MahaGov Cloud
Directorate of Information Technology, Govt. of Maharashtra

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
There has been typical challenges faced by the User Departments in terms of long IT Infrastructure procurement cycles, building silo applications, procuring IT Infrastructure, underutilization of computing resources, hiring external agencies / expertise for running the individual ICT applications and infrastructure, scalability, reliability, Disaster recovery, provisioning, availability, etc. • Departments were required to procure their own IT Infrastructure and resources for managing. • Utilization of computing resources was limited. • In case of increase in requirement of increase in computing resources, additional procurement was to be carried out. • Overall foot print for power, cooling, etc was high as all the departments were setting up own infrastructure. • Administrative control was difficult for individual departments • Procurement for the IT Infrastructure was carried out by individual departments resulting in overlapping of procurement of IT Infrastructure. • Time to provision a server along with OS and Database was very high resulting in days to weeks. • Computing resources, storage, memory, etc were not efficiently utilized • Maintenance required high planned downtime for applications. • Management and monitoring for the IT Infrastructure by departments was cumbersome. • Backup and restoration had it’s own time consuming process. • Upgradation and Updation of new technology was difficult as each component by each departments had to carry out the same. Dedicated personnel were required for monitoring and updations. • Applications for each of the department were running in silo environment. • Department were required to own the IT Infrastructure and were required to be IT savvy.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
Continuing to the Shared Service centre, during the implementation of Maharashtra State Data Centre, the state had conceptualized on implementing Virtualization for efficient utilization of the infra in SDC. The objective of this initiative was to reduce datacenter cost drastically while increasing the IT capacity with maximum flexibility. Government of Maharashtra realized the potential of using Cloud Computing as a medium to provide shared, cost effective, faster, reliable, secure, and agile services to the Government Departments. As a part of State Data Centre set up, state had the required computing resources for enabling the Cloud services for the User Departments. The added advantage GoM had was that the State Data Centre was still under implementation mode wherein necessary upgradations required for enabling cloud services was feasible. It was envisaged that Government of Maharashtra will use multi-tenanted services, shared and managed by Directorate of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra. Shared resources, infrastructure, software and information will be provided to a range of User Departments via MSWAN /Internet; this will be supported by new delivery and supply models. It will be dynamically scalable, agile, and easy to move in and out of the service. MahaGov Cloud is not a single entity; but, it is an ongoing and iterative initiative which will enable, the use of a range of cloud services, and changes in the way the State procures and operates ICT, throughout the Government of Maharashtra. In order to kick start the initiative, a Proof of Concept on virtualization was started in November 2011 by using VMWare and Microsoft Hyper V. The overall capacity for each of the resources was increased to a desirable level which ranged from CPU, RAM, NIC, Licenses, software, etc. For effective operations and management, the Data Center team was provided with necessary trainings. The benefits of virtualization were achieved after the PoC and soon the next step of moving to complete implementation of Cloud Setup was initiated. The fully operational cloud was commissioned in May 2012. With all the modules of Cloud implemented the stakeholders could realize the value of using shared resources from the State Data Centre. It has surely improved the major constraints of operation with better quality of service, reduced time for infra provisioning and lower cost of hosting.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
• MahaGov Cloud is the first Government Cloud Setup in India • MahaGov Cloud is the first Government Cloud set up which is running on production environment with high volume of servers and applications. • Maharashtra SDC is the only State Data Centre in India which has it's own block of 4 B ASN no. and it's own block of IPv4 & IPv6 addresses, along with membership in APNIC/IRINN, making it vendor independent. • First model in India wherein the data center services are offered on cloud for Government and by Government. • For continual sustainability a rate chart for availing the services has been published which is used as a benchmark for the Departments for availing cloud services. • High Availability & Load Balancing has been ensured at ISP level (NKN/TTML/MTNL) • Maharashtra State Data Center is the first State Data Center to enable end-to-end IPv6.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In order to kick start the initiative, a Proof of Concept on virtualization was started in November 2011 by using VMWare and Microsoft Hyper V. The overall capacity for each of the resources was increased to a desirable level which ranged from CPU, RAM, NIC, Licenses, software, etc. For effective operations and management, the Data Center team was provided with necessary trainings. The benefits of virtualization were achieved after the PoC and soon the next step of moving to complete implementation of Cloud Setup was initiated. The fully operational cloud was commissioned in May 2012. With all the modules of Cloud implemented the stakeholders could realize the value of using shared resources from the State Data Centre. It has surely improved the major constraints of operation with better quality of service, reduced time for infra provisioning and lower cost of hosting. Microsoft Private Cloud Architecture Physical Servers – 13 Virtual Machines – 44 Total Applications in production – 37 VMWare Private Cloud Architecture Physical servers – 40 Virtual Machines – 450 Total Applications in production – 165 Strategy Adopted (i) The details of base line study done, Baseline study to setup SDC was carried out by Department of IT, Govt. of India. SDC has been identified as one of the important element of the core infrastructure for supporting e-Governance initiatives of NEGP. SDC acts as mediator and convergence point between open unsecured public domain and sensitive government environment (ii) Problems identified, The design of Data Centre represents many challenges and was a complex task as it involves many stakeholders, state department having varying requirements, access mechanisms and delivery channels to the citizens. (iii) Roll out/implementation model, Department of IT has given two options to the state to roll out SDC. 1. State and NIC together form a composite team. While sovereign control of the data/application shall be with the state. The physical infrastructure may be outsourced. 2. The state leverages the capability of existing commercial Internet Data Centres for which different Data Centre models were available. Maharashtra State Data Centre used first option to roll out SDC in the state. (iv) Communication and dissemination strategy and approach used.): Communication and disseminations strategy used as follow: • Periodic Project Reviews • Customer Review Meetings • Internal Review Meetings • Change Management

