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Ambient Innovation: Docker containers in the Open Telekom Cloud

Digitalization sometimes bears strange fruits: There are some companies whose original business models had nothing to do with digital services that are now generating revenues with software or digital platforms. For example, Daimler with its mobility platform moovel. Lufthansa with its open maintenance platform AVIATAR. Or Bayer with its digital farming project. But very few companies have the necessary in-house expertise.

Bringing digital platforms from on-premises to the public cloud

This has created a boom for companies that develop software on behalf of those who lack the necessary expertise. One example is Ambient Innovation: The software company from Cologne (Germany) specializes in contract work, develops individual applications for companies using container technology and also operates them. A concept that obviously enjoys great demand, because in the past three years alone Ambient Innovation has been able to record an annual average growth of 50 percent.

Portrait of Dennis Gilliam, CEO of Ambient Innovation He founded Ambient Innovation in 2009 as a spin-off of the University of Cologne: CEO Dennis Gilliam

Ambient Innovation is increasingly relying on Docker containers and Kubernetes. "The advantages of container technology include reliability and scalability," says Dennis Gilliam, founder and CEO of Ambient Innovation. "This enables us to develop and implement applications with containers quickly and independently of the hardware and software basis in any environment. And to update them at any time during the ongoing operation."

Previously Ambient Innovation had relied on its own resources or local servers, but now it also uses the Open Telekom Cloud. The trigger: Ambient Innovation was to transfer a large energy provider’s platform into the cloud. This was a portal that Ambient Innovation had developed some time ago for municipal utilities. Gilliam: "In the meantime, the portal has become a huge platform for the entire energy industry and has been purchased by a larger energy provider. It makes sense that as a result the demands on the underlying cloud were correspondingly high."

Data protection for 40 municipal utilities and various service providers

Originally, the platform ran on on-premises servers at the municipal utilities. For the shift to the cloud, business IT specialist Gilliam was now looking for a suitable provider: "GDPR conformity and a low vendor lock-in risk were particularly important to our customer," says Gilliam. A provider from the US on a proprietary basis was a no-go for the energy supplier. The goal was a cloud basis that from the outset did not raise any concerns about data security and data protection. Gilliam: "After all, in addition to around 40 municipal utilities, various service providers along the value chain are connected to the platform in question."

That’s why Ambient Innovation was interested in the Solution Partner Program, with which Telekom supports IT system houses, system integrators and other IT solution providers. For example, with cloud experts who pass on their knowledge in workshops or are available to answer questions. If required, companies can also receive marketing and sales support from Deutsche Telekom as part of the Solution Partner Program.

Cloud basis for customers particularly sensitive to data protection

Ambient Innovation is now working with Deutsche Telekom as part of the Solution Partner Program. Today, the energy provider's platform, which Ambient Innovation operates for the company, runs in the Open Telekom Cloud on the basis of OpenStack. 14 servers in test, productive and shared environments are in permanent use. Ambient Innovation uses Object Based Storage (OBS) for data storage and databases. With the Cloud Eye Service (CES), Gilliam and his team can always keep an eye on all resources and costs. The load-balancing function ensures sufficient IT resources at all times with maximum efficiency.

The open cloud architecture based on OpenStack also reduces the vendor lock-in risk to a minimum. And the highly-secure data centers that host the Open Telekom Cloud are certified several times. For example, the Trusted Cloud Data Protection Profile (TCDP) of the Open Telekom Cloud certifies that it is currently one of the few cloud offerings on the market to have a legally compliant privacy certification for defined cloud services.

"With the Open Telekom Cloud, we now have a scalable cloud platform that not only enables us to develop container-based software, but also leaves no questions unanswered on data security or data protection issues for our customers," says Ambient Innovation CEO Gilliam. "This means that our applications and services are now also suitable for companies that are particularly sensitive when it comes to data security and data protection.”


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