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Posted: April 15, 2013
Telenor Uses Windows Azure Virtual Machines for Fast, Efficient, Cost-saving Development and Testing of company-wide SharePoint 2013 Platform
By utilizing Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Telenor has dramatically reduced the cost needed for test, development and demo environments, reduced the time to make the environments available to the project, and saved on long term investment in hardware that would have only be used in the short term.
The Telenor Group is a Norwegian telecommunications company with worldwide operations serving almost 150 million mobile subscribers. To modernize its intranet and collaboration sites and deliver better search within and across business units, Telenor will soon migrate from the Microsoft SharePoint 2007 web application platform to SharePoint 2013. With 13 different business units spread across 12 countries, Telenor’s prime business objectives were to improve collaboration and best practice sharing, bolster process efficiency, and facilitate a more agile and responsive organization. Through SharePoint 2013’s enhanced capabilities, Telenor could also reduce significantly the complexity and maintenance cost of the 150+ custom features installed into its IT network. That network, with approximately 40,000 users, uses two SharePoint farms to support over 20,000 site collections, 70 Web applications, and 100 content databases.
Telenor’s IT structure is highly distributed across their business units with ownership of corporate-wide initiatives held by a central team at the Telenor Group level. The various business units are empowered to make the best decisions for their particular business. While this structure fosters initiative, speed, and agility, it also results in decreased company-wide integration between business units (the classic IT tradeoff between individualized flexibility and central control.) Telenor sought to balance and mitigate this tradeoff by modernizing its shared infrastructure and processes so that its business units could still function independently but stay within an efficiently managed, cohesive, company-wide infrastructure.
To accomplish this goal, a Telenor project team estimated that over 80 servers, plus additional servers for load and scale testing of the architecture, would have to be brought online as part of developing, testing and running demos of SharePoint 2013. The time and cost of getting this huge infrastructure up, tested, and running was estimated to exceed any reasonable timeframe and budget using Telenor’s standard IT approach. Furthermore, a SharePoint project of this size required a significant amount of server infrastructure across all environments, as well as inclusion of Active Directory and Exchange.
The project team quickly realized that they needed to take a different approach.