System Integrator Q&A: Saving 60-70% on IT Costs with Pivotal, Spring, and More

February 10, 2014 Adam Bloom

featured-QnARecently, we had the opportunity to interview Srinivas Ajjarapu. Mr. Ajjarapu works for HCL Technologies, a $6+ Billion dollar global technology and IT enterprise with 90,000 employees and operates from 31 countries. He is an Associate Vice President responsible for one of the enterprise solution engineering groups. His team is focused on cloud platforms, PaaS, middleware, data warehousing, business intelligence, integration, virtualization, and more. HCL is headquartered in India and serves a wide range of industry verticals. Having worked with both VMware and EMC for the past three years, Mr. Ajjarapu talked to us about the value he sees from Pivotal products and Spring based development.

You’ve seen vFabric and Pivotal technologies deployed on many projects. Where have you seen the most impact for you customers?
We see the VMware vFabric products—now Pivotal products—helping to deliver value to customers in several ways. Let me tell you about three areas that can really impact the bottom line. First of all, migrating from heavyweight application servers to a lightweight runtime like Pivotal tc Server gives fantastic results and a solid ROI. Second, we have also deployed Spring and Pivotal GemFire for a large-scale integration project that needed to scale. There were significant benefits like savings of 60% plus. We clearly see how the integration use cases apply to many other companies. Third, we know companies get into trouble when they over-customize ERP, and we have built a platform with Pivotal technologies to offload certain processes and avoid over-customization.

Could you tell us more about the ROI when migrating from heavy to lightweight application servers?
Yes, of course. We had one customer who was running about 42 virtual machines on 14 clusters. Once we helped them migrate to Pivotal tc Server, they were running on 14 virtual machines and 4 clusters. This is 3x fewer VMs and 3.5x fewer clusters. The overall savings was about 70%, and the transformation not only reduced the hardware cost, it reduced the software licensing cost, maintenance, support, and operating costs. Of course, any company running Java would be interested in how to reduce costs this way.

You also mentioned the deployment of Spring and GemFire. What were the results with that project?
In this case, our client was a large company with a significant number of integration points in their existing business processes. The infrastructure they were on was outdated, and they did not see how the system could scale for the next 8 to 10 years. We used Spring Integration and Pivotal GemFire to build a new integration platform for them. Today, their integration platform is scalable, and it’s cloud ready. Before, we could only integrate with in-house applications. Now, we can integrate external applications and even incorporate social network information. The client is happy because they see how it is ready to support their business for the next decade.

Importantly, they also saw savings on licensing and hardware—somewhere around 60%.

In your third scenario, you mention ERP. How are Pivotal products providing results alongside ERP?
We have a program called business operating platform transformation. Let me explain. ERP is very good at supporting standard processes. When customers have customized processes, customizing their ERP becomes a nightmare when it is time to upgrade. Instead of over-customizing ERP, customers want a more agile platform that can deal with highly customized scenarios and work alongside ERP. In these cases, we often recommend a custom development platform made up of tc Server, RabbitMQ, and GemFire along with Spring projects like Spring Batch, Spring Integration, and others. Both IT and business leaders see how this approach makes financial sense.

So far, Spring seems to be part of many solutions your team built. Why do you recommend Spring?
There are four reasons that quickly come to mind, and the first is breadth. Customer needs aren’t just about business logic or just about integration or just about analytics. Developers need frameworks running on a platform to support all types of solutions, and the Spring Framework provides this breadth on the Java platform. The second reason is cost. Spring has a very cost-effective runtime in tc Server. Companies achieve significant capital and operational savings with tc Server, and, of course, it is virtualization-friendly. Developers are also more productive when using the Spring framework. The third reason is that Spring is cloud ready and continues to become more cloud ready with efforts like Cloud Foundry. Finally, many companies don’t want a myriad of skills and siloed groups of expertise. Instead of having one set of skills for business intelligence and another for integration, Spring provides a common ground and makes workforce development more productive.

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