Virtualization technologies save the day for 63 Moons during lockdown

63 Moons Technologies, formerly known as Financial Technologies?a provider of technology platforms and solutions for the financial industry, including digital marketplaces and exchanges?has successfully leveraged virtualization technologies to tide over the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With more than 1,000 employees on its rolls, 63 Moons had just a couple of days to gear up for the lockdown. The company, which had already implemented server virtualization and was running SAP workloads on it, embarked on an enterprise-wide initiative to roll out desktop virtualization to enable employees to work remotely in a secure manner.  

Says Neehar Pathare, Vice President – ICT & CISO, ?With just 48 hours before the lockdown, we were racing against time to roll out the VDI solution across the company. We stayed in office during the time and successfully made the deployment live within the stipulated time, with full support from VMware.?

The imperative for 63 Moons to keep the lights on was because the stock exchanges were operational during the lockdown and many brokers are using its trading platform. With the VMware Horizon VDI implementation, it was business as usual as employees were able to connect to the corporate network quickly and easily. What weighed in the company?s favor were the high network connectivity premises which supported speedy access?1 GB connectivity to desktops, 10 GB at the switch level and application-centric infrastructure (ACI) running its data center.

While one of the main objectives was to extend the enterprise to employees, another imperative for Pathare, as the company?s CISO, was to securely deliver applications. Operating in the financial domain, even senior company executives worked on desktops to meet compliance requirements. Therefore, data protection and prevention of data leakage was a key performance indicator while implementing VDI, but the company was able to achieve it as the technology entailed storing data at a central location and employees could not download or store data locally in a VDI environment.

More importantly, VDI implementation facilitated easy administration of end-point devices. As employees were logging remotely with personal devices, maintaining desktops in a VDI environment is easier than a traditional environment as rolling out patches, deploying new software or adding RAM or hard disk capacity is done at the central server. Also, central maintenance ensures timely updates as it eliminates concerns about endpoints being switched off at the time of patching or software deployment.

Pathare was also able to achieve regulatory compliance as the centralized VDI system made it easier for regulatory controls to be implemented and enforced at virtualized endpoints in a repeatable and streamlined fashion.

Says Prajit Nair, Director Sales, End user Computing at VMware and who has been closely associated with the implementation, ?The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown brought to the fore the benefits of virtualization as never before. Businesses that had earlier viewed virtualization as technology for enabling business continuity are now seriously considering it to usher in the New Normal and facilitate employees to continue to work remotely.?

A large VDI deployment, which allows 700 concurrent users, the 63 Moons juggernaut was kept rolling with technology adoption and in-house innovation. More than 30 new employees were onboarded remotely from different locations during this period via VMware Workspace which is a digital workspace platform that provides secure access to employees via any end-point. The 63 Moons in-house team of developers also developed an application to enable its contact center to function normally by routing calls to executives working remotely while enabling access into the corporate network to resolve customer queries.

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