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T-2 builds as-a-Service infrastructure for Slovenian businesses

T-2, one of Slovenia’s largest telecommunications providers, sought to respond to market demand for as-a-Service offerings that support rapid, on-demand development and scalability. Its new platform, built with Red Hat OpenShift and massive-scale storage employing Red Hat Ceph Storage, provides rapid insight capabilities and high performance at the network edge for business, government, and energy customers. Now, T-2 can take advantage of new revenue opportunities and serve as a pioneer for hybrid cloud and intelligent device adoption across the region.

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Benefits:

  • Created new revenue opportunities by introducing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings
  • Improved data storage and compliance for the most demanding applications
  • Established more agile culture with automated, self-service processes
  • Improved responsiveness with flexible deployment options

Leading Slovenia’s adoption of hybrid cloud and microservices

New digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G connectivity, are transforming industries and consumer lifestyles. They promise to affect almost every aspect of life, from transportation and healthcare to home management and beyond. In response, companies and organizations are seeking flexible Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) with instantly scalable containerized architecture to rapidly develop and deploy solutions.

T-2 is one of Slovenia’s largest telecommunications providers to individuals and businesses, operating network infrastructure in major cities across the country. To respond to digital market opportunities, T-2 is building new services to become an industry platform provider or container, edge, and IaaS solutions to businesses and governments. T-2 sought to adopt an open architecture model that could support rapid development and deployment—at any scale and across any network topology. 

“Our goal is to be more flexible and responsive. To do so, we need to improve developer productivity by introducing self-service IT and automating time-consuming processes,” said Gašper Žerovnik, Head of Digital Transformation, T-2. 

Building a scalable, flexible foundation with Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat Ceph Storage, and Red Hat OpenStack Platform

Working with Softergee, a Red Hat partner and regional IT service provider, T-2 decided to build its new digital services infrastructure using enterprise open source technology from Red Hat.

“We wanted a scalable, responsive IT architecture with support for microservices, automation, and legacy systems, backed by enterprise support and security,” said Vladimir Smrekar, Head of IT System Integration Department, T-2. “After evaluating different vendors, we found that Red Hat offers a complete, integrated software stack that could deliver what we need to support and grow our business.” 

Red Hat OpenStack Platform provides a modular foundation for compute, storage, and networks across existing, traditional applications and cloud-native development and deployment. Integrated closely with OpenStack, Red Hat Ceph Storage supports instant virtual machine (VM) provisioning to support the petabytes and more of data generated by emerging workloads like edge. 

Red Hat OpenShift, a Kubernetes container platform, provides consistent, automated operations across environments—whether on-premise, cloud, or hybrid. Operators extend the core platform with integrated runtime, storage, or networking capabilities. It supports T-2’s edge deployment with virtual server gateways for the company’s applications, such as Smart Cities, a platform that connects digital services via a data lake generated from IoT and smart home measurement devices, smart transport, and more.

Accelerating country-wide digital transformation

Created new, local revenue opportunities

With a container-based IT platform, T-2 can create advanced as-a-Service offerings and enter new markets, from startups to government agencies and beyond. As its competitors tend to focus on infrastructure modernization without Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions for customers to access resources on demand, these new offerings give T-2 a unique competitive advantage in Slovenia and the wider region. 

“Across the region, many traditional businesses are looking to begin digital transformation and move their IT infrastructure to the more flexible, scalable cloud,” said Žerovnik. “Local government, enterprise, or tech start-ups needn’t look abroad for solutions to create and support automated, standardized, cloud-native applications. They can find a strong local service provider that better understands their needs and local legislation.”

Improved data storage and compliance

T-2 has used Red Hat OpenShift to extend its IT infrastructure to the network edge, including gateways and other data-gathering services close to data sources. Now, T-2 can collect and process massive volumes of data from multiple sources. Additionally, for many projects in Slovenia, T-2 can now provide the compliance assurance that their data will remain inside the country.

Additionally, the self-healing capabilities of Red Hat Ceph Storage can find data degradation and overwrite with the correct information—a function that also supports replicating data off-site for recovery purposes.

“Red Hat Ceph Storage gives us highly scalable, highly available software-defined storage that can be presented as object, block, or file storage to provide a back end for IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS [Software-as-a-Service] offerings,” said Vladimir Smrekar, Head of IT System Integration, T-2. “It’s more powerful than the community Gluster solution we also use.”

Established new, efficient work approach for a more agile culture 

By adopting responsive, scalable software to create its new IT infrastructure, T-2’s teams—and the service provider’s as-a-Service customers—can work more efficiently to build, test, deploy, and update applications and solutions at the speed of demand. 

Instead of manually completing routine tasks like infrastructure management, configuration, and allocation, developers and other staff can automate processes—such as VM provisioning, establishing isolated network connectivity between VMs, and using platform-level firewalls to establish security zones in those networks. Automation scripts can be reused for new projects, supporting a continuous development approach that focuses on creating innovative new services, now offered to customers in a self-service catalog. 

Improved responsiveness with flexible deployment options

With platforms that are designed to run across clouds and on-premise environments, T-2 has not only improved its current ability to deploy applications and services where needed, but also created a foundation for future hybrid infrastructure. This flexibility will let T-2 migrate its applications from a central datacenter to operate closer to where data is generated and gain faster data insight.

“With Red Hat‘s cloud-agnostic solutions, we can develop once and then quickly and easily deploy across on-site, private cloud, or public cloud environments with the same tools and web interface,” said Smrekar. “By extending our public cloud solutions, with data processed on edge-deployed Red Hat OpenShift, our customers can use cloud resources in multiple regions through a unified interface, including geographical resource allocation in line with their edge strategies.”

Planning the future with smart city innovation

T-2 plans to showcase the flexibility and scalability of its new as-a-Service infrastructure through existing projects. The Smart Cities platform is already successfully in use by some municipalities for needs like parking, waste management, and air quality.

The service provider plans to continue refining the platform and is considering adding Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat 3scale API Management integration technology, as well as Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform and Red Hat’s single sign-on (SSO) technology.

“We are also developing a Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service solution,“ said Žerovnik. “We know the T-2 Smart Cities platform will continue to grow and evolve with strong support from the European Union to boost development in local environments. Using Red Hat technology means we have the right infrastructure and the expert support to confidently communicate our capabilities and plans to customers—no matter how ambitious their plans are.”

About T-2

T-2 offers users quality and reliable telecommunications, information, and media services. Established as one of Slovenia’s key operators in 2004, it has since led the creation and development of the Slovenian telecommunications market with its technological solutions. T-2 prides itself in taking care of its loyal customers and providing them with state-of-the-art telecommunications services at affordable, competitive prices. https://www.t-2.net/

 

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