Based in India, Sterlite Technologies Ltd. (STL) builds and delivers operations support systems (OSS), business support systems (BSS), digital commerce, wifi, and other software for telecom operators across the globe.

With customers in more than 150 countries, “our products are customized and configured according to customer needs and deployed on customer infrastructure, which range from bare metal, hypervisor-based virtualization, and OpenStack private cloud to the increased adoption of public cloud platforms in recent times,” says Ajay Iyer, VP – Platform R&D at STL. “This meant a delivery cycle in the range of 15-18 months and deployment time of 3-5 days.”

And for STL, that wasn’t nearly good enough. Says Iyer: “We wanted to pursue a ‘build once and run anywhere’ theme, with no dependency of underlying infrastructure, to achieve web scale and cloud native capabilities and reach outcomes faster. Today, the demand for and adoption of cloud native solutions is increasing exponentially globally in the telecom industry, so we wanted to cater to this demand and stay competitive.”

The team believed that with features such as autoscaling, self-healing, and automated rollouts and rollbacks, Kubernetes orchestration could achieve that for STL. The company was already using Docker containers, and after evaluating multiple platforms, decided to go with Kubernetes, “primarily for its impeccable community support,” says Iyer.

The platform team started transforming standard telecom enterprise applications to cloud native and network grade applications to CNFs (cloud native network functions) on Kubernetes in mid-2018. STL’s cloud native stack also includes ELK; Ambassador API gateway; Prometheus and Grafana, which are used as the default monitoring system for capturing application KPIs, underlying system, and OS monitoring and usage detail tracking; Envoy and Jaeger as a service proxy layer for the company’s microservices-based solutions; and Helm, which is STL’s de-facto package manager for all application deliverables including new version releases and patch releases.

In 2019, an organization-wide program was rolled out to modernize all products with web-scale and cloud native principals and onboard them on the Kubernetes platform.

For good reason. Kubernetes helped thoroughly modernize STL’s products portfolio, says Iyer: “With web-scale and cloud native capabilities, clear segregation of infrastructure and application layer, auto-scaling, self-healing and automated single-touch application version, and patch rollouts and rollbacks, we are able to make overall deliveries faster by 70%, reduce deployment times from 3-5 days to a couple of hours, depending on the size of the production environment, with complete automation.” The delivery cycle has now been decreased to 6 months.

Read more about STL’s cloud native journey and results in the full case study.