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This Pliant customer is a leading global carrier, operating one of the largest nationwide 5G wireless networks while delivering services to over 100 million customers globally. The company is growing at an expedited rate, tripling its LTE coverage within the last decade, while laying the foundation for a 5G rollout.

The Challenge

The group Pliant partners with is responsible for all internal IT and Infrastructure management, supporting 100s of IT engineers in the US alone. At the start of the engagement, the unit was seeking to streamline the way they supported their internal customers, beginning with how they created and maintained virtualization infrastructure across platforms.

The primary driver related to limitations in the tool they were using for VM management, vRealize. The product, however well-suited for certain product- specific use cases, was unable to provide the simplicity, scalability, and performance they required. Specifically, vRealize prevented end customers from interacting with other platforms beyond VMware. This meant that the team was forced to manually script multiple sub-flows in order to wrap up different VMware operations.

A second but no less important priority for the group was the capability to support additional cloud providers seamlessly in the same portal. In addition to adopting a flexible and future-proof interface, the customer required near-term support for technologies from OpenStack, Kubernetes, and more.

The Solution

Our champion was determined to build support for next-generation applications and services for the 5G launch. Additionally, they wanted the capability to build VMs with ServiceNow. The customer turned to Pliant’s low- code customization capabilities to improve their ability to simply instantiate highly performant infrastructure compute.

Pliant enabled the team to customize business logic, which varies from site- to-site and situation-to-situation. Any business logic the company sent was captured and automated for maximum flexibility and customization. Pliant’s architecture made it easy to create a bespoke front-end to drive the custom workflows.

The web-based interface leads end-users through a VM deployment wizard which reduces the time to deploy up to 10 VMs to just 2 minutes — an 80%+ reduction. Once the user signs in, they choose which environment they need (VMware or OpenStack) as each has predefined guardrails and sizes with their own configuration decisions. Pliant ingests this information, takes care of the rest, and sends a follow-up email straight to the user when the build is complete.

In short order, Pliant delivered a personalized solution that addressed the customer’s business needs, executing their business logic as code. Pliant’s broad cross-vendor integrations empowered end users to create turnkey virtual machines with no direct interaction with supporting systems or teams. The customer worked with Pliant to embrace out-of- the-box Pliant capabilities, via a personalized and modern user interface, powered by a single unified orchestration platform.

“Adding to our challenge,” the team lead told Pliant “the VMware API is powerful, but it’s complicated and forces us to script workflows manually. We need to simplify and streamline these large and complex VMware workflows and we need to do it all in one place — quickly and easily.”

Results to Date

  • 95% of all VM requests are now fully self-service and automated
  • Building compute went from 7–10 business days down to 20 minutes
  • Hundreds of VMs per month / thousands per year (15,000 in total)
  • All internal IT is open to hundreds of end users
  • Unlocked the ability to build compute across multiple platforms:
    • VMW
    • OpenStack
    • Cloud
    • ServiceNow
    • Infoblox

Next Steps

Following the development and successful deployment of this bespoke portal powered by Pliant, the customer intends to leverage the same user interface, concepts and capabilities to automate the creation of additional infrastructure elements. By democratizing IT, the team looks to further empower its internal customers to self- serve their infrastructure needs. Their consistent end goal is to accelerate time-to- market of new applications and services that support their 5G maturity, and they’re able to do so with Pliant.

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