If a decision needs to be made on how to consolidate the data centre of a telecommunications giant that operates nearly eight million mobile and fixed lines, provides internet connections and operates digital TV broadcasting, you need really a lot of information, experience and courage. This case study is about one such decision.

hours of analysis
processors saved
investment savings
grey hair

"The stamp of an external expert such as ORBIT is a guarantee for us that the proposed solution will stand up in the future. The whole concept of the NTW datacenter consolidation respects the new trends in IT infrastructure."
Jiří Kouba, Cloud & OSS manager, O2

O2 & Network datacentre consolidation | ORBIT


Infrastructure spread across multiple sites, different hardware ages and running on different platforms. In such a situation, when it came toO2 moving the network datacenter (NTWDC) to a modern new building was on the agenda, we couldn't miss it to clean up and optimize.

The key question of the consolidation project was obvious: What should the architecture of the new NTW DC look like? However, we needed more answers: can the NTWDC operation be linked with the current internal IT systems, whose migration has already been carried out earlier? Can we ensure a virtually fail-safe migration of systems that are key to running the services?

When deciding which external supplier to commission to find the answers, O2 were fortunately clear. A positive experience decidedthat the company had with us from the previous year. The project implemented at that time Moreover, it was based on similar needs as the current project.


Network datacentre (or datacentre for mobile and fixed network management) differs from a classical IT datacentre by the interconnection of application units with hardware that controls the actual operation of networks and value-added services (e.g. O2 TV). Specific technical support is provided by companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, etc., and it is therefore difficult to virtualise these datacentres or arbitrarily change their configuration. Operational failures of NTW DCs have to be solved within tens of seconds.

Network datacenter O2 | ORBIT


We have consistently managed the entire project ORBIT methodology 160+. In the case of infrastructure change, it includes in particular a detailed analysis of the applications, their operation and support options.

It took approximately four months to measure the actual virtual environment on more than 30 hosts, about 200 physical servers and 20 application units. Thanks to technology Densify we have gained detailed insights into the management and actual power reserves of the current O2 virtual farm resources.

Through discussions with application owners and administrators, we collected technical, licensing and financial data on the units measured. At the same time, during series of workshops discussed the current and future architecture of NTWDC with O2 specialists. And after half a year we had enough... We mean data and information.


  • Capacity and architectural analysis of the current NTW DC infrastructure
  • Decide on the degree of synergy of NTW DC operations
  • Design a new NTW DC architecture
  • Quantify the TCO of the possible options
  • Adapt datacenter consolidation to the schedule of the ongoing datacenter move


After a challenging aggregation of all data and requirements, we successfully created Optimal architecture design NTW DC plans to consolidate all virtualizable application units into a single platform. We have clearly illustrated the necessary capacity expansion of the existing infrastructure over time, as well as the design of the newly proposed architecture.

The project plan of the preferred variant of datacentre consolidation by scalculation was subsequently submitted to the O2 Investment Committee for approval. significant savings on hardware and licences.

NTWDC operations must meet demanding criteria for continuous operation, power balancing and availability across logically independent geoclusters. In short, the operating conditions at NTWDC are much tougher than the operator's internal IT systems. After all, who would want a text message to take five minutes to arrive?

"By compiling a complete cost picture of the systems in operation, we have defended the option of converging server and data storage infrastructure into a single entity within VMware vSAN. This solution has long-term benefits in terms of performance and flexibility."
Kamil Kovář, Business Consultant, ORBIT
Consolidation of O2 network datacentre | ORBIT


When you're rebuilding infrastructure, you can mark it with a "We need to fix it" sign and then hide away for a few weeks. For the NTW DC operator, however, this approach is not an option.

Part of the delivery of our services was therefore the phasing of the application migration so that the only necessary outages. Calm technicians = happy project sponsor.

It was all about the technology. VO2 was also praised by the influence of our experts on usually stubborn application administrators. Their corporate colleagues would not be able to get them to cooperate to a comparable degree, while the mandate of a large project and external consultants with real data and experience could make things move significantly.

"The key people of ORBIT have professionally and humanly fit into our team. They brought refreshing outside perspectives, unencumbered by O2's operations and internal rules, and over time the line between our employee and contractor virtually disappeared."
Jiří Kouba, Cloud & OSS manager, O2


  • Designed converged NTW DC architecture based on VMware vSAN
  • Future savings of 57 % of processor cores, 41 % of physical memory and 35 % of maintenance and development costs
  • Limiting the risk of avoidable licensing costs for databases and middleware machines
  • Build an optimal virtualization plan for applications now running on physical machines


We closed the project of network datacenter consolidation with a presentation of the future concept (75th project meeting!), and on the originally agreed date. Satisfaction with the results of the mutual cooperation led O2 very soon to consider the implementation of other technologies that were not part of the project and other the development of the virtual platform towards greater automation.

So we have not only handed over a wagonload of information and our own experience to the client, but also a drop of courage needed in the future to make courageous informed decisions.

Cost distribution of VMware vSAN in O2 | ORBIT