by Varsha Chidambaram

Propack Virtualizes For Speed

Jun 20, 20093 mins
BusinessCollaboration SoftwareComputers and Peripherals

Spread over 21 different locations, Essel Propack was struggling to collaborate and communicate across many physical servers. Virtualization helped them centralize their system, while lowering operational costs.

Publish Date:2009-06-22


Global packaging company Essel Propack was struggling to communicate and collaborate across servers spread over 21 locations. In addition to mammoth costs, the servers were painfully slow. For a smart solution, they turned to virtualization.


Virtualized Infrastructure at their central datacenter helped Essel Propack to remove 18 of 27 physical serversSufficient training and use participation helped the process of migration.CPU utilization increased, while costs and server deployment time came down.

Reader ROI:

How user participation helps to implement new technologyVirtualizing servers adds to scalability for growth

The Organization- Essel Propack, part of the Rs.12,000 crore Essel Group is a specialty packaging company – manufacturing laminated and seamless or extruded plastic tubes, and medical devices. Essel Propack functions in thirteen countries, selling 4.5 billion tubes.

Business case – Managing physical servers across 21 locations in 13 countries world-wide for mailing, communication and collaboration applications was proving to be quite a task for Essel Propack. They did not have sufficient communication and collaboration tools and maintenance and administration cost, besides the problem of standardization, was massive. That is when Essel Propack decided to consolidate all servers at a Data Centre in India to reduce on operational costs and improve manageability. “We did a cost benefit analysis of deploying 22 physical servers versus using virtualized environment with only 6 Blade Servers that revealed that besides lower one-time costs, the virtualized environment would reduce operational costs and also give scalability and basic hardware redundancy,” says Zoeb Adenwala , CIO( Global) Essel Propack. After a thorough survey of the market for vendors with x86 platforms they zeroed in on VMware because of their good track record.

We did a cost benefit analysis of deploying 22 physical server versus using Virtualized environment with 6 Blade Servers. The virtualized environment would reduce costs,give scalability and basic hard

The project: Virtualized infrastructure at their central datacenter, allowed Essel Propack to remove 18 of 27 physical servers, enabling them to use five blade servers to run a virtualized infrastructure, comprising about 21 virtual machines, with a sixth blade server available for expansion. The transformation presented a series of hurdles. They had to migrate users and data from the local system to the standard one. This proved to be quite a challenge since they were working across different time zones, languages and cultures. IT competence was lacking at places, and many countries lacked a reliable network.

First steps: Zoeb Adenwala believed that the best way to combat these problems was to increase user-participation in the project. “We communicated the benefits of the new system to local leadership and involved local Users in acceptance,” explains Adenwala. Sufficient training of the new system was another key element. They constantly monitored roll-outs and all issues were resolves as quickly as possible.

Benefits: Virtualization paved the way for smoother communication along with reduced costs. CPU utilization has increased from 25-30 percent to 55-60 percent. Datacenter costs including management, maintenance and real estate costs have been reduced by 40 percent and the company has saved around Rs. 20 lakhs in procurement costs. Network efficiency has risen. A corrupted server, which took six to seven hours to get fixed earlier now gets fixed in ten minutes. Server deployment time has been reduced from three weeks, to three hours. Virtualization has saved the company both time and money along with ensuring that it is well-equipped for the future.