Transforming Disaster Recovery with Cloud

Download
Overview

case-study-logo-exl-200x100

EXL put cloud initiatives in place to reduce disaster recovery costs, accelerate recovery time and increase agility as the demand for digital transformation and data analytics grows.

Solutions

  • Sungard AS Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
  • Cloud-Recovery AWS
  • CloudEndure for data replication
  • Sungard AS consulting services for migration
  • End-to-end managed recovery services from Sungard AS

Results

  • 60% decrease in Disaster Recovery (DR) costs
  • Faster recovery capabilities for physical and virtual workloads
  • Security tailored to meet data privacy needs
  • Assured readiness through real-time replication, monitoring and regular testing
  • Scalability for agile growth
  • Technical expertise for a seamless migration

About the Company

EXL is a leading operations management and analytics company that helps clients build and grow sustainable businesses. By orchestrating their domain expertise, data, analytics, and digital technology, EXL looks deeper to design and manage agile, customer-centric operating models to improve global operations, drive profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, increase data-driven insights, and manage risk and compliance. Headquartered in New York, EXL has more than 31,700 professionals in locations throughout the U.S., the UK, Europe, India, the Philippines, Colombia, Australia and South Africa. EXL serves multiple industries including insurance, healthcare, banking and financial services, utilities, travel, transportation and logistics, media, and retail, among others.

Sungard AS brought us the best technical architecture, design and operating model—automating the entire recovery, monitoring and reporting process for us— then packaged everything together as a fully managed solution.

Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL

Challenge

When your customers rely on you to manage their critical business processes, their success—and yours—rides on IT resiliency. As more of those processes become digitized, IT resilience becomes even more critical.

Referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, now is the time when digital technologies are being integrated into every process that makes a business run. But many companies have not yet achieved the outcomes that digital transformation promises.

EXL is changing that. Combining its business process management and analytics experience with digital technology expertise, the company is now a strategic digital transformation partner to its customers, guiding them through their digital journeys.

Three years ago, EXL began making some transformations of its own, specifically in the area of disaster recovery (DR). Sumit Priyani, Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL, explains how IT resiliency is integral to the services it provides to customers and the challenge this poses.

“From enterprise applications and analytical tools to digital platforms and products, we host a wide range of digital services in our data center,” Priyani says. “The uninterrupted availability of these services is critical to our customers and cannot be compromised, but the cost to deliver the DR services we need to provide them with has a direct impact on our profitability.”

“That’s why we put a strategic technology initiative in place to look at ‘pay as you consume’ cloud services for DR. We wanted to optimize our costs, modernize our technology stack and transform our DR operating model, but without impacting the quality of service our customers expect.”

The uninterrupted availability of these services is critical to our customers and cannot be compromised. It’s a flexible solution and a win-win for us both.

Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL

Solution

Moving towards a new DR model

EXL has been a Sungard AS DR client since 2013. When the time came to shift from a hosted to a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution, Priyani wanted an environment that was equally reliable, secure, and scalable, with even more demanding recovery time objectives (RTOs). Once again, they chose Sungard AS.

“Sungard AS has proven itself in successfully managing our DR requirements for the last five years,” Priyani says. “As we moved to a cloud model, we wanted to leverage their well-established processes and practices in terms of service delivery, while continuing to have a single DR partner.”

While EXL has production workloads running in its own data center, many of their own and their customers’ workloads also run in the AWS cloud. So, choosing Cloud Recovery-AWS and CloudEndure for real-time data replication made perfect sense.

“We chose AWS because they’re ahead of the curve from a cloud services and capabilities standpoint and Sungard AS was prepared and ready to automate our AWS workloads for recovery,” explains Varinder Dhupar, Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology at EXL. “We found CloudEndure to be the best product for seamless replication to AWS. It has the intelligence to manage both physical and virtual workloads that run in our environment.”

Today, Sungard AS is completely accountable for managing the DRaaS solution, providing the end-to-end, single-partner experience EXL wanted.

“We did a proof of concept that included multiple alternatives,” says Dhupar. “Sungard AS brought us the best technical architecture, design and operating model—automating the entire recovery, monitoring and reporting process for us—then packaged everything together as a fully managed service.”

Tailoring cloud recovery for more security and control

From design and configuration to implementation and testing, Sungard AS consultants worked with EXL closely through a six-month solution process. When it came to EXL’s data security requirements, key resources from AWS and CloudEndure were brought in.

“EXL is very particular about the confidentiality and security of our clients’ data,” explains Dhupar, noting that EXL wanted to maintain control over that data without giving access to any third-party providers.

