With a history of over 160 years, SLT-MOBITEL, the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Solutions Provider has served the nation of Sri Lanka’s need for connectivity, operating on fixed, mobile, and other operational segments by offering a range of ICT solutions that cater to consumers with a digital lifestyle including Voice, Fiber, ADSL, 4G LTE, Cloud Services, Enterprise Solutions, wholesale, international ICT solutions, IPTV services, eChannelling and a host of value-added services.
In 2017, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile deployed the first Sub-1G Mobile Broadband Network in Sri Lanka based on a 900MHz spectrum to provide superior coverage to rural areas in the country. Continuing its leadership, in 2018, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile launched the First Commercial 4.5G/4G+ Mobile Network in South Asia and successfully trialed 5G by connecting a commercial Mobile smartphone to its 5G network.
Further, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile has been recognized by Ookla®, the global leader in fixed broadband and mobile network testing applications, data, and analysis as the Fastest Mobile Network consecutively for 2019, 2020, and 2021. A growing customer base stands testament to SLT-MOBITEL’s strong focus laid on National vision, Customer centricity, emulating its credo of ‘The Connection’.
As Sri Lanka’s national Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution provider, SLT-MOBITEL Mobile retains its leading position through an application modernization strategy powered by Rancher Prime. With unprecedented insight into and control of its containerized software landscape on Kubernetes clusters, the organization is accelerating innovation and improving overall operational efficiency.
The journey to containers
Being a forward-thinking organization, SLT-Mobitel’s commitment to enhance its services resulted in an expansion drive through optimizing application development and management by transforming from a monolithic environment to a microservices architecture. Monolithic applications are developed in isolation and must go through extensive testing to check for resource constraints. Although a microservices architecture offers much greater flexibility around resource allocation, it can introduce greater complexity.
To avoid this complexity and take full advantage of microservices, SLT-Mobitel recognized that it needed to closely monitor interdependencies between services. In particular, the company wanted to give project teams full visibility of which services were already available for reuse rather than needing to be built from scratch.
For its application modernization strategy to function, SLT-Mobitel needed a solution that would empower it to manage a multitude of distributed services at scale. The company cannot afford downtime for its services since this would potentially mean losing customers to competitors. At the same time, the company wanted to empower its developers to move nimbly and efficiently.
As enthusiastic users of open-source technology, the SLT-Mobitel IT team made transparency and interoperability top priorities in its search for a new solution. Thinking long-term, the team was also keen to find a future-proof toolset that could evolve alongside the company.
Saman Perera, chief information officer at Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd., says: “At SLT-MOBITEL, we strive to harness the best tools for the job, without limitation, so that our offerings bring more than just a service to our valued stakeholders. Towards this, we opted for one of the leading open source container orchestration solution providers, offering cutting-edge technology solutions.”
SLT-Mobitel selected Rancher Prime, a Kubernetes management platform that includes valuable out-of-the-box features such as cluster configuration at scale, lifecycle management and monitoring. The company engaged SUSE partner V S Information Systems (Pvt) Ltd. to assist with the implementation.
“We’re moving from monolithic to microservices. This drives cost savings that we can reinvest in bringing even more exciting new products and services to our customers,” says Palitha Jayasundara, general manager - enterprise architecture & systems.
“One of the main reasons we chose Rancher Prime is because it is certified by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. We’re ultimately working toward CNCF compliance, and this was an important step in our journey,” says Shaheed Musthalie, head of IT infrastructure planning & BCP.
Today, SLT-Mobitel develops all new applications within Kubernetes clusters managed with Rancher Prime. The company is also converting existing monolithic applications to microservices that will be deployed on the same platform. Musthalie remarks: “We’re undertaking a huge transformation, and Rancher Prime is one of the enablers of this digitalization program.”
Carving out differentiation
Telecom being one of the most rapidly evolving sectors with emerging technologies such as 5G, NB-IOT, AI, Big Data and many more, SLT-Mobitel is finding competitive advantage by cutting time to market for new products and services. With Rancher Prime, the company is unlocking the full potential of containerization through centralized provisioning and dynamic scaling.
As Musthalie puts it: “Thanks to the SUSE solution, we are speeding up the deployment of new applications.”
SLT-Mobitel Mobile is using this transformation project with SUSE and VSIS to push its modernization plans forward, helping it move toward a leaner, more effective application landscape. The ability to manage a complex multi-cluster Kubernetes environment through a single pane of glass is saving the company time while enhancing its capacity for innovation.
Ready for a bright future
Thanks to its vendor-neutral Kubernetes management platform, SLT-Mobitel is free to adapt its technology strategy to changing market conditions and emerging opportunities. The company is making use of extensive Rancher Prime documentation to explore the full possibilities of the solution. Rancher Prime provides great flexibility and the blueprints provided by SUSE have already inspired SLT-Mobitel to modify its methodology. By adopting SUSE best practices and working toward CNCF compliance, the internal team is positioning SLT-Mobitel for success.
What’s next for SLT-Mobitel?
Currently, SLT-Mobitel’s environment is hosted entirely on-premises, though the company is planning to adopt a hybrid cloud approach in the near future. The company will take advantage of full lifecycle support for Kubernetes clusters hosted on leading public cloud platforms through Rancher Prime.