Setting the Stage for Hybrid Cloud for Pharma Major

Challenge

This Pune-based pharmaceutical manufacturer runs SAP ECC and a plethora of Line of Business applications like Customer Portal, Document Management System and Mobile Device Management. Before we came in, each application was running on its own server farm. This created islands of information, escalated maintenance costs and caused huge administration hassles. We were called to create a consolidated IT infrastructure for all the company’s applications. We developed a blueprint to deliver a single version of truth and lower admin costs yet enable rapid ramp up and ramp down of computing, storage and network requirements in an agile and flexible manner.

Solution

We moved the SAP ECC system to a dedicated private cloud powered by HPE HANA Appliance server and SuSE Linux operating system. Based on our previous work in the pharma industry, we rightly predicted that the customer would be subject to stringent regulations regarding workflows and documentation. Accordingly, we proposed two best practices. One was to use a combination of HPE Service Guard Cluster and SuSE Clustering to provide two levels of clustering for the SAP solution. Another was to have an identical configuration for the SAP Production and QA servers. Our consultative approach helped the company with compliance.

Coming to the LOB applications, the obvious choice for new IT landscape was virtualization. But we thought ahead and appreciated that, very soon, the company’s technology management organization would be grappling with two divergent agendas: IT and Digital Transformation. IT agendas have typically been focused on cost containment whereas digital transformation agendas look for ways to boost income. We impressed upon the customer’s C-Suite to envision a point in the near future when they would need a hybrid mixture of cloud services because not everything belongs to the public cloud.

Keeping the long-term perspective in mind, we suggested a Hybrid Cloud for the LOB applications. Once the customer accepted our recommendation, we set up a Hybrid Cloud powered by HPE server, Windows and SuSE Linux operating systems on VMware Cloud Foundation, which manages Virtual Machines and orchestrates containers.

Hybrid Cloud enables DevOps teams to provision infrastructure from a pool of virtualized resources on premises, at the edge, or in the cloud. It also takes advantage of existing datacenter architectures and offers the benefits of both public and private clouds.

Accordingly, hybrid cloud enables “burst out” of private cloud applications to public cloud and “burst in” of public cloud applications to private cloud as and when those shifts are warranted by technical and commercial considerations arising in future. Because, as we know, where applications reside today might not be the best place for them to live tomorrow or the day after.

Outcome

All through the engagement, we proactively shared extremely specialized domain-specific IT infrastructure knowledge without expecting anything in return. This helped create solid mindshare for HPE in a competition account. We would also like to believe that our constant demonstration of a spirit of partnership helped HPE eventually displace the incumbent IT infrastructure vendor from this account.