When one of Africa’s most innovative telco companies wanted to transform its IT environment – it turned to VMware. Vodacom Mozambique has successfully embraced VMware as the premise for its IT and telecommunications clouds, giving it the digital fabric needed to scale its services and customer experiences. Why does this matter? It allows Vodacom more agility in a highly competitive mobile market and lets it rapidly deliver on business and consumer customer demands, improving voice and data services to its customers,
According to Eduardo Cid de Morais, IT Systems Manager of Vodacom Mozambique, the company had reached a point where it had to build a new data centre, but it needed to be smaller than its existing one.
“Our older environment was certainly holding us back. Our monitoring capabilities on the rack mounted servers were limited, meaning we could not stay abreast of all the technical issues across our IT and telecommunications systems. In Mozambique, the accessibility of the data centre environment is another major challenge. So, even if we are only 30 kilometers away from the data centre, it might take several hours to get there due to the poor condition of the road infrastructure and the sheer volumes of traffic. Something as simple as turning the power back on in the data centre becomes a significant business issue,” says Morais.
Shift to VMware
With the implementation of a VMWare infrastructure Vodacom Mozambique enjoys the swifter restoral of service from a downed virtual machine (VM), by simply connecting from a virtual private network (VPN) and powering it back on. Furthermore, monitoring is enhanced, allowing the organisation to view everything from within the operating system to preview how all VMs are performing and effectively forecast potential issues.
“During the first two years of using VMware at a reduced capacity, we had a significantly more stable environment that proved it could comply with the rigorous standards of the Vodacom infrastructure requirements. As such, we decided to transition to the virtualised infrastructure of VMware fully. This initially entailed a comprehensive VMware implementation across the IT (production) cloud and then, more recently, our telco (the NFV – Network Functions Virtualisation) cloud,” says Morais.
The entire IT cloud has been fully virtualised to date, however the desire to scale and shift to NFV was approved 2019, with the transition in progress. Vodacom Mozambique is the first subsidiary on the continent to deploy such a comprehensive virtualisation solution for its telco cloud.
People and Technology
“The best part is, just a handful of people manage this entire virtualised footprint. We have an exceptionally skilled and diverse team that is split evenly across men and women. There aren’t many IT shops in Africa that can say their technical team isn’t male dominated – here at Vodacom Mozambique, we believe in investing in only the best people for the job at hand. The fact that our team is so diverse and inclusive indicates a culture that encourages success without limitations, and it is something we are proud of,” he says.
Vodacom Mozambique embraced all the new VMware technology and architectures, and the IT Systems team has made a significant success of the implementation. The team has migrated multiple environments and have been managing them very successfully. The company has demonstrated that it is not afraid of using the latest technology and integrating it into mission-critical processes to provide a platform for future growth.
“Because our IT systems team has been so successful with this implementation, we have become the go-to team for the company when it comes to all things VMware and virtualisation. And that for me is something we can be incredibly proud of,” concludes Morais.