Case StudiesUnified Communications, Systems Management, Exchange Upgrade & Virtualization Service: Cloud Services | Industry: ManufacturingSRF Overview“With the vast expertise of PC Solutions as our IT Consulting partner, we have seamlessly deployed advanced solutions of Microsoft which made our IT infrastructure scalable, cost-effective and more productive thereby matching business growth requirements.”~ Sanjay Rao- Sr. VP & Group CIO – SRF LimitedSRF is a multi-business entity engaged in the manufacture of chemical based industrial intermediates. Today, its business portfolio covers Technical Textiles, Chemicals, Packaging Films and Engineering Plastics. With headquarters in Gurgaon, India, the $760 million company has operations in three more countries, UAE, Thailand and South Africa. SRF is the market leader in most of its businesses in India and also enjoys global leadership in some of its businesses.SRF had taken an initiative to upgrade its IT infrastructure with Latest and Advanced solutions of Microsoft. The company decided to Upgrade its Messaging infrastructure from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 and also adapt the following solutions to help employees be more productive at their jobs: Migration to Windows 2008 Active Directory from AD 2003 Management & Virtualization: Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-v System Unified Communications: Microsoft Lync 2010 System Center Management SolutionsBusiness SituationSRF must maintain an excellent messaging infrastructure to help its dispersed workforce do their day to day operations efficiently. For several years, the company has used Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 as its Messaging solution across the Globe. Employees use Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Outlook 2010 to manage their email messages. Employees use Outlook data files (PST) files to store messaging data that exceeds the limit. There was an over reliance on email as the main means of communication often resulting in it being misused for communications better handled through other means. The resulting overload of messages was causing important emails to get missed in the pile. The need was to have a variety of solutions like MS Lync and SharePoint to handle the differing communication needs.While the company decided to upgrade its email infrastructure and application, it also decided to deploy an advanced Unified Communication solution to better support its distributed workforce. The company wanted a solution that could integrate with its messaging solution and provide for all of the company’s conferencing needs. SRF also wanted to increase collaboration by adding instant messaging and presence to the communications options provided to its staff and bringing its workforce more closer. The solution should be conveniently accessible through various mediums within and beyond the company wide area network.SRF also required to upgrade its existing windows 2003 Active directory which was end of support from Microsoft and adapt Windows 2008 R2 active directory. To support increasing user strength at plant locations, at remote and branch offices, a local ADC was required at respective locations along with system management deployment nodes.To support the upgraded infrastructure, SRF required a virtualization & management solution which can accommodate dynamic server requirement with minimum physical hardware infrastructure resulting in maximum utilization. The company also required to put up an automated mechanism to monitor critical application server and services which can closely integrate in multi-platform environment like network, storage, physical server and virtualization farm.In order to be with latest technology SRF decided to automate client system management with capabilities of asset management, software & patch management and maintain a standardized end user experience. SolutionSRF evaluated multiple vendors and selected PC Solutions, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, because of the professional capabilities and expertise on multiple platforms. PC Solutions has the professional bandwidth and the expertise in various technologies that SRF required. Microsoft and PC Solutions along with the SRF team did deep dive envisioning and planning to design the solution based on the understanding of business needs and challenges. The solution involved a major break with the following components: Seamless migration to AD 2008 services and Exchange 2010 with no downtime. Hyper-V virtualization at DR and Plant nodes hosting SCCM and ADC System center suite for Management of Server and client infra at DC and Plant Nodes. Deployment of Lync 2010 as unified communication solution which will integrate to Exchange Messaging.SRF decided to deploy the Exchange solution on Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system in production on a virtualized environment running on existing VMware environment. It decided to do the DR deployment on a Hyper V virtualization layer. At its two data centers, the company deployed three load balanced Client Access Servers. It also deployed three mailbox servers in a database availability group. For disaster recovery and backup, SRF is keeping three active copies of its mailbox databases to ensure a highly available environment.SRF chose to deploy Microsoft Lync Server 2010, which provides a unified solution for instant messaging, presence, meetings, and voice. SRF was impressed with the Microsoft Lync 2010 client. It liked the ease of use that the client provided, and it also liked the interoperability with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint and video conferencing devices.Now users in diversified locations can connect to each other from their PC to place Lync calls. This brings down the delay in communicating and cost of communication. SRF has benefitted from cost reductions, improved business processes, faster customer services and better employee bonding. The company is also doing trials of EPBX integration to check viability.Reducing cost by using Lync 2010, SRF employees can avoid travels. “Instead of traveling for meetings, trainings we are holding more video conferences by using Lync.“ – Says Sayan Ray – AVP Corporate IT – Applications. Exchange 2010By upgrading to Exchange Server 2010, SRF can provide a highly available messaging infrastructure that continues to support business critical communication as its employees have come to expect along-with much bigger mailboxes. Increasing availability and resilience.By implementing database availability groups, SRF can ensure its messaging solution is available for employees. “The high availability and resilience features in Exchange Server 2010 were the main reasons we wanted to deploy the solution,” explains Jaspreet Nanda, Manager IT infrastructure at SRF. Reducing CostIt also expects to reduce costs for storage. “The ability to use lower-cost storage with Exchange Server 2010 is a crucial benefit for us,” says Sanjay Rao. “Overall, we expect significant cost savings for our messaging environment.” Lync 2010The initial reaction to the Lync Server 2010 deployment at SRF has been overwhelmingly positive. Many activities like business reviews, interviews, trainings have shifted to this platform. Hyper-V Virtualization & System CenterUsing Hyper-V virtualization technology, SRF will consolidate the server environment that streamlines deployment of new services. The company sees tangible benefits with the implementation of a private cloud.