Datacom Cloud X achieves VMware Sovereign Cloud Provider status

How Datacom worked with VMware to deliver new products quickly and reduce operational complexity

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Datacom is Australasia’s largest home-grown technology company. Drawing on the experience of over 6,500 staff in 24 locations around the globe, it works with a full range of clients, from small start-ups to government agencies and multinational corporations, to explore and extract the hidden value in their systems. Datacom has been running critical and high-performing cloud products for government agencies for over 10 years. However, the Datacom team knew changes were required to continue meeting rapidly changing customer needs. With hybrid cloud set as a strategic imperative for these customers, the team realized a solution that delivered the benefits of public cloud, combined with the security and performance expected within a sovereign cloud environment, was essential. As a result, Datacom decided to standardize its shared platform on VMware Cloud Foundation to deliver new products quickly and reduce operational complexity.

Building a platform for restricted environments and scalability

Datacom provides technical and strategic support to empower government and commercial organizations to speed up innovation and provide better value to citizens. The company runs critical significant workloads and applications for government agencies and needed to build a new platform for organizations with very restricted environments.

Our relationship with VMware goes beyond a supplier agreement and has always been a strong partnership. As a result, we trust VMware Professional Services to deliver.”
Darren Hopper, Associate Director, Datacom Cloud

City skyline at night

It was vitally important to provide an option where government customers can use modern technologies for innovation but remain within a national boundary that guarantees data sovereignty. In addition, mitigating risks for critical workloads and creating a less complex working environment for engineers were significant reasons to build a new platform.

The ability for Datacom to standardize, scale and provide new services faster was critical as more customers started expanding into containerization, automation and other advanced technologies. However, inconsistent customer deployments were engineering-heavy and time-consuming to monitor, support, patch and secure; even maintaining documentation sets and processes were slightly different.

Seeking customer feedback sets the standard for Datacom cloud strategy

Datacom embarked on a nine-month discovery initiative to understand customer pain points, challenges and requirements. Immersion sessions with its government and commercial stakeholders in New Zealand and Australia provided the foundation for the new Datacom environment. “From a customer perspective, the feedback was clear,” says Darren Hopper, associate director, Datacom. “Customers wanted a hybrid cloud where the data center extends into hyperscale public cloud, SaaS solutions and on-premises and edge locations but with predictable costs and operational visibility.”

Advancing new capabilities was also fundamental to Datacom customers. For example, perimeter network security was a must-have; customers identified east-west security and micro-segmentation, delivered by VMware NSX Distributed Firewall, as essential components. Additionally, moving to VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid to migrate applications and legacy systems into cloud native container-based applications was important. Finally, automation templating was critical as organizations move into infrastructure as code and repeatable deployments rather than provisioning VMs manually.

Partnering with a trusted expert accelerates Cloud X launch

As a successful VMware service provider, Datacom looked to its longtime partner, VMware Professional Services, to collaborate and co-create the Datacom Cloud X product—a hybrid cloud platform where private cloud security and performance universally intersect with public cloud features and scale.

“VMware Professional Services was critical in helping us assess different deployment architectures, arrive at a pattern that ensured security and autonomy for Datacom customers, and select the most appropriate one. They also advised us on extensions for VMware Cloud Foundation with VMware vRealize Suite, VMware Tanzu and VMware HCX,” says Jon Waite, general manager of cloud technology, Datacom.

It would have been a much slower development process and increased time to market for our Datacom Cloud X proposition without VMware Professional Services. We would have spent much more time evaluating options which they were able to assist very quickly ruling in or out.”
Darren Hopper, Associate Director, Datacom Cloud

Datacom developed several conceptual prototypes focused on customer feedback and began working with VMware Professional Services to design and build its first implementation of the Datacom Cloud X product based on VMware Cloud Foundation.

VMware Professional Services helped refine the offering, design the service catalog, automate deployment processes and define the initial VMware vRealize Automation templates. As a result, Datacom can now thoroughly assess and validate the VMware Cloud Foundation platform’s automation capabilities and provision a demo lab to demonstrate value to its customers.

East-west security, micro-segmentation and advanced networking with VMware NSX Distributed Firewall were clear requirements from customer interviews. VMware Professional Services helped configure the virtual network for VMware Cloud Foundation and evaluated methods of interconnecting Datacom customers to hosted VMware Cloud Foundation instances.

Launching Datacom Cloud X gives Datacom a competitive edge

Datacom Cloud X, the new hybrid-designed cloud platform, was successfully launched in October 2021. Early adopters applaud Cloud X and see it as a transformational launchpad for organizations and customers who want to eventually move to the public cloud with greater control and predictable costing.

Cloud X has also enabled Datacom to open new doors and move beyond its traditional approach to one that has allowed it to continue to be a leader in cloud transformation and management.

With Cloud X, government customers also have the technical and strategic support to speed up innovation and deliver better value to citizens: delivering blood supplies, maintaining safe, efficient borders, providing housing to those in need, and helping banking organizations grow the economy.

“Being a sovereign cloud partner is a big reason for building Datacom Cloud X and why it is structured and built like it is,” says Hopper. “To give our government customers who have very restricted environments a platform where they can innovate and use all the modern technologies while remaining within the national boundary and guaranteeing data sovereignty is vitally important.”

Datacom Cloud X has been a game-changer for us. Since its launch, we have retained and, importantly, won new business. In New Zealand, this allows us to become the preferred choice for cloud transformation and management.”
Jon Waite, General Manager, Cloud Technology, Datacom Cloud

Building a world-class sovereign cloud platform is just the beginning

Datacom continues to build on its Cloud X success, refining the onboarding experience and operational support and scaling to sell Cloud X to other customers and regions. “This is not where we’re going to stop. We will continue talking to our customers, seeing how they are using the platform, and understanding what ongoing value they are getting. We’ll continue the journey as customers come onboard with VMware Professional Services as our trusted, reliable partner,” says Hopper.