“Sungard AS designed a unique DR architecture that gives us direct and tight control over the AWS stack. They manage the environment on a day-to-day basis to deliver upon their recovery SLAs, but without having access to the data layer on our AWS account. It’s a flexible solution and a win-win situation for us both.”

Sungard AS designed a unique DR architecture that gives us direct and tight control over the AWS stack.

Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology, EXL

Results

Monitoring and testing confirms readiness

On a continuous basis, critical production data is compressed and replicated over to the AWS recovery cloud. Sungard AS monitors the replication and recovery environments 24/7 in real time through a portal built on top of AWS and CloudEndure. Health checks, alerts, reporting and data analysis all ensure readiness if a disaster were to happen.

Sungard AS also leads disaster simulations with EXL data center staff once a year, guided by established processes, clearly defined accountability roles and automated failover that eases and speeds recovery. A four-hour Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and a 24-hour Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are tested and validated for the whole environment or for designated application platforms.

“Cloud enables redundancy by creating a snapshot of the current infrastructure. We have also created application blueprints that supports the full automation of application recovery,” says Dhupar. He further adds, “When RTO testing was conducted last year, we were able to complete failover to production levels in well under the maximum goal and with no data loss. That same testing phase resulted in an RPO time well under the maximum parameter. With ongoing simulations, we feel confident and safe that we can ensure compliance and recover critical business technology services in the event of a true disaster.”

Cost-effective growth, smooth scalability

In addition to surpassing RTO and RPO goals, securing data privacy and advancing cloud adoption, Priyani says EXL met its primary goal: to lower DR costs.

“We’re in the service industry, and whoever is able to deliver services with the highest quality at the lowest cost is considered to be the best provider,” he says. “Now, we can deliver the same level of services at a much more economical price point because our DR costs have been reduced by sixty percent.”

As the market for digital services and data analytics grows, the cloud-based recovery environment in place today will make supporting new workloads in the AWS environment easier, and with a minimal amount of lead time required.

“As our footprint expands and more digital innovations come into play, we’ll be hosting and consolidating more services into our datacenters, and our DR needs will change, as well,” Priyani adds. “Now, we’ll be able to deliver and scale these services at the right performance levels and with the right security, enabling us to deliver the best transformation services to EXL customers.”

We feel confident and safe that we can ensure compliance and recover critical business technology services in the event of a true disaster.

Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology, EXL

case-study-logo-exl-200x100

EXL put cloud initiatives in place to reduce disaster recovery costs, accelerate recovery time and increase agility as the demand for digital transformation and data analytics grows.

Solutions

  • Sungard AS Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
  • Cloud-Recovery AWS
  • CloudEndure for data replication
  • Sungard AS consulting services for migration
  • End-to-end managed recovery services from Sungard AS

Results

  • 60% decrease in Disaster Recovery (DR) costs
  • Faster recovery capabilities for physical and virtual workloads
  • Security tailored to meet data privacy needs
  • Assured readiness through real-time replication, monitoring and regular testing
  • Scalability for agile growth
  • Technical expertise for a seamless migration

About the Company

EXL is a leading operations management and analytics company that helps clients build and grow sustainable businesses. By orchestrating their domain expertise, data, analytics, and digital technology, EXL looks deeper to design and manage agile, customer-centric operating models to improve global operations, drive profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, increase data-driven insights, and manage risk and compliance. Headquartered in New York, EXL has more than 31,700 professionals in locations throughout the U.S., the UK, Europe, India, the Philippines, Colombia, Australia and South Africa. EXL serves multiple industries including insurance, healthcare, banking and financial services, utilities, travel, transportation and logistics, media, and retail, among others.

Sungard AS brought us the best technical architecture, design and operating model—automating the entire recovery, monitoring and reporting process for us— then packaged everything together as a fully managed solution.

Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL

When your customers rely on you to manage their critical business processes, their success—and yours—rides on IT resiliency. As more of those processes become digitized, IT resilience becomes even more critical.

Referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, now is the time when digital technologies are being integrated into every process that makes a business run. But many companies have not yet achieved the outcomes that digital transformation promises.

EXL is changing that. Combining its business process management and analytics experience with digital technology expertise, the company is now a strategic digital transformation partner to its customers, guiding them through their digital journeys.

Three years ago, EXL began making some transformations of its own, specifically in the area of disaster recovery (DR). Sumit Priyani, Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL, explains how IT resiliency is integral to the services it provides to customers and the challenge this poses.

“From enterprise applications and analytical tools to digital platforms and products, we host a wide range of digital services in our data center,” Priyani says. “The uninterrupted availability of these services is critical to our customers and cannot be compromised, but the cost to deliver the DR services we need to provide them with has a direct impact on our profitability.”

