Algar Telecom simplifies container management and accelerates innovation with SUSE

Points clés

  • First telecommunications company in Brazil to deploy Rancher Prime for Kubernetes cluster management.
  • Reliable local support underpinned by iron-clad SLAs.
  • Single point of control for all Kubernetes clusters.
  • Local language support.
  • Empowers trained in-house IT staff to run the solution effectively.
  • From planning to production in just 4 months.
  • New instances created in minutes.


Algar Telecom is part of the Algar Group and has a broad portfolio of telecom and IT solutions to serve corporate (B2B) and retail (B2C) customers. The company offers ultra-speed fiber optic internet, high quality cell phones, voice, data and IT services, including cloud and network security services, as well as management systems for small businesses.

After 67 years in the market, it has a modern infrastructure, supported by a network of 112,000 km of optical fiber that currently serves more than 372 cities, in 16 states in Brazil and in the Federal District. For all these locations, the company invests in personalized, consultative and effective service to deliver increased quality to customers.

Algar Telecom is a publicly held company, listed on the stock exchange since 2007, and is committed to the best corporate governance practices. There are more than 4,500 associates — as the company’s employees are called — committed to maintaining a close relationship with its customers and high quality services, with sustainable and innovative practices.


To enhance customer services with new data-driven offerings, Algar adopted an agile infrastructure based on Docker containers. As the environment grew, Algar found that managing containers using standard Kubernetes required significant manual effort, threatening to divert resources away from service innovation activities.

To solve this challenge, Algar partnered with SSYS to deploy Rancher Prime — gaining powerful automation tools and orchestration patterns that streamline the deployment, the scaling and the management of Kubernetes clusters. SSYS also provided certified training in Rancher Prime to facilitate the migration.

Innovating and protecting customer services

Algar relies on an extensive stack of business applications, including mission-critical systems for telecommunications network management that help ensure customer services are always available.

Marcos Borges, DC/Telco applications manager at Algar Telecom, explains: “Our company runs on data, and as a result we’re always looking for new and more effective ways to deliver digital services to our customers. As part of that commitment to continuous innovation, Algar is making significant investments in containerization.”

To promote agility and accelerate service innovation — a key premise of NEXT, Algar Telecom’s Technological Transformation Program — the company is migrating business applications to Docker containers. However, the IT team soon realized that manual approaches to managing new environments would quickly become impractical. To solve the challenge, the company decided to leverage Kubernetes to automate the deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications.

“Rancher Prime makes it easier for our IT staff to manage and scale a large container environment. As a result, we can spend less time on repetitive manual tasks and more time on value-added development.”

Embracing container management automation

To simplify container management processes and ensure the highest levels of scalability and availability for business applications, Algar Telecom found a way to gain a single point of control for all its Kubernetes clusters. After reviewing enterprise offerings from several leading vendors, the company selected Rancher Prime — an open source, multi-cluster orchestration platform for all its Kubernetes distributions.

“Reliable local support was one of our key criteria for a new solution, as we wanted the certainty of a contract with iron-clad service level agreements [SLAs],” says Wendel de Melo, head of IT at Algar Telecom. “With SUSE, we receive documentation and support in our local language, with the assurance of deeper support from a worldwide organization.”

Melo adds: “In addition to the high-quality support behind the solution, we were impressed by the advanced management capabilities that Rancher Prime offers over standard Kubernetes. For example, we can now use Rancher Prime to update Kubernetes versions automatically at the touch of a button. Crucially, this process is orchestrated node by node, and staged across the entire cluster in a way that maintains full availability for our mission-critical applications.”

Working together with local SUSE business partner, SSYS, Algar successfully integrated Rancher Prime into its Kubernetes environment. In just four months, SSYS helped the company take the project from planning to production.

Gearing for success with SUSE Training

To minimize its total cost of ownership and maximize reliability, it was critical for Algar to be able to manage its Rancher Prime environment with in-house resources. As an authorized SUSE Training Partner, SSYS provided best-in-class training, delivering the Kubernetes Administration (KUB201) and Rancher Administration (RAN201) training courses. The training courses ran over five days, blending instructor facilitation with extensive hands-on technical labs to reinforce the techniques learned in the classroom.

The Algar Telecom team is now up to date on containers and orchestration, in addition to understanding in detail the RKE cluster (Rancher Kubernetes Engine) in which the workload runs. They are also able to successfully manage and administer Kubernetes clusters. “The practical laboratory experience was invaluable and really helped us to start working with Rancher Prime,” confirms Borges.

Taking the lead in Brazil’s telecommunications marketplace

Through its partnership with SSYS, Algar Telecom has become the first telecommunications company in Brazil to deploy Rancher Prime for Kubernetes cluster management. Today, the company operates separate clusters for staging and production, with containers running on worker per cluster. The company was already evolving in a pioneering way for this scenario, from the use of Network Functions Virtualization (NFVs) and telecom platforms on top of containers.

Using built-in tools and patterns in Rancher Prime, and thanks to the expert training from SSYS, Algar’s IT team can now complete tasks such as assigning more application instances to a cluster within minutes — accelerating management tasks and reducing the risk of human error.

“Through a single, intuitive interface, we can easily assign which clouds or environments our development teams can access, helping us to maintain our rigorous information security and data governance standards,” says Melo. “Unlike other management systems, Rancher Prime has a completely open architecture, which means there is no risk of vendor lock-in.

“Rancher Prime has provided autonomy to our development and DevOps teams, allowing us to have more agility and flexibility. In addition to that, the tool provides us with mechanisms so that we can prototype and experiment, helping us innovate. With this platform, we were finally able to implement practices such as InfraAsCode (Infrastructure as Code), using approaches such as GitOps to take advantage of this flexibility and agility in the implementation of project infrastructure in a practical way.”

With Rancher Prime, Algar can focus on building next-generation digital services with the peace of mind that its entire stack — including Rancher Prime, Kubernetes and Docker — is supported by a trusted local partner.

“Rancher Prime makes it easy for our IT team to manage and scale an extensive container environment,” concludes Borges. “As a result, we can spend less time on repetitive, manual tasks and more time on value-added development — ultimately accelerating service innovation and helping us provide higher quality customer experiences.”