To ensure top-quality managed services—and stay ahead of competitors—NIIT Technologies needs solid foundations for its infrastructure. To achieve round-the-clock availability for its clients’ mission-critical application landscapes, the company deployed SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications in high-availability clusters. Today, NIIT Technologies is able to ensure unprecedented levels of performance, availability and reliability, meeting clients’ demanding expectations and ensuring their SAP application landscapes run 24/7.

Overview

NIIT Technologies Ltd. is one of the leading IT solutions providers in India, offering a wide range of managed services to clients around the world. Employing more than 8,000 people, NIIT Technologies works closely with large companies in the financial, insurance, manufacturing, travel and transportation, and distribution industries.

The Challenge

Offering fully managed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) hosting to global businesses, NIIT Technologies specializes in SAP ERP landscape hosting.

Kunwar Kishore Arora, Sr VP and Global Sales & Marketing Head—IMS at NIIT Tech­nologies, said: “Over 70% of our total workload is managing SAP landscapes. Now more than ever, our clients rely on SAP applications running around the clock—and it is our job to make that happen.”

However, in the fast paced world of IT services, keeping clients satisfied—and staying ahead of competitors—can be tough.

Arvind Mehrotra, President—Infrastructure Management Services at NIIT Technologies, said: “Advances in cloud computing in recent years have completely transformed clients’ expectations. Today, businesses expect almost instant time to market as well as round the clock availability, which puts us under considerable pressure to ensure rapid and continuous delivery of services.”

Rajesh KS, Delivery Head—APAC at NIIT Technologies, added: “Clients expect the highest service levels no matter what. If NIIT Technologies cannot provide 100% application landscape availability, for example, then a competitor certainly will.”

To maintain high quality services in response to the changing needs and expec­tations of clients, and keep its competitive edge, NIIT Technologies decided to replace its existing UNIX and Windows platforms.

“The SUSE solutions provide an
incredibly stable platform for our
mission-critical systems. In the last
decade, 99% of our clients
have seen 100% availability.”

SUSE Solution

Seeking a single, consolidated platform that would offer reliability and flexibility, NIIT Technologies chose to implement SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications.

“After comparing operational costs, we found that the SUSE solutions were almost 50% less expensive than our existing UNIX and Windows platforms,” said Rajesh KS. “Moreover, SUSE is the vendor recommended operating system for SAP ERP and highly compatible with other key components in our hosting infrastructure, such as VMware—making it the ideal solution for us.”

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applica­tions have now been at the heart of NIIT Technologies’ service offering for over ten years. Additionally, the company deployed the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension to create high availability clusters for critical production environments.

Rajesh KS said: “The SUSE solutions provide an incredibly stable platform for our mission critical systems and have significantly increased the availability and performance of our managed services. In fact, in the last decade, 99% of our clients have seen 100% availability and we have not experienced any unplanned downtime.”

He added: “Given the highly competitive nature of the IT services sector, we cannot afford to have any interruptions to client services. SUSE technologies help us to ensure 100% availability for our clients’ SAP applications. In the past, availability averaged 95% so this is a great improvement, enabling us to maintain high quality services and keep clients happy.”

The Results

Arvind Mehrotra said: “Given clients’ evolving expectations of IT service providers, it is critical that we are capable of provisioning new environments very rapidly. With the SUSE solutions, we are able to offer our clients a very attractive time scale. In the past, full system provisioning and SAP application installation would take an average of four to six weeks—it now takes us just four hours and client feedback has been extremely positive. Rapid time to market is one of our key competitive differentiators; the SUSE solutions help us to stay one step ahead of our rivals.”

By taking advantage of built in configuration tools, such as YaST® and AutoYaST, for automated patch management and other server management tasks, NIIT Technologies has also reduced the time spent on routine administration tasks by 30%. Staff now have more time to spend on value added tasks, optimizing processes to improve services for clients.

“Not only have the SUSE technologies helped us to increase operational efficiency, they also offer us tremendous flexibility,” said Arvind Mehrotra. “Now, we have the freedom to automate and customize tools according to our needs, but with the added security of 24/7 priority support from SUSE should we need any assistance.”

Kunwar Kishore Arora added: “The flexible, reliable SUSE solutions and top quality support give us great peace of mind, enabling us to focus on delivering the very highest standards of service to our clients.”