IT Operations Management (ITOM)

How Alestra automated cloud services provisioning to reduce labor effort and grow market share

How Alestra automated cloud services provisioning to reduce labor effort and grow market share


By Carlos Lerma Vázquez, CIO, Alestra


Carlos Lerma Vázquez.pngEditor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series of guest posts by HP Software customers about Automation and Cloud Management use cases. You can read the previous post here.

About the author: Carlos Lerma Vásquez is CIO of Alestra, Mexico’s leading information technology and communications company. Alestra provides integrated IT-telecom managed solutions, including application management, disaster recovery and large-scale data center solutions for the Health, Education, Government and Finance sectors. As CIO, Carlos Lerma Vásquez provides vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives, and is responsible for service delivery of IT Services for customers, and the operation of multiple data centers and 17,000-kilometre optical fibre network throughout Mexico.


Integrated IT-Telecom Managed Solutions for enterprises is a highly competitive business. At Alestra, we manage:

  • Constantly changing technological complexity
  • Customer demand for the utmost in service quality and uptime
  • Relentless pricing pressure from competitors

In many ways, our success hinges on the infrastructure choices we make for our three data centers. We must be the experts and trusted advisors on behalf of our clients, but also protect the costs and risks of our own business.


A critical component of delivering quality Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) services for clients of Enterprise Managed Hosting is how we provision new services. The more seamlessly that we are able to execute requests, the happier our clients will be and the fewer resources we will have to use.


There were four primary drivers for pursuing a cloud service automation platform to manage our VPDC services:

  1. Improve our time to market with new services
  2. Reduce Operational Costs for provisioning and operations
  3. Increase Market Share on IaaS and PaaS
  4. Create a uniquely competitive offer for the market


In order to achieve these goals, we needed a cloud automation platform that is enterprise-ready and secure, and offer multi-platform and multi-vendor support with a multi-tenant, scalable and centralized architecture. Easy deployment and operation were a must, as was bare metal and virtual provisioning.

We found what we needed in HP Cloud and Automation Management (HP CAM): a solution focused on end users and enterprises. It offers an easy-to-use self-service portal (for end users)with end-to-end provisioning and compliance capabilities (built for enterprises). Its flexibility met our requirements for working on multi-platform and multi-vendor environments, as did its centralized architecture of a single point for Cloud and Service Management control.


4 ways we automate service provisioning


We have implemented four specific use cases.


  1. Customer requests a new Hypervisor (VMware) on HP Matrix — When a user requests a new Hypervisor, an operator browses the catalog of available virtual machines on HP Cloud Service Automation (CSA), and selects an appropriate server on HP Matrix. A new virtual machine is provisioned with 3PAR storage via HP Server Automation (SA), and then prepared for the customer. When the new hypervisor resource is available for the user, a notification email is automatically sent.

user request 1.png

2. New hypervisor on a physical rack server — This is a similar process (below), but the operator uses the CSA catalog to select a new server hypervisor on a physical server, which is then provisioned with server automation in our Queretaro data center.


User request 2.png

3. New monitored virtual machine — Once again, the operator browses the CSA catalog, selecting a new Windows or Linux monitored VM as well as the appropriate monitoring package tier, and the new VM is provisioned using SA and automatically patched to the latest update. Provisioning the HP SiteScope application monitoring package (occurs via HP Operations Orchestration (OO).


User request 3.png

4. New enterprise virtual machine — Similar to provisioning a new monitored VM, this process includes a few additional steps to provision network and monitoring for service, management and backup, as well as provision software, such as installing and configuring the backup and antivirus agents.


user request 4.png



How we measured results


The results have been remarkable. First, we now have 100 percent system visibility through centralized configuration management—an important factor in our ability to manage our operations effectively.

We have also reduced the labor effort required for service provisioning by 40 percent—from three days to just two hours.


But perhaps most significantly, adopting this automated approach allowed us to create a unique enterprise offering with clear market differentiation, and Alestra has already increased its market share in IaaS and PaaS by 20 percent.


Our vision for future services


From my perspective as CIO, it’s a clear win: more profitable operations, better services and happier customers. But we’re not stopping there. We continue to focus on customers, working on implementing CSA as a centralized web portal for Alestra end-user self-services, and additional integrations with Cisco UCS, IBM Powerflex and OpenStack services into the HP hybrid cloud suite. We are also integrating the HP hybrid cloud suite of products with the rest of our operations to continue improving operational processes.


Finally, HP hybrid cloud solutions will play an important role in our creation of a continuous delivery offering and DevOps, as well as providing SaaS capabilities to our partners that are currently focused on Microsoft and SAP products.

HP hybrid cloud has proven to be a platform upon which we can improve our own operational efficiency, and provide innovative, market-leading services to our enterprise customers.


Learn more

Read more about HP Cloud and Automation Management and HP Cloud Service Automation.


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About the Author


Nimish Shelat is currently focused on Datacenter Automation and IT Process Automation solutions. Shelat strives to help customers, traditional IT and Cloud based IT, transform to Service Centric model. The scope of these solutions spans across server, network, database and middleware infrastructure. The solutions are optimized for tasks like provisioning, patching, compliance, remediation and processes like Self-healing Incidence Remediation and Rapid Service Fulfilment, Change Management and Disaster Recovery. Shelat has 23 years of experience in IT, 20 of these have been at HP spanning across networking, printing , storage and enterprise software businesses. Prior to his current role as a Manager of Product Marketing and Technical Marketing, Shelat has held positions as Software Sales Specialist, Product Manager, Business Strategist, Project Manager and Programmer Analyst. Shelat has a B.S in Computer Science. He has earned his MBA from University of California, Davis with a focus on Marketing and Finance.