A smart journey to containerization

Rather than keep an aging monolith up and running, Vodafone took the opportunity to re-architect their legacy system as containerized microservices.

About Vodafone

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecoms and technology service providers. They have extensive experience in connectivity, convergence and the Internet of Things, as well as championing mobile financial services and digital transformation in emerging markets.

Vodafone Group Services GmbH provides data center services as well as supporting business processes. It operates as a subsidiary of Vodafone Group. Vodafone Group Services GmbH helps subsidiaries and affiliates of Vodafone Group achieve their business objectives, by providing IT services, infrastructure, and best practices. They believe that IT is a means to meet business objectives. Their goal is to facilitate the business achievements of their customers, with the best infrastructure they can provide.


The journey to containerization

Vodafone Group Services were struggling with an old, monolithic platform that had incurred high levels of complexity and interdependency in addition to a substantial upgrade deficit. As a result, they could no longer continue to maintain it without operational and security risks. They needed to start fresh with new technology.

Giant Swarm provided a highly automated management cluster to manage Kubernetes and the cloud-native stack. This product comes wrapped in a service that increased Vodafone’s peace of mind while adopting moving to the cloud. The partnership with Giant Swarm eased the ramp up of the cloud-native architecture. There was available portability with no lock-in, providing an easy pivot in case of failure. This safe starting point enabled Vodafone to take the leap into a microservices architecture. It also eliminated the challenges of running on an environment that was not well-known to the Vodafone staff.

“We could not move a business-critical system on to something we were unfamiliar with, so we partnered with someone who knows how to run containers at scale.”

Markus van Laak, Principal Manager Digital Enablers, Vodafone Group Services

A blueprint for cloud-native projects

Partnering with Giant Swarm, Vodafone Group Services GmbH has created a blueprint for building and maintaining cloud-native projects. This blueprint is now being adopted throughout Vodafone Group, especially with Kubernetes projects that are moving from the experimental phase to production.

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