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
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.