Delivering automated cloud infrastructure provisioning for Vodafone Global
About the client
As an acknowledged market leader in telecommunications, Vodafone Global is committed to the mission of bringing institutions and individuals closer through reliable connectivity. Headquartered in London, the organization is purpose-driven in delivering IT services for enterprise customers. In the 5G future, with proliferating IoT applications, it will have a defining role in ensuring the scale and sustainability of the outcomes.
Vodafone Global’s business information landscape is expansive, spread across multiple data centers worldwide. However, unlike many MNCs that have migrated to modern cloud IaaS solutions for server infrastructure management, Vodafone Global has continued with a highly patched-up legacy solution, undermining seamless provisioning and scaling.
To cope with the competition, the client sought an experienced cloud infrastructure automation partner to conceive a bespoke infrastructure provisioning and scaling tool. It should incorporate the best attributes of the cloud IaaS solutions available today, reducing employee involvement in server infrastructure management.
Vodafone Global developed a server infrastructure provisioning application in-house about a decade back. However, the world has moved ahead over the years, with automated IaaS solutions from leading cloud providers now available. In contrast, the client’s legacy application lacked just-in-time infrastructure provisioning and resizing capabilities, posing severe drags on the smooth scaling of critical resources. Further, its present generation of employees is highly attuned to the new cloud infrastructure provisioning services and found it difficult to adopt the old application.
Considering existing realities, Vodafone Global decided to build a modern infrastructure provisioning application that must:
- Reflect the best features of the new cloud solutions, making it highly productive and easy to use
- Runs on open-source technologies with the minimum usage of licensed tools
- Integrate with the current ITSM tools automating approvals and saving time
- Work seamlessly with Vodafone Global’s different global data centers
Rebuilding the entire ecosystem per the modern IaaS standards was not an easy task. However, our team was confident about deriving the desired outcomes. The discovery of requirements and solution blueprinting, conducted in collaboration with the stakeholders at Vodafone Global, took about four months. PiServe consultants realized that a decade of patchwork and improvisation has made the entire landscape complex and vulnerable.
Our experts decided to use the Camunda BPMN Workflow automation engine, to pace up the development process securely. Building an application of this size typically involves many cross-application communications using APIs to make it work seamlessly. Camunda resolves this by automating the cross-application communication through a simple drag and drop Process Orchestrator mechanism.
The system flows as follows:
- Triggering user requests for VMs at the portal
- Securing approval from the business owners
- Checking in the specific data center and invoking the VMware APIs to configure the VMs for provisioning
- Notifying the requestor, who can modify resources on the fly
Driving transformation at scale with a solution delivered that can compete against the best IaaS products available in terms of features and capabilities, while legacy infrastructure provisioning and scaling tools were falling out of tune with the needs of the time.
The engagement was managed in an agile model, targeting to deliver a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 12 months and possibilities of new feature additions through iterations. The outcomes were wholly aligned with the stakeholders’ expectations at Vodafone Global. The infrastructure provisioning application developed by PiServe ensured:
From earlier 6 hours now, the process is completed within 30 minutes, including approval. The actual provisioning is done within 3 minutes.
Reduced manual workload
With most of the provisioning issues resolved through automation, the data center and the application management team can now focus on more strategic matters.
The application developed by PiServe marks the induction of modern IaaS capabilities at Vodafone, unlocking a broad horizon of possibilities. Considering its potential, the company is planning to share the application across all its data centers and geographies with an operational presence. Further, its integration with external cloud providers is also in the pipeline.
At present, the application is evolving through iterations. Once complete, we envision it as a fully autonomous multi-cloud, on-premise infrastructure provisioning application unmatched in its capabilities.
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