“That’s why we put a strategic technology initiative in place to look at ‘pay as you consume’ cloud services for DR. We wanted to optimize our costs, modernize our technology stack and transform our DR operating model, but without impacting the quality of service our customers expect.”

The uninterrupted availability of these services is critical to our customers and cannot be compromised. It’s a flexible solution and a win-win for us both.

Vice President & Head of Technology for US, UK & LATAM at EXL

Moving towards a new DR model

EXL has been a Sungard AS DR client since 2013. When the time came to shift from a hosted to a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution, Priyani wanted an environment that was equally reliable, secure, and scalable, with even more demanding recovery time objectives (RTOs). Once again, they chose Sungard AS.

“Sungard AS has proven itself in successfully managing our DR requirements for the last five years,” Priyani says. “As we moved to a cloud model, we wanted to leverage their well-established processes and practices in terms of service delivery, while continuing to have a single DR partner.”

While EXL has production workloads running in its own data center, many of their own and their customers’ workloads also run in the AWS cloud. So, choosing Cloud Recovery-AWS and CloudEndure for real-time data replication made perfect sense.

“We chose AWS because they’re ahead of the curve from a cloud services and capabilities standpoint and Sungard AS was prepared and ready to automate our AWS workloads for recovery,” explains Varinder Dhupar, Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology at EXL. “We found CloudEndure to be the best product for seamless replication to AWS. It has the intelligence to manage both physical and virtual workloads that run in our environment.”

Today, Sungard AS is completely accountable for managing the DRaaS solution, providing the end-to-end, single-partner experience EXL wanted.

“We did a proof of concept that included multiple alternatives,” says Dhupar. “Sungard AS brought us the best technical architecture, design and operating model—automating the entire recovery, monitoring and reporting process for us—then packaged everything together as a fully managed service.”

Tailoring cloud recovery for more security and control

From design and configuration to implementation and testing, Sungard AS consultants worked with EXL closely through a six-month solution process. When it came to EXL’s data security requirements, key resources from AWS and CloudEndure were brought in.

“EXL is very particular about the confidentiality and security of our clients’ data,” explains Dhupar, noting that EXL wanted to maintain control over that data without giving access to any third-party providers.

“Sungard AS designed a unique DR architecture that gives us direct and tight control over the AWS stack. They manage the environment on a day-to-day basis to deliver upon their recovery SLAs, but without having access to the data layer on our AWS account. It’s a flexible solution and a win-win situation for us both.”

Sungard AS designed a unique DR architecture that gives us direct and tight control over the AWS stack.

Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology, EXL

Monitoring and testing confirms readiness

On a continuous basis, critical production data is compressed and replicated over to the AWS recovery cloud. Sungard AS monitors the replication and recovery environments 24/7 in real time through a portal built on top of AWS and CloudEndure. Health checks, alerts, reporting and data analysis all ensure readiness if a disaster were to happen.

Sungard AS also leads disaster simulations with EXL data center staff once a year, guided by established processes, clearly defined accountability roles and automated failover that eases and speeds recovery. A four-hour Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and a 24-hour Recovery Time Objective (RTO) are tested and validated for the whole environment or for designated application platforms.

“Cloud enables redundancy by creating a snapshot of the current infrastructure. We have also created application blueprints that supports the full automation of application recovery,” says Dhupar. He further adds, “When RTO testing was conducted last year, we were able to complete failover to production levels in well under the maximum goal and with no data loss. That same testing phase resulted in an RPO time well under the maximum parameter. With ongoing simulations, we feel confident and safe that we can ensure compliance and recover critical business technology services in the event of a true disaster.”

Cost-effective growth, smooth scalability

In addition to surpassing RTO and RPO goals, securing data privacy and advancing cloud adoption, Priyani says EXL met its primary goal: to lower DR costs.

“We’re in the service industry, and whoever is able to deliver services with the highest quality at the lowest cost is considered to be the best provider,” he says. “Now, we can deliver the same level of services at a much more economical price point because our DR costs have been reduced by sixty percent.”

As the market for digital services and data analytics grows, the cloud-based recovery environment in place today will make supporting new workloads in the AWS environment easier, and with a minimal amount of lead time required.

“As our footprint expands and more digital innovations come into play, we’ll be hosting and consolidating more services into our datacenters, and our DR needs will change, as well,” Priyani adds. “Now, we’ll be able to deliver and scale these services at the right performance levels and with the right security, enabling us to deliver the best transformation services to EXL customers.”

We feel confident and safe that we can ensure compliance and recover critical business technology services in the event of a true disaster.

Senior Assistant Vice President of Global Technology, EXL