PITB ACHIEVES NIMBLENESS, FLEXIBILITY AND SCALABILITY TO MEET GROWING IT DEMANDS
“Our journey with VMware has transformed our IT infrastructure to become integrated, consolidated, and homogenous, with the availability necessary to meet Pakistan’s growing technology and business needs, remarked Dr. Umar Saif Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on achieving the technological advancement. This has enabled PITB to realize greater nimbleness, elasticity and performance in collaboration with VMware being such a trusted partner on automation journey, he added.
Government of Punjab founded the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in 1999 as an autonomous body to leverage synergies in the IT industry, academic institutions, and government organizations. PITB monitors global opportunities, caters to the growing needs of IT, develops policy alternatives, as well as plans and rapidly implements initiatives for building an internationally competitive IT industry in the province, with the goal of enabling the country to achieve its IT potential.
The legacy decentralized IT infrastructure of the Punjab government departments was not only expensive in terms of maintenance and operations but also was less efficient, no disaster recovery options, and wasn’t easy to maintain. Punjab IT Board first of all centralized the IT infrastructure by establishing a centralized datacenter and eliminating the distributed small inefficient datacenters thereby not only saving costs in terms of power and resources but also minimized the downtime and ensured the reliability of the services. Initially, PITB data center was designed to run on traditional technology in which 90 % of processing capacity remained unutilized resulting in inefficient usage of resources. The system was also unpredictable and faced scalability issues in terms of system and network resources, as it was unable to deploy and deliver new services quickly or effectively due to extensive manual processes for the provisioning of new services.
Envisioning and Responding to the changes in technology, growing demands of Information Technology (IT) in Pakistan and to empower government departments by focusing on innovation, the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) being the first entity in Pakistan has embarked on a digital and cloud transformation journey with VMware to transform its IT infrastructure, resulting in achieving nimbleness, elasticity and performance to better serve technology stakeholders in the country.
PITB deployed VMware with NSX to achieve a highly secure, fully robust, controlled and efficient solution to meet the challenges. The solution reduced the provisioning time for new services from days to seconds, increased the efficiency of resources by 10 times and improved operational efficiency through automation. PITB being the central hub for the highly sensitive and critical electronic services of government of Punjab as well as for some of federal departments, carried out the transformation from legacy infrastructure environment to completely virtualized cloud infrastructure without any loss or outage of running services which itself stands for a big achievement. Moreover, the aftersales support and technical help, provided by VMware through its local and US-based Customer Success team, contributed to the successful deployment, reaffirming PITB’s trust in VMware as a partner.
The new state of the art VMware based virtualized cloud infrastructure embedded with the security through integrated virtualized firewall services has enabled faster and robust deployment and delivery of new services with complete isolation, security and visibility of applications and services in a controlled environment with highly optimized disaster recovery operations, reducing the recovery times from days and hours to minutes and seconds. With the usage of dynamic inclusion policies that are context-aware, security is also now intrinsic in PITB’s data center.
Some of numerous flagship PITB initiatives that have improved and benefited from higher availability and performance include: the smart monitoring of public school data, e-Stamping and the Punjab Public Management Reform Program. Capacity planning reports can now be developed in just matter of minutes. PITB is able to roll out applications for new services quickly and in a predictable manner. PITB is now able to anticipate data center performance and respond with better and more robust business decisions. PITB is now looking to run a complete VMware private cloud solution to better serve both internal and external stakeholders.