Vodafone Germany optimizes its operations management

Von: netage solutions GmbH  15.06.2011
Keywords: Software, Softwareberatung, IT Beratung

boom by netage solutions reduces operating costs while delivering enterprise-grade performance.

Vodafone Germany is one of the largest and most modern telecommunications providers in Europe. Based in Düsseldorf, Vodafone Germany is a one-stop innovative and integrated technology and service provider with a portfolio including mobile communications, fixed network telephony, internet and broadband data services for business and private customers. Continuous development, numerous patents and investments in new products, services and the modern network have made Vodafone an innovation leader in the German telecommunications market. In 2009, Vodafone received the “connect” magazine’s award for the best voice and data network in Germany.

To maintain that high quality, Vodafone needed to consolidate the operations management of its mobile and fixed-line networks. Furthermore, to improve operating costs, Vodafone saw an opportunity to reduce software license fees and investments in new monitoring agents, while improving the overall performance and quality of its operations management.

In the past, the mobile and fixed-line networks used various operations management systems to monitor over 2’000 servers through agents. A formal project was launched with the goal to find cost savings, to develop a Vodafone standard for operations management processes, and to unify all systems.


Systematic evaluation and selection process

The entire field of possible monitoring tools on the market was analyzed – starting with open source solutions and their commercial derivatives. However, the open source tools were quickly eliminated due to the high integration effort required, their lack of true development support and on-site maintenance, and the insufficient granularity of alarm messages, as well as other weaknesses, which were required for the highly sensitive environment at Vodafone.

netage solutions, the long-term systems integrator at Vodafone, did its own analysis and recommended the software package boom, business open operations manager, as an alternative. Initial reviews by Vodafone were positive and a systematic evaluation of the existing tools together with boom was then undertaken. The evaluation team formulated the requirements, conducted a proof of concept across all the tools and proposed a decision-matrix to assist management in making a choice.

The final choice fell to boom as the new IT systems management solution: all commercial and technical goals were met; the off-the-shelf functionality kept customer-specific developments to a minimum; and, the scalability of boom eliminated any investment risks. Finally, the similarity of boom to HP-OM, which represented the largest existing environment at Vodafone and a simple migration process from HP-OM to boom, allowed the transition effort to be greatly reduced. In addition, local support and in-country development capabilities by netage solutions were just as crucial as deciding factors.


Moment of truth: migrating from the legacy environment to boom

In less than six months, Vodafone wanted to migrate all their IT systems management solutions into boom, and to gradually sunset the legacy systems. © netage solutions GmbH 2011

In a first phase, a hierarchical architecture was built up to fit the Vodafone operating landscape: a master system and two site systems that are connected to the master system. The site systems monitor the two fixed-line networks and the wireless network. Both site systems transfer their reports to the central master system. This is also the model used to expand and to integrate other Vodafone networks. To ensure high availability, all systems were set up as a cluster.

In a second phase, existing interfaces to other systems (e.g., CMDB or OSS, etc.) were migrated. This rounded out the architecture and was the final preparation for the formal acceptance process. During the so-called “type acceptance” on an identically set-up boom test system, all Vodafone specifications were extensively tested. The Vodafone administrators required little training by netage consultants, and thus the boom system was ready for production in record time. The third phase was the migration of individual legacy monitoring systems for the wireless and fixed-line networks. During parallel operations, the handling of boom was compared to HP-OM and then the cut-over to boom was completed. In the course of further cut-overs, the potential for improvements in monitoring will be realized (“Cleaning up outdated solutions’). In the near future, other Vodafone regions will be integrated by netage into the new boom operations management environment at Vodafone.

Keywords: IT Beratung, IT Consulting, Software, Softwareberatung, Systemintegration

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