MOBILE : NPC Goes Virtual with Intuate Group
Recent Gauteng Business News
Number Portability Company (NPC), the local organisation which provides a number of porting services such as the virtual project for both mobile number operators as well as for fixed line (geographic number) operators, recently updated and virtualised its IT infrastructure by means of a joint agreement between Saab Grintek Technologies (SGT), T-Systems and the Intuate Group.
As part of this collaboration, SGT provided support and implementation services for the completion of upgraded software from Telcordia Technologies, a developer of mobile, broadband and enterprise communications software and services, while T-Systems supplied equipment hosting facilities and network management capabilities into the NPC equipment stack.
Intuate Group, a privately owned, broad-based IT company that focuses on providing professional integrated technology, provided the hardware, software and virtualisation expertise for the project.
NPC Upgrades Ageing Infrastructure and Goes Virtual
According to David Jones, executive: managed services at Intuate Group, NPC needed to upgrade its ageing infrastructure. NPCs requirement was to replace the outdated stand-alone type of environment for one that was a virtual version, therefore leveraging resource usage and manageability and ensuring that it was no longer dependent on a particular hardware/ software/ firmware platform.
As part of the virtualisation project, Intuate Group assisted NPC in making the most of its new virtual environment, allowing for improved alertness of hardware, operating systems and infrastructure portions of the application.
On the hardware side, the virtualised environment has enabled NPC to decrease the number of devices from around 20 servers (including the test and disaster recovery sites) to five new Intel machines, so to a large extent containing the capex and opex use compared to a one-for-one refresh of the existing platform. In addition, we, in conjunction with NPC, wanted to improve the companys overall IT efficiency by simplifying its backup and storage environment. In order to achieve this, NPCs existing storage and tape drive systems were replaced with the appropriate NAS solution which enabled NPC to further enhance its offsite replication methodology, said David.
NPCs Virtual Project is Live
A combination of Oracle Virtual Server and VMware vSphere virtualisation software is enabling NPC to maximise hardware usage, and to deal with existing - and future - porting volumes. This has met NPCs requirement to future proof the operation and allow for a potential move onto any hardware platform supporting virtualisation in the future. In addition, this solution has had a direct impact on holding operating system and application software licensing costs.
The project went live early December 2011 after NPC had completed a thorough test phase in the month prior.
The move over to the new environment was pretty much flawless, users experienced virtually no disruption to their current porting processes and were by and large unaware of the switchover from old to new platforms, Jones adds.
Intuate Group Delivers on the Virtualisation
In an addition of its partnership, Intuate Group is also looking at collaborating with NPC with a view improving its current back-office and administration environment.
NPC chose to partner with Intuate Group, as one of the parties in the virtual refresh project, due to our innovative approach, ability to deliver on the virtualisation requirement, our transparency and competitive pricing, Jones says.
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