Nutanix, Inc. has announced that the Jordanian government entity Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship (MoDEE) has successfully deployed Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) and Nutanix Prism Pro management solution. The implementation enables secure, high-performance email services for the entire Jordanian government and provides high-availability for over 53,000 mailboxes with the ability to effortlessly expand capacity as required. The solution has also reduced infrastructure costs and IT management overheads.
MoDEE is responsible for creating the policies that enable the transformation of the country towards a digital economy. The Ministry supports the enabling pillars of this transformation which include Digital Entrepreneurship, Digital Skills, Digital Financial Services, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Platforms.
As a government entity, MoDEE utilises email as its primary means of communication. “Email is the most important service our IT team delivers as it is used by every individual within the Jordanian government. All formal and non-formal communications are carried out through this channel and so having 24/7 availability is an absolute imperative,” explained Abdallah Farrayih, Head of Operation, MoDEE. This requirement for the ‘most reliable and high performance’ email services was further exacerbated by the need to ensure remote workers could effectively collaborate and communicate.
The Ministry’s email environment comprised of Exchange 2010 built on four physical servers configured in mailbox roles connected to Dell SAN Storage, eight VMs configured as client access servers (CAS) and a HUB server built on a Hyper-V cluster. With tens of thousands of email accounts running on this infrastructure a number of hardware resources, as well as monitoring and management limitations arose.
“Because of these shortcomings, the critical process of recovering a mailbox could take anywhere between four to ten hours depending on its size,” said Farrayih. “And when we needed to add more users to accommodate the ever-growing needs of the government entities we serve, we faced difficulty in expanding the clusters.”
Having most of its cloud services, as well as its entire Disaster Recovery (DR) environment based on Nutanix, MoDEE was confident that migrating Microsoft Exchange to Nutanix would address these pressing challenges. As a government entity however, the Ministry did its due diligence in thoroughly vetting solutions from other global leading vendors. Key evaluation criteria included the solution’s ability to reduce or eliminate downtime, ensure compatibility with existing systems and save the IT team time and effort by simplifying management and administration.
“Nutanix stood out for its ability to offer the most compute resources and storage at a more attractive price point and in a small form factor. They convincingly demonstrated how data migration and expansion could be effortlessly accommodated and offered us the freedom to use any of the most popular hypervisors,” said Farrayih.
“When you consider that we need to reliably deliver email services for over 50,000 users, the lower resource requirements, lower size and thereby power consumption and simplified management benefits that are made possible by Nutanix are all exponentially amplified,” Farrayih added.
After a seamless implementation, MoDEE’s IT team successfully migrated user mailboxes to the new environment, a process Farrayih described as ‘very reliable and easy to deploy’. “On average, we were able to migrate 1,000 mailboxes in under three hours,” he said.
At present, the number of mailboxes running in the Nutanix environment stands at a staggering 53,000. Despite this incredible and ever-growing number, the IT team finds the new environment to be significantly faster and more stable than their previous setup. “With Nutanix, because we have everything working in one box, the data transfer performance is truly impressive. The connection to the Exchange Management Console and Exchange Management shell are also faster than before,” said Farrayih.
Erasure coding and compression ensure security and segmentation between mailboxes is maintained, while Nutanix Prism allows the IT team to easily monitor and manage the entire environment from a single, centralised dashboard. “Nutanix is a very powerful solution and can help you build a reliable, scalable and high-performance environment. Management and hosting of critical government services in this environment has become incredibly easy and we now have the ability to create any environment in just a few clicks. This has resulted in an increase in employee productivity, as well as a greater ability for IT to innovate,” said Farrayih.
Commenting on the support the Ministry has received from Nutanix’s local team, Farrayih said, “We started working with Nutanix over three years ago. This has involved putting all our servers on the cloud to centralise everything and now migrating our mission-critical email services to Nutanix infrastructure,” said Farrayih. “Nutanix has played a pivotal role in enabling and supporting our ongoing efforts to accelerate digital transformation across Jordan and they are one of our most valuable business partners.”