Customer case

Strategic Deployment of the TOTEM Cloud Information System

Thu 11 Jan 2024

The TOTEM experience has enabled Sofrecom to develop its Cloud know-how and Kubernetes expertise. There is no doubt that the next countries on the TOTEM roadmap will benefit from this to optimize their future deployments.

Sofrecom, a key player in the full cloud deployment of the TOTEM IT system in France and Spain

.In November 2021, Orange announced the launch of its European TowerCo TOTEM to manage and market its passive mobile infrastructures.

With its experience in creating and acquiring subsidiaries and its IT expertise, Sofrecom has been involved for 3 years with TOTEM entities to develop and deploy a generic IT solution that can be instantiated across all TOTEM geographies in Europe.

This is done while respecting time constraints and taking into account the local specificities of each country.

The choice and implementation of a Cloud solution to host the various components of the Country IT systems was a key challenge for financial and operational optimization for TOTEM.

This challenge resulted in three structuring directions:

  • An IT infrastructure optimized in terms of costs thanks to a full Cloud hosting solution and managed services
  • A solution allowing the replication of Cloud resources to reduce implementation times in countries
  • Automated operations to ensure efficient management of deployments and operations

To achieve these objectives and thus meet TOTEM's ambitions, 4 Sofrecom experts, confirmed in IT Infrastructures and Cloud Solutions, were dedicated to the project.

The scope of our experts' intervention was very global and covered different aspects of the project:

  • The first contribution was to support TOTEM in the selection of the Flexible Engine Cloud solution, Orange Business's Public Cloud Platform. Its main advantages, in view of the client's challenges, were to offer a range of managed services, to guarantee Orange's sovereignty over its data, and to be independent of local solutions offered in the countries for better replicability at the TOTEM Group level.
  • Subsequently, Sofrecom experts actively participated in the integration of the TowerCo infrastructure management software, a key component of its IT system, as well as the entire ecosystem necessary for its proper functioning, on this Cloud. Technical architecture designs were developed, and the integration was carried out with the support of Orange Business teams and the software publisher.

Let's look in detail at the different technical stages of this project:

The deployment was carried out by iteration.
The management of Cloud resources initially relied on the Docker Swarm orchestration solution, natively compatible with the IT solution before considering a more industrial TOTEM deployment, based on Kubernetes technology and Orange Business's Managed Container CCE (Cloud Container Engine) offer.
After test, integration, and adaptation phases carried out with the publisher and TOTEM users, the definitive migration to CCE (Kubernetes version 1.21) was carried out, allowing TOTEM to fully benefit from Orange Business's managed services offer.

The activities on this project being varied, the team intervened on different perimeters:

  • Integration into Flexible Engine

    • Taking into account the client's installation needs, the specificities of each Country IT system, the constraints and rules related to integration on the Flexible Engine Cloud
    • Proposal of updated architecture plans according to new developments or new requirements
    • Anticipation and monitoring: updating Kubernetes or Flexible Engine managed services, audits, analyses, and implementation of recommendations Maintenance and evolution
  • Implementation of evolutions

    • Writing procedures, documentation and/or automation, then testing before deployment by Orange Business
    • N2/N3 support during incidents, with analysis/resolution or redirection to the appropriate teams (Publisher or Cloud Provider)
  • Tooling

    • Automation: Tests and implementation relying on Git CI, Ansible, Helm, Flux, Terraform
    • Monitoring solutions: Tests and implementation of Prometheus
    • Log centralization: Tests and implementation of ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana), joint work with Orange Business to qualify the solutions available on Flexible Engine

To face demanding priorities related to strong business challenges, the team was able to self-organize to successfully carry out the first deployments. To manage the progress of actions and anticipate as much as possible, a constant effort was made on communication and coordination between the different participants of this project with an increasingly "agile" mode of operation:

  • Activity tracking on JIRA
  • Documentation sharing on Confluence
  • Work planning in iterative mode and definition of technical User Stories for each functional Sprint.
  • Setting up backlog reviews and daily meetings

In line with a "DevOps" approach, initiated in particular by the work on automation from the development process, through testing to deployment. This is to facilitate reproducibility, the speed of deliveries, and their reliability.

Today, the Cloud solutions for TOTEM France and TOTEM Spain IT systems are deployed.

The work related to tooling and automation is still ongoing, from the search for solutions to their implementation. The mechanization of deployments facilitates their reproducibility and thus meets the challenge of rapidly deployable environments.

The TOTEM experience has allowed Sofrecom to develop its Cloud expertise and Kubernetes expertise. There is no doubt that the next countries on the TOTEM roadmap will benefit from it to optimize their future deployments.



Backlog: List of topics, tasks, and sub-tasks to be completed within a project.

Docker: A solution that allows the virtualization of applications through containerization. Each service of a system can be carried in a container thanks to Docker (breaking down an ecosystem into microservices)

Kubernetes: .Orchestrator that manages the deployment of services on containers, referencing them and exposing them within a cluster.

SWARM:  Orchestrator like Kubernetes, a pioneer but now less used than its counterpart.

Flux:  Kubernetes configuration management solution based on the GitOps philosophy. Modifying a configuration written in a file on a Git repository will trigger the update of the linked Kubernetes cluster.

Helm:  Kubernetes configuration deployment solution. In a file, the desired configuration of the cluster is described before being applied by Helm.

Ansible: A solution that manages the deployment and configuration of equipment. Playbooks describe a list of tasks and roles that give the expected state of the resource targeted by the deployment.

Terraform: Infrastructure As Code tool, widely used to automate the deployment of cloud resources (servers, databases, routers...).

Gitlab CI:  Platform with tools that automate deployments. A pipeline can describe a series of successive actions (Ansible code, Helm commands, scripts...) that can be executed manually, conditionally, or fully automated...

ELK: A solution that retrieves application or system logs, formats them (Logstash) before storage (Elastic Search) for visualization (Kibana).

Loki: Log centralization solution, like ELK, based on different tools (Promtail, Loki, Grafana).

Prometheus:  Monitoring solution that retrieves metrics to store them in a database, which can then be queried to set up alerting and supervision screens.

Julien Coupe

Senior design engineer