HDFC opts Hybrid Cloud solution for DR

by June 1, 2015 0 comments

HDFC Standard Life, a private life insurance company, which is a joint venture between India-based Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) and UK’s Standard Life plc offers a range of individual and group insurance solutions. HDFC Standard Life has 23 retail and 8 group products in its portfolio, along with 9 optional rider benefits catering to the savings, investment, protection and retirement needs of customers. The company has 500 branches touching customers in over 900 cities and towns.

Challenges faced

With expanding business and increased transaction volumes overall, there was a pressing need for the IT team at HDFC Standard Life to invest in a robust, scalable DR solution. This was also required to be in line with compliance for prevalent regulations in the insurance sector.

Given the pace of growth, it was also imperative to plan and execute the IT transformation by consolidating the application and infrastructure landscapes, driven by the need for increased efficiencies and greater standardization across platforms, besides ensuring standardization and cost economies in operations. At the same time, people dependency was to be reduced and cost efficiency improved, while investing in the DR setup.

Amidst, HDFC Life was unable to scale up their Disaster Recovery Infrastructure due to limitations within their hosted environment. Apart from this, they were challenged with downsides of a traditional DR setup such as lack of visibility into RTO and RPO of applications hosted, lack of DR automation, manual data synchronization, no data center failover and continuity, etc. The solution they wanted to implement was to be highly scalable and needed to achieve 4 Hours of RTO & RPO for all their business critical applications.

The Implementation

HDFC Life designed a hybrid cloud based DR solution. Since the need was for the databases to have committed IOPs, high availability and better control, the firm decided to host a database layer on a private cloud. For the app and the web layer, the company decided to opt for an elastic public cloud solution from Netmagic, which would be active only when a DR was triggered. The company also used Netmagic’s Service Orchestrator to instantly provision, configure and manage servers, network and storage infrastructure with minimal human intervention.

So while the public cloud gave the company elasticity and cost optimization, the private cloud for the Database layer increased performance.

Thomson Thomas Senior Vice President - IT (CIO), HDFC Standard Life Insurance

Project Head, Thomson Thomas
Senior Vice President – IT (CIO),
HDFC Standard Life Insurance

The Result
After the implementation, the company is able to have real-time visibility into RTO and RPO of their DR Infrastructure. It is now achieving high availability of applications resulting in a more resilient, dynamic DR infrastructure compared to traditional physical servers. Also, the automation of mundane task on Sanovi’s Workflow management system helped reduce efforts / dependency from cross-functional teams.

The implementation as a whole helped HDFC Life to save 45% of Opex and 15 % Capex Budget, which concluded in a total cost saving of Rs 5.4 Crores.

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