all these servers was big. Another challenge they were facing was of being able to add functionality to the solution and also scale this further for more users. Requirements A centralized highly available solution, which could consolidate all these diverse email servers and domains into a single setup (while maintaining the individual domain identities), to save on resources and ease up management. Features such as a shared address book accessible via desktop clients, an archival store to support investigations and retrieval of mail on demand. The IT team was keen to implement a security framework and put in place a corporate email usage policy using the tools and functions provided by the collaboration solution. Solution A load balanced architecture helped consolidate resource and service requirements and ensured standardization across group companies, while the comprehensive security framework of Connect Xf delivered on the security requirements. Benefits The advantages of resource efficiency and a highly improved application management interface of Connect Xf were further enhanced by the load balanced set-up, considerably lowering the costs for licensing, hardware resources and services.
  5. 5. Enterprise C A large defense establishment in India, having about 9000 users on roll, were using Mithi's earlier version of the collaboration solution on a 2 server architecture. They also have multiple email domains hosted (group establishments and labs), and this setup was used for external communication. Key challenges Since the first deployment, the establishment had scaled up their load substantially, while maintaining the same infrastructure. This was causing serious performance bottlenecks. Additionally updating and maintaining multiple address books for each domain, introduced latencies before the updated address books were visible to the end users. Requirements This enterprise wanted to increase the performance of their email solution to handle the increased load and usage, while also introducing additional functions like archival to meet regulatory compliance needs, high availability and seamless address book sharing across all the group domains. Solution Additional hardware resources were provided using a load balanced architecture to help enhance capacity of the set-up for faster response and greater scalability. Benefits The system upgrade resulted in delivering faster response, greater scalability, higher availability and improved security
  6. 6. One Product, One Architecture, Multiple benefits The three enterprises were facing different challenges and had diverse requirements with some overlap amongst them. When these organizations approached Mithi, Mithi proposed that they deploy the Mission Critical solution of Connect Xf on a high availability platform.
  7. 7. Key elements of the mission critical solution The solution is designed to have redundancy at all levels, e.g. there are multiple relay servers, clustered load balancers, multiple mail servers, DR site, multiple Internet links, etc. The components are configured to support an auto fail over, when any one of the component fails. e.g. if a relay server fails, the entire mail flow seamlessly continues through the other relay server. (The exception is the DR site, which needs manual intervention to switch over and switch back.) The number of components at each level can be easily extended to scale up the solution as the usage grows. E.g. if the solution has to cater to more users, the IT team has to simply add additional relay and mail servers and scale up the storage. Key components • • • • • Relay servers to handle the incoming and outgoing mail flow. These servers are configured to scan connections, accept valid connections, scan the mail,and deliver the mail to the next hop. Mail Servers to provide mail access to the end users using the POP/IMAP/HTTP and SMTP protocols to the mails stored on the NAS. Load Balancers (clustered) to accept connections for all protocols from end users and distribute them equally amongst the mail servers. Shared storage for the mail store on the NAS device. Highly available Master directory server, where all the provisioning and configuration management administration would be performed. Archival server to handle the archival mail traffic and store it on a different volume of the NAS.
  8. 8. Management and Maintenance • • • Multiple administrators having different roles allowing limited access to perform provisioning and management tasks like creating users, modifying their properties, taking backups, etc. Changes to the directory are automatically replicated to all other servers. SMS alerts keep the IT team informed of critical server parameters crossing certain thresholds. Mail flow and Collaboration application access • • • Incoming mail from the Internet lands on the relay servers, is scanned and clean mail is sent forward to the load balancer. The load balancer forwards the mail to the available mail server which delivers mail locally. Users connect to the load balancer to access their mailboxes, calendar stores, address books and the chat application. They do so using Baya the collaboration client on the web or using a desktop client like Thunderbird or MS Outlook. Mail being sent out by users is first delivered to the mail server, which pushes the mail to the relay servers, which directly deliver the mail over the Internet.
  9. 9. AVAILABILITY Analyzing the benefits of this solution to each of these 3 organizations from their requirement perspective highlight the following key points: Solution Benefit Enterprise B Enterprise C 99.9% uptime Yes Yes Yes Site redundancy Yes* Not used Not used Hands free fail over Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Channel encryption Not used Yes Yes Virus scanning Yes Yes Yes Peripheral scanning Mail flow control Role based administration SECURITY Enterprise A Third party Yes Yes Yes* Yes User Archiving Yes Yes* Yes* Yes* Audit trails RESOURCE Third party Compliance Archiving APPLICATIONS Spam control & management Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Easy scale out Yes Yes Yes Lower hardware use Yes Yes NA Higher performance Yes Yes Yes Shared Address Book Yes Yes Yes Shared Calendar Yes* Yes* Yes* Email Mobility Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Not used Ease of management Integration with Biz apps
  10. 10. References For More Information For more information about Mithi's products and services, please visit Mithi Solutions Center Mithi can consult you to understand your requirement, and suggest the best-fit solution on open standards. To know more about how Mithi has helped over 250 of its customers derive benefit from an open solution, please visit
  11. 11. About Mithi Mithi’s Business Email and Collaboration Software is Secure and Highly Adaptable. You can easily manage Email, Shared Calendar, Contacts and Chat on Mobile Devices, Desktop Email Clients and Browsers. Over 300,000 users in over 200 enterprises across 50 cities and 15 verticals use Connect Xf Email Server for their email and collaboration needs, deriving substantial benefits in cost savings and performance. Visit to know how we can benefit your enterprise. Send email at