JOIN Experience: international telecom ambitions require world-class security

logo_JOiNOne of Trend Micro’s more remarkable customers is JOIN Experience, a joint venture between the private company JOIN Wireless – founded in June 2013 by three visionary Luxembourgish entrepreneurs – and the state-owned POST Luxembourg Group. Read below how virtualization and the appropriate security solution are key to their success.

JOIN Experience started early 2014 with an offering of pan-European telephone, IT and cloud services, using a flat fee for roaming customers, regardless of where they are (within Europe). The offering is available for customers in Luxembourg, Belgium and – since recently – France and Germany as well.

Network virtualization opens a world of possibilities

JOIN is a very young organization, but it doesn’t consider this as a disadvantage. “On the contrary”, notes Michael Mossal, CIO of JOIN Experience: “We are not hindered by a legacy environment and could therefore select the best possible technology as we were building the entire infrastructure from scratch.

Especially the use of VMware’s NSX network virtualization technology was a decisive choice which generated a strategic advantage. Michael Mossal explains: “The virtualization layer of NSX brings the same advantages to our network that storage and server virtualization have brought in the past: flexibility, cost-effectiveness and ease of use in management and maintenance, thanks to a large degree of automation.

Ulf Theobald, JOIN Experience’s IT Infrastructure Manager, adds: “Rolling out new products, or starting services in new countries, is not a matter of months anymore, but rather of days. Our CEO always quips: ‘No matter what the customer wishes, you have to deliver it within 4 days.’ That will not always be the case, but it is definitely realistic.

Advanced platforms require advanced security

The use of a virtualization layer in combination with many virtual network agents requires an entirely different security approach from the traditional networking environment. Network components are moved around, reassigned and sometimes even moved from one datacenter to the other. NSX does have some built-in security, but not enough for on organization such as JOIN, remarks Michael Mossal: “The telecom sector is usually aiming for 99,999% availability of the infrastructure or – especially in the case of third generation players such as JOIN – even more. The security solution should be selected accordingly, and when dealing with NSX architectures, the number of eligible security solutions is very small. The only one that was able meet our strict criteria was Trend Micro’s Deep Security. Trend Micro also supports multi-tenant deployments, which was an additional plus.

The combination of VMware virtualization and Trend Micro’s Deep Security solution provides JOIN Experience with the ideal infrastructure: a flexible environment which allows for a variety of stand-alone or integrated offerings (fixed and mobile telephony, mobile data, cloud offerings such as Azure and Office 365, …), at the best possible price, with a transparant billing process, and with a high degree of security.

Security has become a dealmaker for JOIN”, concludes Ulf Theobald: “Deep Security extends the benefits of NSX’ micro-segmentation with security policies and capabilities that automatically follow VMs no matter where they go. This provides JOIN the flexibility to run workloads with sensitive data next to workloads with no sensitive information. An essential contribution to our added value as a highly reliable and yet affordable telco and hosting partner.

 

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