Published on 08-Oct-2013
"The self-service feature of IBM SmartCloud Entry on System x servers has helped lessen the burden on our system administrators’ shoulders. Moreover, we have delegated server administration to the internal end users—which means even fewer headaches for our IT staff." - Mehmet Selçuk Karaca, consultant, Türk Telekom
Turk Telekom Group
Cloud Computing, SmartCloud - Solutions, Virtualization, Virtualization - Server
As the leading telecommunications company in Turkey, Türk Telekom Group provides converged communications services ranging from public switched telephone network (PSTN) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) to broadband Internet.
Türk Telekom Group needed an internal cloud to help speed innovative solutions to market, as well as to provide tight security, easy accessibility, high performance and ease of management to users.
To support its private cloud services, Türk Telekom deployed IBM® SmartCloud® Entry on an IBM System x® 3650 class server with intelligent Intel® Xeon® processors, using IBM Systems Lab Services.
The IBM solution shortened provisioning times from one week to 15 minutes, helped save USD10,000 annually on labor costs, increased user satisfaction through more agile cloud services.
As the leading telecommunications company in Turkey, Türk Telekom Group provides converged communications services ranging from public switched telephone network (PSTN) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) to broadband Internet. Serving a high-growth market, the company has expanded to support more than 13.9 million fixed-access lines, 7.1 million bulk asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) connections and 13.2 million mobile subscribers since its inception. Today, its modern network infrastructure covers the entire country, offering a variety of services to residential and commercial customers.
Ready to extend its IT services and begin taking advantage of cloud benefits, Türk Telekom sought a flexible, private cloud platform to help modernize its data center. Also wanting to offer the best cloud experience possible to its internal IT users, the company turned to IBM, as it had for the past 20 years.
Building the case for cloud
With resources stretched thin, Türk Telekom knew that its cloud implementation had to be simple. The company wanted a solution that could ease the burden on its IT staff with automated provisioning and a self-service portal, as well as one that could help standardize—and thus, simplify—its development and test environment. Overall, the solution needed to better utilize the existing infrastructure and provide vendor neutrality.
Türk Telekom also wanted to closely track costs and clearly communicate the pricing structure of the new cloud services to end users. “We wanted to make our system administrators and developers aware of the costs related to their demands. Cloud offered a metering and billing solution to help us do that,” says Mehmet Selçuk Karaca, Türk Telekom consultant.
The company chose to implement an IBM solution for private cloud because it found the solution’s advantages to be superior to competitor solutions. “Security, accessibility, performance, agility and a ‘pay-per-use’ model were important. We also needed enterprise-class features and ease of management for the cloud environment,” explains Karaca. “We chose the IBM solution because it could meet all of these needs.”
Transforming the infrastructure
Another strength of the IBM solution was its ability to manage Türk Telekom’s multi-vendor environment. With the help of IBM Systems Lab Services, the communications services provider implemented IBM SmartCloud Entry on an IBM System x3650 class server. This system hosts automated cloud provisioning and manages the company’s development and test environment. The IT environment also includes 7 TB of thin-provisioned storage, as well as VMware vSphere (ESX) Hypervisors using VMware vCenter Server to help support the company’s virtual infrastructure.
The whole solution took about six weeks to implement, test and open up to internal users. “IBM SmartCloud Entry is compact, and installation was very easy,” says Karaca. And while customizing the solution to the company’s precise needs proved more challenging, he adds that he has been very impressed with the support from IBM throughout this process. “Now, we see nothing but smooth operations from our entire infrastructure.”
“IBM SmartCloud Entry, running on System x, provides all of the ‘must-have features’ for private cloud,” says Karaca. “It is quite cost effective to start with this solution, since it can be up and functioning very quickly. Plus, you can easily scale the environment to accommodate future growth by adding new servers, as needed.” While the IBM SmartCloud solution is currently used to manage Türk Telekom’s development and test environment, Karaca says the plan is to move production applications into the environment at some point.
Leveraging cloud benefits
Türk Telekom has seen major benefits now that its private cloud is in place. It has gained agility through the IBM SmartCloud Entry self-service portal, since virtual machines are now automatically provisioned. In fact, provisioning times have been shortened from one week to just 15 minutes. Karaca notes, “This feature has helped lessen the burden on our system administrators’ shoulders. Moreover, we have delegated server administration to internal end users—which means even fewer headaches for our IT staff.” Türk Telekom users have also been very pleased with the self-service portal because they can now access the resources they want quickly and easily.
In addition to time savings, the solution has enabled significant cost savings for the Türk Telekom IT department. “By using the IBM SmartCloud Entry automation capabilities for provisioning, and delegating system administration to internal end users, we save approximately USD10,000 yearly on labor costs,” says Karaca.
The solution, as a whole, has also improved relations with the company’s internal users. Karaca says, “Private cloud has changed the way we provide IT services, enabling us to get closer to our system administrators and developers. We now relate better to them; we provide a self-service portal to better serve them; and we try to anticipate what types of cloud services they may need from us, before they even ask. This is a really important change in our customer-service paradigm.”
Growing into the future
As Karaca explains, “The cloud computing service model enables us to more quickly meet internal demands, since the shared resource pool enables automatic provisioning. In the past, users would come to us with requests. Now, we bring services to them, placing their needs at the center of our business.”
The company has ambitious plans for the future of its private cloud, and Karaca trusts that IBM SmartCloud Entry can carry Türk Telekom into the future. Beyond moving production applications into the environment, he hopes to extend the solution to existing IBM Power® servers. “This solution was smart enough to meet our requirements and inexpensive enough to implement. It provides a very feasible licensing schema for adding new physical servers to our cloud, it includes support for the IBM PowerVM® platform, and on top of everything, we have the powerful support of IBM behind the scenes,” he says.
“If we hit problems, IBM provides us with solutions. As long as this continues, so will our relationship with IBM,” says Karaca.
For more information
Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit us at: ibm.com/systems/x/solutions/cloud/starterkit/
To learn more about Türk Telekom, please visit: www.turktelekom.com.tr/tt/portal/Home/
Products and services used
IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
System x: System x3650 M3
VMware vSphere Hypervisor 4.1 U1 with IBM Customization
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