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British Telecom Accelerates App Development with vSphere

VMware Cloud Native Apps IconThis post is by Philip Buckley-Mellor, an infrastructure designer for British Telecommunications (BT) with over 30 years of experience managing and designing infrastructure for large enterprises. His Service and Platforms Team at BT is responsible for delivery of broadband, television, and mobile services to millions of BT customers. 

At BT, we focus on delivering outstanding customer experiences through super fast broadband, TV, and mobile. To do this, we are constantly improving applications and delivering new functionality.  This is a critical part of our overall corporate strategy – always enhancing the already great service we provide to our customers – and our IT team is proud to be a crucial contributor to our customers’ satisfaction.

To achieve a more agile application base, we have implemented a microservices architecture for key application components and services. Our modern applications need a modern infrastructure, so we’ve also been experimenting with containers for some time to support our use of microservices, and we plan to expand their use going forward.

Modern Applications on vSphere

We’re extremely excited to see that VMware vSphere with Kubernetes will now provide the container infrastructure we need in a single stack that unifies our infrastructure, enabling us to run and manage virtual machines and containers with a single set of people, processes, and systems.

We use VMware vSphere, NSX-T, vRealize Operations, and other VMware products and solutions extensively. This makes us very comfortable in our ability to manage, troubleshoot, and optimize our environment. Our familiarity with VMware solutions will make it easy for us to deploy containers using vSphere with Kubernetes.

Photo of Philip Buckley-MellorOur operations team will be able to quickly deploy containers on-premises and across multiple clouds. As an example, there are times when we need extra capacity to handle the projected demand of some of our services. In those cases, we can easily deploy the application on a cloud like Azure or AWS without extensive rework because vSphere provides a common environment for us to use.  We’ll be able to give developers a simple view of their containers, and they won’t need to be concerned about what’s in a VM versus what’s in a container. They can just focus on the task at hand knowing that the infrastructure they need is at their fingertips.

I like that we don’t need extensive training in the use of new products to be able take advantage of Kubernetes. vCenter, which is used by our administrators, continues to be really easy to use even though it’s been extended to support containers. vCenter still looks much the same as it did in the previous vSphere versions that we have become experts in. In many ways I can’t imagine an easier approach to becoming a Kubernetes administrator. We’ll continue to use the same processes and tools to manage the environment. Our IT team will be able to apply policies around security, performance, resource allocation, and capacity management using vCenter, and developers won’t need to worry about the challenges of managing the infrastructure.

A revolutionary step forward

VMware is an innovative company and they’ve been improving vSphere for many years. We’re always glad when there is a new release as the capabilities are helpful and solid.

This new release – vSphere 7 – is a huge leap forward. In some ways, vSphere has been completely reinvented because of the unification of containers, and virtual machines, and the integration of vSphere with the new Tanzu products including Tanzu Mission Control for an end-to-end Kubernetes solution. At the same time, it’s the vSphere that we know and love – the learning curve for our teams is going to be very small, which is a big bonus because growing Kubernetes expertise is difficult.

I’m excited about it, as are a lot of my peers at other companies. People in my position should take an opportunity to evaluate what they can achieve with vSphere with Kubernetes.

Philip Buckley-Mellor


We are excited about vSphere 7 and what it means for our customers and the future. Watch the vSphere 7 Launch Event replay, an event designed for vSphere Admins, hosted by theCUBE. We will continue posting new technical and product information about vSphere 7 and vSphere with Kubernetes Monday through Thursdays into May 2020. Join us by following the blog directly using the RSS feed, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Thank you, and please stay safe.

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