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How DevOps culture turns our client into a next-generation telecom

Explore how our DevOps best practices helped a leading telecom company reduce bottlenecks and fast track its release timelines.

The Challenge

Closer collaboration and a shared responsibility

The telecom sector traditionally relies on legacy network infrastructure, which hampers agility and fails to meet modern customer demands. Cloud computing offers a transformative solution, enabling telecom businesses to enhance operational efficiency and deliver superior customer service.

By using cloud computing, telecom service providers can offer software solutions at lower costs due to virtualization and software provisioning. The pay-as-you-go model further reduces operational expenses, allowing companies to pay only for the computing power they use, similar to how they pay for electricity. This approach minimizes infrastructure, procurement, and maintenance costs for both software and hardware, while also providing increased flexibility, scalability, and ease of management.

For one of our clients, a Scandinavian telecommunications company with over 30 years of experience, offering services in 125 countries, we conducted a migration to the AWS cloud. This migration ensured long-term operational stability in the public cloud with minimal overhead and effort, significantly enhancing customer satisfaction levels.

In this case study, we shift our focus from the broad benefits of cloud migration for telecoms to the pivotal role a robust DevOps culture plays in achieving successful transformation.

As part of our cooperation with the client, we provide the architect, DevOps experts, delivery manager, project owner and the migration team with improving overall service stability and features. These include:

Alongside these efforts, we also track efficiency and improve integration processes. All of this is transparently delivered by our autonomous team with as-needed communications to help align people, processes, and tools with a strong and unified customer-focused process.

The Chaos Gears team’s main goal is to inject proactive thought processes and best practices into daily operations. Through these, we aim to spend approximately 20% of our sprints’ time on the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) cycle, delivering:

The remaining part of that process relies on the Operations part of the team covering daily tasks. These can be requested by the customer’s Product Owners, SRE shift or as an outcome of findings from the monitoring team. They also cover SLA tasks, mainly focused on incident management and overall monitoring of service improvements.

We have a customer-centric attitude, so we present all reports and metrics during monthly meetings attended by all stakeholders on both the client's and Chaos Gears’ sides. The greatest benefit of this approach is that everyone is aware and kept up to date with the latest implementations, workflows, and future demands.

The Solution

Automation as an essential part

We created centralized CI/CD pipelines with GitHub Actions, planning to share workloads that are maintained in a single repository and used across the organization.

In addition, we set up the ArgoCD platform for the deployment of containerized applications to Kubernetes clusters on AWS to apply GitOps practices.

We automated individual stages of change delivery to the code or for conducting tests. As a result, this approach speeds up the process of introducing changes to the production environment significantly and makes them more reliable. Finally, we are able to minimize the risk of errors being introduced to code.

Taking a DevOps approach allows our team to add new functions, fix errors, and work faster and more efficiently. This is the most important benefit, with the client able to observe the team delivering improvements and benefits across development and operations, with aligned people and processes. This streamlined approach allows clients and developers to see positive results and a clear set of future goals.

Close communication between team and client reveals our developers sharing knowledge about the systems, and the SRE team's willingness to understand applications. This lets us design and implement the most suitable infrastructure and monitoring solutions that bring value to the client.

Reviews and testing pipelines enabled the organization to deliver improvements faster. Through guidance and support to the dev teams, providing them with the knowledge they need to submit changes, simultaneously ensuring reliability, security, and compliance by designing testing pipelines, reviews, and close collaboration with specialists like SRE or Cloud engineers.

By creating the standards for collaboration between development and migration teams, and building a knowledge base around migrated systems that contains troubleshooting support information and architecture descriptions creates long-term value and shortens the time needed to solve future issues.

The Outcome

The AWS services and other technologies that support business and DevOps culture

The DevOps culture was crucial for implementing an observability system using the DataDog platform and defining all agreed-on organization-wide standards. With knowledge about how applications should behave, the SRE team can propose gathering key metrics and events.

Implementing this approach and creating alerts and notifications that are essential to good performance creates a strong baseline. Then, by spreading this knowledge in the form of analytics, documents and meetings, other teams can learn and implement the approach on their own. The SRE supervisory was critical to maintaining consistency for configurations.

We implemented many various AWS services. The AWS Config services and Service Control Policies functionality allowed the creation and development of compliance verification mechanisms. By preparing the custom standard, EC2 instances of AWS workloads are able to use the latest updates of Amazon Machine Image. We provided a template for securely storing and reading secrets using AWS Secrets Manager and Hashicorp Vault. We use AWS Backup to back up essential data. Building a custom template based on an S3 bucket allowed us to minimize log storage costs in the long term. We created a highly effective blue/green deployment solution for EKS based on GitHub actions and helm charts while maintaining the Infrastructure as a Code approach. We constantly develop the infrastructure using Terraform.

The benefits of DevOps culture

The introduction of DevOps culture, practices and tools has improved the client's performance. Through the high-performance DevOps approach, rapid software delivery, improved and automated security and compliance testing, solution optimization and rapid response are part of business as usual.

By adopting a best-practices-based approach, our client from the telecom sector is evolving into a performance-based IT organization, with our support for multiple accounts, and hundreds of AWS instances. Our client can address new challenges faster and scale business better, with improved communications thanks to this cultural shift that will benefit the business whatever challenges it faces.    

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Trusted tools

AWS Organizations
AWS Organizations
EC2
EC2
Amazon EKS
Amazon EKS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
AWS Backup
AWS Backup
Terraform
Terraform
AWS Secrets Manager
AWS Secrets Manager
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