Re-posted from Microsoft Case Studies
By moving to Windows Server we ve saved around 80% on licensing costs and dramatically reduced provisioning times for new virtual machines.
Matthew Proctor, General Manager Data Centre & Cloud, Primus Telecom
With the advent of cloud computing, Primus Telecom found itself dramatically transitioning toward cloud technology. We began building a cloud environment in the mid 2000s and launched our cloud services formally in 2008 with the acquisition of bespoke Managed Services Provider Imagineering Technology, recounts Matthew Proctor, General Manager of Data Centre & Cloud at Primus Telecom. Our customer base grew faster than we anticipated so we started to expand our offering. Until 2012, Primus Telecom s cloud platform was almost entirely based on VMware. The solution had allowed their cloud offering to grow steadily, but there were a few frustrations building – licensing was inflexible and expensive. Simple routine tasks, like provisioning new customer environments, took up to 40 minutes. Another significant issue was the lack of local support, says Proctor. We began reviewing alternatives, but were concerned about risking an immature solution.
Primus Telecom were already using Microsoft products in other areas, so when they began to consider alternatives to VMware, they were happy to be approached to try Windows Server 2012. Microsoft demonstrated a significant commitment to supporting us, with pre-sales technical and mentoring support, recalls Proctor. We introduced Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V over six months and seamlessly integrated it with our existing cloud computing platform.
The team were so pleased with the product that they decided to focus on Hyper-V as the base hypervisor for their core cloud computing infrastructure. Primus implemented a highly available Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) platform based on Hyper-V. We re now running the full System Center 2012 suite, including Operations Manager, Orchestrator and VM Manager. We ve begun to adopt the entire ecosystem, says Proctor. The new platform can be used to offer commercial services to Primus Telecom customers, including private and hybrid cloud environments.
A holistic view of their business by Microsoft was what drew Primus Telecom to the platform, but the team have experienced other benefits too. Fundamentally, the Microsoft platform performs on par, and in many areas exceeds in terms of performance, offers more flexible licensing options, as well as being mature and reliable, says Proctor. System Center 2012 also allows us to improve automation of our provisioning and management tasks, which makes workflows easier for staff while reducing operational and staffing costs. Licensing costs alone are down by 80 percent, allowing us to focus our operational expenditure on business growth.
Reliable local support, 24/7: Comprehensive 24/7 support including technical support, licensing support, solution design support, marketing support and more has been hugely appreciated by the Primus Telecom team, who were previously frustrated by lack of local support from their other products. They also liked the way Microsoft experts helped them tackle other opportunities. Microsoft helped us design the most appropriate solution for our customers, creating more market opportunities, says Proctor. Their premium technical support has been invaluable, he adds.
Simple, intuitive ecosystem: Most of Primus Telecom s customer base are already using Microsoft products. It made a lot sense to align ourselves with the software used by our customers so we could offer more integrated and compelling capabilities, says Proctor.
Mature, reliable solution: It was important that Primus Telecom implement a mature solution that integrated with their existing platforms, such as support and billing. Integration was a complicated task with our previous cloud platform, and proved difficult to integrate with our other solutions. But with Microsoft we are efficiently moving towards a single integrated environment.
More efficient workflows for staff: Primus Telecom have seen a huge improvement in automation timeframes. We can spin up new customer machines and environments much faster than we could previously, says Proctor. The process used to be complicated and would take 30-40 minutes per machine. The exact same process with Hyper-V is much more automated and only takes about 5-7 minutes. It s basically drag and drop. It s dramatically easier.