Hungama’s New, Scalable Solution, Saves 90 Percent

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July 10, 2013

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment needed a reliable, robust platform to support a global telecom giant in India, a new mobile operator.

Customer: Hungama Digital Media Entertainment

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform helped us to develop, deploy, and manage a complex application suite for core telecom service provisioning in a matter of months — something unimaginable even now." - Amit Vora CTO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment

Geography: APAC
Country: India


Business Challenge:

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment needed a reliable, robust platform to support a global telecom giant in India, a new mobile operator.

Software:

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat® JBoss® Middleware, HornetQ

Hardware:

HP Blade servers

Benefits:

After choosing Red Hat solutions as the platform, Hungama now has an adaptable and scalable solution that allows the telecom operator to deliver value-added services with a much lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

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Background:

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment is the world’s largest aggregator, developer, publisher, and distributor of Hindi language (Bollywood) films and South-Asian entertainment content. The India-based company is also a leader in mobile and digital entertainment solutions, digital advertising, gaming, and applications. Hungama partners with more than 400 content creators and has licensed worldwide exclusive digital rights to millions of music and video titles. It serves content to consumers in 47 countries across mobile, Internet, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), direct-to-home television services (DTH), and applications.

Business Challenge:

Robust and scalable platform needed

Hungama wanted to provide managed services for content providers and telecommunications (telcom) companies for their value-added services (VAS) management. One of its clients — a large, new European telcom— offers affordable mobile services to communities across India.

The company’s existing Oracle-based middleware could not keep up with the new demands and exponential growth. In today’s highly competitive telecom industry, Hungama needed to not only scale out to meet the needs of millions of subscribers, but must also quickly deploy applications to help attract ad retain customers.

With 41.5 million subscribers and targeted growth rate of 40 percent, the telecom operator needed a robust, scalable, and adaptable platform to deliver services to its subscribers. This platform must handle increasing traffic for the wireless application protocol (WAP) and subscription engine that manages subscription-based services for all content providers doing business with the telecom operator.
 

Solution:

Red Hat was the best choice

Hungama considered several solutions, finally awarding of the contract to Red Hat based on Red Hat’s high scores for performance, scalability, flexibility, cost effectiveness, and reliability.

“There are many reasons why we chose the Red Hat solution. Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, Red Hat JBoss® Middleware and HornetQ are well-known products and have proven performance benchmarks and customer acceptance. Our other technology teams have successfully deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux in other projects so it was not entirely new to us,” said Amit Vora, CTO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment.

Hungama’s use of open source software began with a few CentOS-based servers running applications deployed on Tomcat accessing MySQL databases. Hungama had early success with open source software, but needed more complex architectures for enterprise deployment, and for enterprise support. The company chose Red Hat JBoss and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for its upcoming deployments.


Platform manages massive workload

The Red Hat solution included Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, and HornetQ — an open source, asynchronous high performance messaging system and JBoss community project. These products form the core of the company’s new global delivery platform (GDP), which is used to manage value added services (VAS). Hungama customized the solution to integrate with the telecom operator’s systems.

The GDP works on IP/TCP-based protocols and manages traffic on HTTP, FTP, and Socket. From the user’s application perspective, the subscription engine and WAP site are both managed using the HTTP interface. Other internal interfaces TCP for intelligent network and short messaging service centre, and HTTP for mediation, customer relationship management (CRM), and customer care.

Several proof of concepts (POCs) were conducted prior to full development of the platform. It took about a year to customize and deploy the GDP.

“For this deployment, we used Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, clustered Hornet Q, and other POCs for high availability,” said Vora.

GDP runs on 23 HP Blade servers, manages approximately 10 million subscribers, and processes more than 20 million transactions every day.

Benefits:

Flexible solution, outstanding support

Hungama is very pleased with the Red Hat-based platform and the support from Red Hat.

“Recently, we optimized Red Hat Enterprise Linux for MySQL by introducing large memory pages and various other kernel tweaks. This was an innovative way to resolve an I/O issue for a database that was used heavily for transactions,” said Amit Vora, CTO.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux ecosystem of partners helped deploy and optimise the OS networking stack, high availability, load balancing, memory, and disk schedulers to get the most out of the new software. Keen & Able Computers, a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner and service partner organisation was closely involved in the entire set up.

“Today, the only credible development model that assures customers and implementers alike is the open source model. Free from proprietary vendor lock-ins and coupled with enterprise support, customers benefit the most. At Keen & Able, with our open source services, training and development, we strive to bring the benefits of this model to customers. It is most gratifying to see that age-old myths regarding performance and support options have become redundant and that more and more organizations such as Hungama are deploying bleeding edge and mission critical systems on the egalitarian open source model,” said Varad Gupta, chief technology officer, Keen & Able Computers.

“Red Hat also has very good and capable system consultants. The Red Hat team helped us to design the solution, prepare an optimized bill of material, and help resolve production issues— giving us 360-degree coverage,” Gupta said.

Because they license Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Hungama received Red Hat support on all middleware with very good total cost of ownership (TCO).

“Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss middleware and HornetQ have made us feel very secure with regards to reliability and robustness. Since our client also uses the platform intensively, with the help of a partner, they reviewed real-world case studies and become comfortable with the capabilities of the different products,” said Amit Vora, CTO.

Scalability advantage
The key benefit of the new set up is its scalability. The previous architecture could not scale to meet the expansion plans.

The new implementation is designed to be horizontally scalable and is capable of supporting many more customers simply by adding more hardware.

VAS is provided by various application developers, and content is delivered by a large group of content providers. Hungama’s centralized platform made deployment of new applications easy and seamless. Then new applications can:

•     Interface with the customer billing gateway
•     Manage old and new subscriptions
•     Provide a centralized customer care portal to manage and retain customers in the midst of a highly fickle market

Faster and better

The telecom operator can now deliver new and modified services faster and better with a shorter time to market.

Customers can access services far more efficiently through the service layer used by the VAS and content providers to add new products very quickly compared to previous solutions.

Lower TCO

The total cost of the new solution is just 10 percent of the total cost of the previous solution. By adopting a revenue sharing model with Hungama, which built the infrastructure and manages the applications, the telecom operator has achieved a much low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Because of the performance and stability Argawala experienced while implementing Red Hat software; and the support provided during the development, deployment, and support stages; Amit Vora, CTO, “would recommend Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, and HornetQ solutions to all organizations that are looking to deploy high-performance, highly reliable, mission-critical applications. The low cost of the overall solution when compared with proprietary options available is the icing on the cake.”

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