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Citrus Consulting Services is the Consulting and the Transformation Services arm of Redington Gulf.

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VMware Cloud on AWS for Global Distribution and Supply Chain Solutions Provider

Customer Introduction

A multinational organization with global footprint. Established in 1993, a US $6.7 billion distribution and supply chain solutions provider to over 220 international brands in IT and Mobility spaces, serving 30+ emerging markets with 220+ partners, 25+ investors all over the world – a workforce of 4740+ strong and global presence across APAC, EMEA and LEVANT.

Citrus Consulting Services Enables Global Distribution and Supply Chain Solutions Provider with VMware Cloud on AWS

Challenge Overview

Customer wanted to consolidate their IT infrastructure and modernize the same to support their constantly evolving business demand for the next 5 years. HW equipment in their on-prem DC were at least 5 years old and was filled with server from various generations, multiple types of storage devices and traditional network & security appliances. Customer’s attempt to adopt public cloud ended up in creating a sprawl of IT workloads spread across AWS and Azure cloud – making it even harder to manage the IT infrastructure with unified operational practices and security policies. This widespread Infra footprint also created a unique challenge in managing IT budget for both CAPEX and OPEX.

Citrus Approach to Resolve Customer Challenge

Citrus took a consultative approach by keeping the customer’s challenges in mind. Citrus undertook a pro-bono assessment exercise on application workloads, IT infra, end users & their distribution, network & connectivity landscape, security policies & mandates, IT budget & spending pattern, IT ops team skills and business demand pattern. As an outcome of this engagement, Citrus created a detailed business plan for the customer to opt for VMC on AWS. Business plan covered detailed solution comparison among VMC on AWS, on-prem HW and other hyperscale cloud. It also covered cost benefit analysis and business value achievements. Citrus Implementation undertook a very complex landscape and successfully migrated the workloads from on-prem to AWS cloud with very minimal disruption to the business. Migration included SAP workloads, SUSE Clusters, INFOR, SQL workloads, Mulesoft ESB, e-Commerce platforms etc. Citrus also helped the customer to implement backup, BCP and DR for all production workloads. Citrus trained the IT operation personnel on VMC and guided them on managing their new infrastructure on a day-to-day basis.

Solution Overview

VMware Cloud on AWS is an integrated cloud offering jointly developed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware. Delivering a highly scalable and secure service by migrating and extending customer’s on-premises VMware vSphere-based environments to the AWS Cloud running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

VMware Cloud on AWS on-demand service enabled the customer to run applications across VMware vSphere based cloud environments with access to a broad range of AWS services, Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation which integrates vSphere, VMware vSAN, and NSX along with vCenter management, and is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. With this service, Customer’s IT teams were able to manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools. VMware Cloud on AWS enabled the customer to modernize their infrastructure using existing tools and skill sets without the need to do complex conversions, refactoring, or re-architecture.

  • Uniquely designed to give the flexibility to leverage any cloud environment while providing consistent operations for how clouds are managed and secured
  • Extend Cloud Foundation into the public cloud and consume as a service
  • Take advantage of VMware technologies across compute (vSphere), storage (vSAN) and networking (NSX) with enterprise-class solutions
  • Simple and consistent operations for rapid provisioning of VMware software defined data center (SDDC) environments on AWS

Benefits Delivered to Customer

Expanded functionality

VMware Cloud on AWS is more than just a traditional VMware stack. It has all the functionality of NSX, vSAN, and vSphere, plus the latest add-ons which allowed the customer to always run the latest version of VMware to avail the latest features. VMware takes care of the maintenance, upgrading, and patching, and with VMC being placed in AWS, providing instant access to all of the AWS cloud features in close physical proximity to the application with improved performance.

Easy Adoption

Customer having a good experience with VMware enabled them to easily apply those existing on-prem skills to VMC on AWS, as VMware vSphere on-prem comes with the same functionality as the vSphere on AWS and it’s backwards compatible. Also, the vCenter management interface has the same look and feel and operates the same in the cloud as it does on-premise. This resemblance safeguards the investment customer have made with their existing VMware administrators, keeping headcount and employee costs down because you don’t have to hire for new skills or ask existing techs to increase their skillset. This quick familiarity lets you ramp up and use the service much faster than bringing in a

Agile Scaling Capability

After COVID-19 safety precautions sent 80-90% of the workforce home, customer pushed to enable and protect their new remote workers. Since Datacenters are not built to scale for the influx, and it’s just not possible to build additional datacenters as fast as necessary. Customer’s was required to find already-built hardware and available datacenters and software that could meet their needs quickly which VMC on AWS solved the problem since it is built to scale without the limitations of on-prem environments.

Transition from CAPEX to OPEX

Customer is noticing an important transformation from VMC on AWS is the ability to move from a capital expenditures (CAPEX) model to an operating expenditures (OPEX) model, moving from long and expensive contracts for datacenters and DR locations.

With VMC, customer is moved to an OPEX model and distributed the cost out over time, and the hardware, maintenance, and upgrades are no longer were no longer their responsibility. On top of that, the savings in headcount, manpower, and man hours created a conversation between IT and financial staff as to what’s best for their overall organization.

Lower Costs

Since Customer was already using VMware and recognized it as a premium brand and was also exclusively looking at the cost from a compute point of view, in the beginning it might appear as if costs are higher. However, when looking into the individual expenses incurred without VMC which includes real estate, hardware, software maintenance, headcount, management, travel costs and compare that to VMC on AWS, results were in a favor of VMC. And additional resources were saved when they considered all the management roles that was no longer their responsibility. VMware also offered a hybrid loyalty program with incentives and savings to the customers who were already invested in the VMware ecosystem.

Backup & Disaster Recovery

Citrus achieved a consistent data management strategy for all the production workloads with efficient backup and recovery. A disaster recovery plan with a minimum RTO and RPO provisioned the Customers with business continuity plan for their global business.

Solution Outcome

Customer has seen a tremendous transformation of their IT infra. Users reported improved application performance. IT operations were able to respond to business much faster and were spending less time in managing the infrastructure and more time on projects and other digital transformation activities. Customer has eliminated the DC and saw an immediate cost savings.

Project Info

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