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
1. SETU as State Implementation Agency 2. M/s Wipro as Data Centre Operator 3. VMWARE as product supplier 4. Microsoft as a product supplier 5. Composite Team as monitoring body 6. DIT, Government of Maharashtra as nodal agency 7. DeiTY, Government of India as a planning body
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Significant efforts have been put by the Department for enablement of the Cloud at Maharashtra State Data Centre. It was envisaged that Government of Maharashtra will use multi-tenanted services, shared and managed by Directorate of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra. Maharashtra’s Principal Secretary-IT Mr.Rajesh Aggarwal, the key driving force behind MahaGov Cloud, envisaged providing services to various departments from SDC at the initial stage of SDC implementation. It was envisaged that most of the applications owned by respective Departments and other eGovernance Projects will be hosted on SDC. To cater to a large number of applications and departments, cloud implementation was necessary. Based on the leadership vision, significant effort were put by the Department officers, consultants, OEMs and the Data Centre Operator.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• During earlier days, each department were required to procure the required ICT infrastructure which had it’s own lead time of approximately 1-2 months. Now, the departments can avail the cloud services as soon as the need arises. • There has been drastic reduction in time for provisioning of infrastructure. Earlier, for setting up each server used to take 2-3 days which has now reduced to 1-2 hours • The compute resources are efficiently utilized as and when required. • The downtime required for maintenance was ranging from several hours depending on the maintenance activity. With implementation of Cloud, the downtime required for maintenance activity has been reduced drastically. For eg. In case of upgradation of CPU/RAM or any other resources earlier the applications were required to be brought down, however, with cloud, the applications/servers can be moved seamlessly without any downtime required. • It is evident that by mere investment of 2-4 Cr. the potential savings down several years would be approximately 50 Cr. • The management of the huge infrastructure has been very easy as a unified view is available for the resources. • Based on the utilization, the resources can be Auto scaled. • Following project benighted by use of cloud services: a) RTO project of Autorichshaw Lottery in Mumbai: Completed online project deployed within a weeks time b) ITI admission throughout state of Maharashtra: More than 20 Crores initial project estimate was completed within 4 Crores. Resources increased/decreased instantly as per load requirement using cloud technology c) Inspector General revenue generating huge revenue for state of Maharashtra inplimented using cloud technology d) Land record project for entire state for digitization of data and making online available for citizen using cloud service. e) More than 165 websites online hosted on cloud platform.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1) Management takes periodic review of the project progress is monitors at a predefined frequency weekly, monthly, quarterly, six monthly and yearly 2) Dedicated composite team comprises of 6 members from Central Government and State Government look after for the implementation and operations of the project 3) Dedicated TPA (Third party auditor) is in place to perform a) State Data Centre Infrastructure Audit b) O& M process and control audit c) SAL monitoring aidit d) Security and compliance audit 4) STQC audit is been performed twice in a year as per government standards.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1) Initial design of SDC was to have entire infrastructure to run on non-virtual environment. It was a difficult task to convince top management to move from non-virtual to virtual environment. 2) Funding for cloud enablement was not envisaged during the initial phase of SDC creation. The management was convinced on how the cloud will eventually reduce the recurring cost for the department. Moreover, it was also appraised that the time taken to implement the Department specific projects would drastically reduce. 3) Adoption of cloud services by government department was a challenging task. The departments were appraised for the potential benefits of the cloud and addressing their concerns which led them to use the cloud services at it’s full potential. 4) Implementation of cloud in a heterogeneous environment was a challenge as multiple stakeholders were involved. The stakeholders were duly appraised on the outcome of the cloud enablement and also involving them for the overall implementation of the cloud lifecycle. 5) There has been typical challenge in terms of awareness about the cloud implementation among the onsite support team. The teams were provided with requisite training on the implementation and maintenance of the cloud.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The applications hosted on the MahaGov Cloud by the respective User Departments contribute to the revenue. There are potential benefits leveraged by the deployment of MahaGov cloud in terms providing an opportunity for Maharashtra to eliminate hierarchical procurement process. Moreover, the time to provision a Server along with OS and Database has reduced significantly so as to make the revenue generating applications live in short period. • Lower costs – • Sustainable reduction in the operational costs of ICT across the Departments • A significant reduction in Physical Resources • Aggregated demand for the reduced numbers of resources. • Reduced Foot print • Better control and administrative benefits over the cloud. • Agility – • Cloud computing provides an opportunity for Maharashtra to eliminate hierarchical procurement process. • Time to provision a Server along with OS and Database has reduced • Using features of thin provisioning of storage and memory, resources are efficiently utilized and allocated • Features like Live Migration has helped to manage planned maintenance without requiring any downtime of the application • Universal resource access – • Cloud helps in establishing a common platform for all e-Governance initiatives, one that is easily accessible by the citizens and other stakeholders • Management and monitoring of Cloud setup is effectively done using the dashboard, alerts and reports generated • Backup of VMDK or VHD files leads to quicker restoration of the server whenever required • Continuous update – • The onus of upgrading technology is on the DIT in cloud delivery model who ensures Departments have access to the most up-to-date solutions. This also reduces the need for personnel dedicated to monitoring and updating of IT applications • Collaboration – • Applications and documents accessible from anywhere, facilitating group collaboration on documents and projects • Server creation and roll out is faster. Time taken to allocate a system to department has been reduced from hours to minutes. • Departments can focus in their core sector and are not required to be IT Experts

