A highly trusted name in India’s financial services industry, Asit C. Mehta Investment Interrmediates Ltd. (ACMIIL) is a reputed corporate member of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). Headquartered in Mumbai and having a presence in 550 locations across 23 states, ACMIIL offers an array of financial services to its customers with the support of 250 associates/sub-brokers. With an employee strength of more than 150, ACMIIL is India’s first ISO broking house.
ACMIIL’s in-house data center was spread across 500 sq. ft. at its headquarter in Mumbai. A host of services were managed through the on-premise data center, equipped with 12 racks and 50 physical servers and connected to BSE, NSE, and Bloomberg.
With ageing IT infrastructure, the company faced frequent downtime issues, affecting critical business applications. Since these applications were hosted on physical servers, it became an uphill task to meet the increasing business demands at the required pace.
With a high rack footprint that consumed around 50KVA of IT load, power consumption was another challenge, coupled with provisioning and maintenance of UPS. Most importantly, the entire setup was managed by in-house resources, resulting in higher overall maintenance costs.
Deena Mehta, Managing Director at ACMIIL, highlights, “For any organisation with a dynamic business, IT hardware refresh is required every 5-6 years. With new technologies, applications are becoming faster and require more computing power. This is where we faced challenges like server replacement and maintenance, going for AMCs with vendors every year. Being an on-premise solution, we had to also think of backups in case of server failures. Despite the increasing CAPEX, managing everything was a big pain-point in terms of workforce allocation to manage the infrastructure, security, and operations.”
Additionally, due to the on-premise set-up, managing multiple vendors was also an area of concern for the organisation, especially during the ongoing times.
“We had done our last hardware change 6 years ago, and by the time we decided to avail cloud services, the earlier products were either out of service/support or became obsolete. Most importantly, we faced huge downtimes, especially during the pandemic. This was when we realised that it makes business sense to migrate our on-premise data center to a third-party data center rather than investing in new hardware,” further points out Shrinivas Vemula, Deputy Vice President – Technology, ACMIIL.
In a bid to channelise its focus on business innovation, ACMIIL decided to look for a third-party data center service provider for managing the company’s IT infrastructure and its requirements. Therefore, ACMIIL evaluated some of the leading colocation service providers in the country. However, following multiple rounds of discussions with various data center service providers, ACMIIL could not shortlist anyone as they lack confidence in managing ACMIIL’s IT infrastructure.
“When we initiated discussions with the Yotta team, they instilled a lot of confidence in us. The team clearly understood our business requirement and were flexible in customising their infrastructure and services to accommodate our needs. While all data center facilities look similar, what differentiates Yotta is their capacity. This is where Yotta outscored other players. We were stunned by the investment that Yotta has made, their Uptime Institute Tier IV certification, usage of equipment like Bus Ducts, Rack-level lock-in and a host of other unique facilities, which we didn’t find anywhere else,” adds Vemula.
Migration of applications and data replication were done over the wire, ensuring the least operational disturbance and minimal downtime during the migration. A parallel infrastructure was created at Yotta NM1, which connected ACMIIL’s on-premise data center and the racks at Yotta over a point-to-point link.
Vemula says, “The Yotta team analysed the current infrastructure utilisation and proposed a private cloud-based solution in a dedicated rack. Nutanix’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) based solution ensured that infrastructure sizing is done in line with the business projections, along with simplicity in growing the capacity as and when required in a hassle-free manner.”
Realising that the existing bandwidth of 100 Mbps would not have sufficed for a point-to-point link, the Yotta team proactively upgraded the point-to-point link in no time, thereby facilitating fast and seamless movement of data.
“The Yotta team delivered all the services and solutions that were needed. Their effort and dedication ensured the smooth migration of our infrastructure. In October last year, we signed the deal; while we took about two months to plan the entire shift, the actual migration was done in less than a month. On January 1, 2021, we went live at Yotta NM1 data center,” informs Vemula.
Post-migration, ACMIIL’s previous set-up has been consolidated from 12 racks to just 1 rack comprising 4 physical servers, 4 switches, and a couple of routers, with Nutanix hypervisor as a base. In addition, except a few local communication servers, the company has moved all its applications, including trading and support applications, to Yotta NM1.
The usage of Nutanix’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure solution has resulted in smaller rack footprint and reduced power consumption for ACMIIL. Even with the consolidation of servers, storage, and networks, the company didn’t have to compromise on identity and multi-tenancy requirements. Moreover, rack consolidation has led to significant cost savings for ACMIIL; whereas, the task of managing 50 physical servers has been reduced to just 4 servers.
“An HCI-based solution made business sense for us. I am happy that the Yotta team advised us in the right way and ensured our cost came down with the HCI-based solution. By moving to a cloud-based service, we have far better control of the infrastructure. Dedicated private cloud hosting helped in achieving business agility along with regulatory compliance. This move helped us achieve the highest uptime and provided the freedom to focus on our core business. As a result, we are now experiencing an overall reduction in our IT spend,” highlights Mehta.
“In terms of benefits, we are now experiencing a reduction in power consumption and rack footprint and higher uptime. We are saving more than 60% power per month. Concerning uptime, customers are now glad to be able to access our services 24×7 without any frequent issues,” states Vemula.
ACMIIL also utilised this opportunity to upgrade the applications, base operating system, and databases to enhance the overall user experience significantly.
“We are evaluating Yotta’s cloud services as well. Currently, we are in a private cloud environment; however, we would like to explore the public cloud in the future. We will also be looking at Yotta’s Disaster Recovery (DR) and Backup solution,” concludes Vemula.