Photo - Thiyagu Letchumanan, General Manager of Enterprise & Partner Group (EPG), Microsoft Malaysia.
A recent migration to the latest Windows server platform together with consolidation of physical servers has brought a 50 percent reduction in power consumption to the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), an agency under the purview of Malaysia's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
The migration from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 in tandem with reducing 44 servers to a just nine was largely responsible for the overall decrease in server room power consumption, said BiotechCorp's ICT infrastructure & operations manager Mohanakumaren Ramachandran.
"Technology has a vital role to play in BiotechCorp's core mission - with the likes of nanotechnology leading our vision, we've invested heavily in keeping our technology relevant, spending millions to upgrade and maintain it. This is no different with our IT infrastructure," said Ramachandran.
"New and improved capabilities in Hyper-V 2012 R2 with world class features such as Live Migration (with compression and disaster recovery capabilities like Hyper-V Replica) make Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V the obvious choice for us," he said, adding that the migration to Windows Server 2012 R2 also meant that server infrastructure management and monitoring was made easier.
For the migration, Ramachandran said the agency worked with PeeringOne Malaysia (Peering One), a Microsoft Cloud OS Network partner and provider of Cloud and Datacentre Services provider.
"We worked very closely with BiotechCorp, providing advisory services for the entire migration and consolidation process, which included migration methodology and procedure testing, resulting in a successful migration and minimum impact to business users," said Wong Chee Voon, country manager, PeeringOne Malaysia.
He said that the migration helped BiotechCorp improve efficiency on hardware resources and operations and freed up resources for other business applications with high availability and replication.
Using Windows Server 2012 R2 also allows BiotechCorp to use Microsoft's hybrid cloud solution, which improved agility for on-demand infrastructure expansion while being cost effective, he said.
Thiyagu Letchumanan, general manager of enterprise & partner group at Microsoft Malaysia, said the move by BiotechCorp was timely as Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 in about 90 days (15 July 2015). Organisations still running on Windows Server 2003 will need to migrate their servers in order to avoid security, compliance, additional costs and compatibility risks.
"The world has changed since Windows Server 2003 was first introduced 11 years ago - IT organisations are dealing with more mobile devices, increasing number of new applications, mostly mission critical, consolidation, flat IT budgets, the increasing need for collaboration, increasing demand for data and leveraging the cloud," said Letchumanan. "This in turn requires infrastructure that is cloud-enabled, with better management tools, increased efficiency and built-in virtualisation. Add that to the need to be agile while still managing costs, it is clear that Windows Server 2003 is not optimized to meet current needs."
He said that Spiceworks (a global professional network of more than 5 million IT Professionals) said that close to 60 percent of organisations which use its tools in Asia Pacific are still running at least one instance of Windows Server 2003. In Malaysia, that percentage is above the average at 62 percent.
"The end of support date means that customers will no longer receive security patches or updates," said Letchumanan. "For context, over 20 vulnerabilities were identified in Windows Server 2003 in 2014. It is impossible to predict when the next exploit will happen and once exploited, older servers can be used by hackers to extend into your organisation."
Microsoft Malaysia's chief marketing and operations officer Rukmani Subramanian added that there are other benefits for moving to newer platforms like Windows Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure.
"Our goal at Microsoft is to help customers realize their strategies in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, and to achieve competitive advantage, by using intuitive, 21st century technology," said Subramanian. "To achieve that, we work closely and intensively with our partners to reach out to our customers. We're proud to work with PeeringOne throughout this migration process, and at the same time, glad that we were able to reinvent productivity for BiotechCorp with Windows Server 2012 R2."
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