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
• The same cloud model can be adopted by other states • Lower cost of ownership/operation • Easy to provision Compute resources • Latest technological updates • Anytime, Anywhere Access

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
• Study possible Business Models and alignment of the IT Procurement Policies with the Cloud setup. • Define methods for finance and funding, including the sustainability models. • Plan the cloud implementation in a phased manner. Start with IaaS and PaaS before jumping to SaaS. • It is of paramount importance to plan the capacity required for all the resources for implementing the cloud solution as per the requirement. Make provision for the number of cores per CPU required, Memory required, what should be the ratio of minimum RAM required per core CPU, Hard Disk capacity required, Storage capacity required, etc. • Requirements for Network and security needs to be provisioned effectively and efficiently so that each physical server is having enough bandwidth so as to serve the Virtual Machine traffic originating from private/public network as well as the management traffic. • The licenses required for Operating System and Databases needs to be provisioned according to the licensing policy for deploying cluster which shall ensure the optimum utilization of the licenses procured. If majority of servers are on Windows Server OS then DataCentre edition license for Windows Server may be procured. • Along with cloud implementation, tape backup software should be configured for backup of VMDK or VHD files so that incremental backup is available for entire Virtual Instance. • Awareness sessions to departments and consulting firms to be done regularly to ensure acceptance of Cloud for all the projects.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Directorate of Information Technology, Govt. of Maharashtra
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Rajesh Aggarwal
Title:   Mr.  
Telephone/ Fax:   +91 22 2202 6534
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   psec.it@maharashtra.gov.in  
Address:   514, Annexe, Mantralaya,
Postal Code:   400032
City:   Mumbai
State/Province:   Maharashtra
Country:  

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