The Organization: If a geographical footprint across Costa Rica,India,Romania,Sri Lanka, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States and a workforce of around 23,000 people is not a sign of an organization's success, what is? Probably revenue of Rs 2,643 crore in 2012. If these are measures of success, then WNS Global Services is successful and it has based its success on the success of its clients.
The Business Case: Not all of WNS' clients have the financial ability or the inclination to invest in robust business continuity or disaster recovery plans. And WNS wanted to offer them that ability. In the end, it was up to Sanjay Jain, chief capability officer, WNS, to do so.
"We did not have an effective mechanism of data management and data replication which offered a BCP to manage our clients' information/data," says Jain. Earlier, WNS used a combination of tape-based and offline backups. But Jain realized that they needed a real-time solution which would allow them to take quick snapshots of data that would later be replicated over the company's MPLS network.
The Project: As a solution to the problem, Jain envisaged the IT-Single-Point-of-Failure (ITSPOF) project which involved data synchronization between multiple datacenters using the snap-mirroring functionality of the storage system. "The business-critical data of our clients was synchronized and made available in a remote datacenter for business continuity," says Jain.
The project enables a real-time data archive utilizing snap-mirror technology. It's a real-time incremental backup which captures a complete image of all the data vital for WNS' clients and corporate users. WNS has three DR locations based in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Pune, and in case, a disc or a database failure occurs at the Pune datacenter, the one in Mumbai becomes operational--without the need to physically push tapes on to the network.
The snapshot-mirroring technology allows data compression through a block-level compression mechanism, and the data is then transmitted through the MPLS network. "The investment in the MPLS network came handy because we utilized the same infrastructure to manage the flow of data across the datacenters," says Jain.
One of the most important tasks for the IT department is making data available for the DR sites. This involves copying terabytes of data between storage systems which requires high bandwidth link. "We made this process simple using block-level data-sync and snap-mirror network compression which helped in saving up to 60 percent bandwidth," says Jain.
The Benefits: With ITSPOF, WNS has ensured close to 100 percent uptime for all its global clients. The project has given clients a cost-effective and highly-available storage environment while also protecting WNS from revenue losses. This project also helped WNS' virtual server/desktop environment to get instant recovery and failover of VMs on another site and has reduced the overall TCO by up to 50 percent, thereby allowing WNS to project lower DR investments to its clients.
"With this ambitious project, WNS has built a reputation with regards to its ability to leverage technology to achieve end-customer satisfaction. WNS has also instilled customer confidence by ensuring data availability at all times, irrespective of how serious the challenge is," say Jain.