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Case study

Colombian business group builds private cloud with Red Hat

Last updated: September 4, 2020

Colombian business group Grupo ASD specializes in public- and private-sector IT and business process outsourcing, including more than 20 years working with the country’s National Civil Registry. To meet market demand for digital, cloud-based services, Grupo ASD created a private cloud for as-a-Service offerings using Red Hat OpenStack Platform, supported by storage and automation solutions. With this new environment, the company can offer flexible, scalable services to customers, take advantage of its existing IT investments, and continue its journey to hybrid cloud.
 

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Benefits

  • Improved IT performance and costs by repurposing existing hardware
  • Created reliable foundation for new, cloud-based services
  • Gained experience to maximize technology investment with expert-led training

Adopting a hybrid cloud approach to stay competitive

As cloud technology has matured, organizations worldwide are finding new ways to take advantage of its speed and flexibility to stay competitive. Grupo ASD, a Columbian company that provides business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT solutions, sought to improve its market position with new as-a-Service offerings, such as biometrics systems. 

As the first step of its new hybrid cloud strategy, Grupo ASD decided to build a private cloud to continue to scale beyond its existing physical infrastructure, comprising more than 320 servers.

“We want to use innovative technologies to create new digital services and improve our customer experience,” said Víctor Morales, Director of Infrastructure and IT Services, at Grupo ASD. “To accomplish this goal while continuing to take advantage of our existing computing resources, we needed to create a private cloud infrastructure that could transition to hybrid cloud in the future. We also needed the right management tools to maintain this environment.”

Building a private cloud with Red Hat and Dell Technologies

Grupo ASD worked closely with Dell Technologies, its hardware vendor and technology partner, and Red Hat Services, to begin planning its private cloud. As an experienced user of open source software like Linux and open source SQL databases, Grupo ASD decided to use Red Hat OpenStack Platform as the foundation of its new cloud environment.

“We knew that to bring this technology transformation process forward, we needed the help of a trusted vendor,” said Morales. “We were familiar with Red Hat’s outstanding references and reputation as one of the leading technology companies. With key partnerships with other leaders like Microsoft and a strong presence in open source communities, we saw that Red Hat would offer us the innovation backed by the reassurance we needed during our hybrid cloud journey.”

Grupo ASD uses Red Hat OpenStack Platform as the foundation of its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering by virtualizing hardware resources and making them available on demand to users in the cloud. Red Hat OpenStack Platform provides a bridge between existing, traditional applications and new, cloud-native applications, simplifying both development and operations work through a consistent, automated delivery model and self-service capabilities.

In addition, the company deployed Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, an agentless IT automation platform that helps teams manage complex, multi-tier deployments and automate repetitive tasks.  Red Hat Ceph Storage, a software-defined solution integrated with Red Hat OpenStack Platform and its services, lets Grupo ASD provide scalable Storage-as-Service on industry-standard hardware to its customers.

Optimizing service performance and costs 

Repurposed hardware for cost-effective performance

Migrating to a private cloud environment based on Red Hat OpenStack Platform has helped Grupo ASD optimize its hardware use. By repurposing more than 100 underused servers, the company can now provide faster, more stable services to customers.

“For example, we had hardware that was used for services related to the Colombian electoral process,” said Morales. “With Red Hat OpenStack Platform, we can now use it to support new, cloud-like services based on Kubernetes containers and run workloads on either physical or virtual machines.”

Additionally, improving the use of its existing industry-standard hardware and using Red Hat Ceph Storage has helped Grupo ASD reduce related costs and meet higher customer demand for secure, reliable storage of high volumes of data.

Established reliable foundation for new services

With a cost-effective, efficient production environment supporting better collaboration between sales and technical staff. For example, the company’s teams use Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to control its IT infrastructure through a central, visual dashboard, grant role-based access, and schedule jobs with real-time comments on playbooks. 

As a result, Grupo ASD can continue to create new, innovative solutions for customers like Columbia’s National Electoral Council.

“Our new private cloud capabilities from using Red Hat technology in production are helping us diversify our offerings for both public- and private-sector customers,” said Morales. “We can use our more efficient technology and processes to uphold our reputation for providing transparent, reliable, and secure services.”

Maximized OpenStack investment with expert support and training

Working with Red Hat and Dell Technologies during and after implementation has helped Grupo ASD successfully deploy and operate its new OpenStack environment. Red Hat Training also helped 

“We have worked with Dell Technologies for a long time, and they have worked with Red Hat from negotiation to launch,” said Morales. “Working side by side with Red Hat has been easy compared to other vendors. They have been very collaborative and highly transparent.” 

Engaging Red Hat Training helped the company’s teams learn how to take full advantage of its new technology investment. “Training has played a major role in our success with private cloud from the beginning. Red Hat has helped us learn how to better use the technology to gain the most return on investment.”

Becoming digital service leaders

With its foundation for private cloud—and eventually hybrid cloud—adoption created on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Grupo ASD plans to continue working towards its goal of becoming a digital business leader in Colombia.

“Our greatest advantage from using Red Hat’s solutions is that we will become a technology company with a truly nationwide impact,” said Morales. “Working with Red Hat brings us confidence and reassurance in working towards this goal. We can rely on them to be our business ally in our future projects.”

About Grupo ASD

Grupo ASD is a Colombian company with over 37 years of experience providing business process outsourcing (BPO) and information technology (IT) solutions for the government, health, finance, education, industry, and telecommunications markets.