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The IT infrastructure at Cognizant Technology Solutions (Cognizant)was concerned about slow application response time and its growingbandwidth requirements as the company was using a wide range ofapplications. In order to address all of these issues, Cognizant decidedto implement Riverbed SteelHead appliances. As a result, application response time improved and bandwidthrequirements were met. The appliance were also able to support encrypted MAPI acceleration. The company was able to consolidate its datacenter without affecting end-user productivity. Moreover, SteelHead even conformed to its wide range of applications.The implementation of SteelHead appliances has resulted in 31% bandwidth reduction and 60% improvement in application performance for Cognizant. After the implementation, the company has been able to better leverage existing bandwidth to meet the future needs of the company.


COGNIZANT TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

MULTINATIONAL IT COMPANY IMPROVES EMPLOYEE ACCESS TO APPLICATIONS WITH RIVERBED STEELHEAD

IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Technology (IT, Consulting and BPO)

Challenges

  • Slow application response time
  • Growing bandwidth requirements
  • End-user dissatisfaction with web-based internal and centralised enterprise applications
  • Consolidating data centers without affecting end-user productivity

Solution

  • 40 Riverbed Steelhead appliances deployed across the globe including Steelhead Interceptor appliances for scalability

Benefits

  • 31% savings on global WAN bandwidth
  • 60% improvement in performance for allweb-based internal applications
  • 50% of data center traffic optimized
  • Feasible data center consolidation initiative

CHANGE: SLOW APPLICATION RESPONSE TIME

Cognizant Technology Solutions (Cognizant) is a multinational IT, consulting, and business process outsourcing (BPO) company that serves various business segments across the globe. Uniform application response time for all the end users was the topmost priority because Cognizant works collaboratively with its clients to resolve their business challenges and help transform their businesses for meeting its goals. The company also wanted to ensure better application performance for its users based out of various geographies.

Cognizant’s existing IT infrastructure faced slow application response time and growing bandwidth requirements. Cognizant has been using a wide range of applications like enterprise messaging, file shares, storage, backup and disaster recovery (DR). Cognizant wanted to ensure faster response time for users while using the web-based internal applications and accessing the centralized enterprise applications.

The enterprise applications are hosted in Cognizant’s data centers and the users are distributed across the globe connected through Cognizant global multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) WAN. Existing WAN links are Ethernet last miles and the company also h as Internet links across all its locations that cater to their internal requirements.

The company  needed a solution to support a future data center consolidation initiative and enable application centralization without affecting the response time for users. And it needed to be easily deployable and manageable as well as provide encrypted messaging application programming interface (MAPI) acceleration.

SOLUTION: STEELHEAD WAN OPTIMIZATION

Cognizant investigated many vendor products in the WAN optimization space. After an extensive proof of concept (PoC) exercise that included testing and verification of all product features, the company zeroed in on industry-leading Riverbed Steelhead appliances, as it benefitted their requirements.

The company deployed 40 Steelhead appliances to its locations across the globe. Location requirements, size, and capacity determined which of the various models of Steelhead controllers like Steelhead 7050, Steelhead 5050, and Steelhead 6050 were deployed.

“We use a cluster of Steelhead 7050 and Steelhead Interceptors to handle the huge traffic volume in our data centers,” says V. Manohar, Senior Director – Network and Systems Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions.

The company selected Steelhead because of its ease of deployment and management, support for encrypted MAPI acceleration, and stability. Cognizant benchmarked performance using its enterprise messaging (MS-Exchange 2010), file shares and other similar bulk transfers, remote desktop protocol (RDP), disaster recovery (DR) replication traffic, and backup traffic.

With the deployment of Riverbed Steelhead products, Cognizant is now well positioned to support its data center consolidation initiative in near future. The company is not concerned about the amount of bandwidth required to consolidate its data centers. “The data centers will be reduced slowly going forward till 2015 in multiple waves. We see that, Riverbed WAN optimizer will play a major role as the end-user impact on application performance will be near to nil, as we have WAN optimization on the WAN backbone. This is a comfort factor for us to support data center consolidation further,” explained V. Manohar.

BENEFITS: 60% IMPROVEMENT IN PERFORMANCE

The implementation of Riverbed Steelhead solutions has allowed Cognizant to make substantial savings in bandwidth costs. On average, the company has saved 31% of global WAN bandwidth. Users are experiencing more convenience when it comes to accessing centralized enterprise applications.

User productivity has increased because of faster response time while accessing all web-based internal applications. “Over 60% improvement in application performance has been observed for all web-based internal applications. This has resulted in faster response time for users while using various applications and this has directly improved the user productivity,” says V. Manohar.

The company feels that the implementation of Steelhead appliances will also support its data center consolidation initiative without affecting the performance and productivity time of end users. Currently, more than 50% of the data center traffic has been optimized.

After the implementation of Steelhead appliances, the existing WAN bandwidth has been optimized allowing the company to better leverage existing bandwidth to meet the future needs of the company.

Implementation of Steelhead appliances has given Cognizant tremendous benefits. Besides ensuring faster application response time for all its users, the company has saved on its global WAN bandwidth and optimized its data center traffic without affecting its end users.

After witnessing the benefits realized through the implementation of Riverbed Steelhead products, the company is now keen on exploring Riverbed Granite and Riverbed Cascade solutions to address data consolidation and visibility requirements, respectively.

SUMMARY

The IT infrastructure at Cognizant Technology Solutions (Cognizant) was concerned about slow application response time and its growing bandwidth requirements as the company was using a wide range of applications. In order to address all these issues, Cognizant decided to implement Steelhead appliances.

The company had deployed various models of Steelhead controllers that resolved issues related to the application response time, addressed the growing bandwidth requirements, and supported encrypted MAPI acceleration. It made possible for the consolidation of its data center without affecting end-user productivity and even conformed to its wide range of applications.

The implementation of Steelhead appliances has resulted in 31% bandwidth reduction and 60% improvement in application performance for Cognizant. After the implementation, the company has been able to better leverage existing bandwidth to meet the future needs of the company.

“More than 60 percent improvement in application performance has been observed for all web based internal applications. This has resulted in faster response time for users while using various applications and this has directly improved the user productivity.”

 “The data centers will be reduced slowly going forward till 2015 in multiple waves. We see that, Riverbed WAN optimizer will play a major role as the end user impact on application performance will be near to nil, as we have WAN optimization on the WAN backbone. This is a comfort factor for us to support data center consolidation further.”

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