KDDI Corporation (Japan)

All physical/virtual configuration data management with CMDBuild, an open-source configuration management system which automatically collects tens of thousands of configuration data and identifies fault coverage in minutes.


KDDI, Japanese Company which provides a wide range of telecommunications services, has a Platform Technology Department that is responsible for the construction and operation of data center facilities, used internally, and server infrastructure facilities, required by the company to provide services to its customers.

The Platform Technology Department is responsible for the construction and the stable operation of KCPS (KDDI Cloud Platform Service, a public cloud), and CKKB (a.k.a. “internal cloud”), with tens of thousands of servers spread across seven data centers in Japan, as well as the construction of infrastructure platforms that share IT and 5G NF. We are also promoting the development of solution platforms that fit Digital transformation (DX).

As the business expanded, there was a need to maintain stable operation of the increasingly large and complex infrastructure, while at the same time reducing costs and improving efficiency by promoting automation and unmanned operations, also expanding added value in the DX area.

While virtualization and container technology have enabled more efficient use of physical resources, application development environments have become more sophisticated and complex. This means that VM placement, the number of containers and their arrangement will be constantly changing as containers run on a large number of VMs. At the same time the number of failure points increases exponentially, therefore it has become increasingly important to accurately and quickly identify whether and to what extent services are affected when a failure occurs, and to identify the affected services.

In the past, when a failure occurred in a physical device, information had to be collected individually from each component in turn: we would start from each component of the cloud infrastructure in order, and gather information individually. This method required more than one hour to identify the impact of the failure on the upper layers.

This could not be acceptable anymore and therefore we committed to developing a new configuration management DB, which has considered 2 critical aspects: 1. The adoption of open-source, for a low-cost development; 2 an in-house production for product verification and design, for technical improvement and knowledge acquisition.

This was made possible by OpenPIE, with the open source CMDBuild solution (its CMDBuild READY2USE version) and the implementation of CMDBuild connectors, for an automatic collection of equipment inventory information.
KDDI followed DB design, investigation of API acquisition methods for various data items, in-house development of some APIs. Have been also involved VMware Japan, for technical support, confirmation and response to specifications, and OSSL Inc., which is the Japanese Partner of Tecnoteca (developer and maintainer of CMDBuild), for DB construction/testing and data collection program development. Anyhow the shift from traditional discretionary development with vendors to development using Open-Source Software has been a fundamental: KDDI conducted open-source-software product evaluation, data model design, API research and development in-house, and asked the vendor to do the least amount of product introduction only; in this way the development was achieved at 1/3 the cost of conventional methods.

The final result is that the solution allows a centralized management of tens of thousands of data, automatically collects and correlates up-to-date information on physical devices, VMs and containers every 10 minutes. In the event of physical equipment failure, the impact at the container level, the smallest unit, can be ascertained in 5 minutes only!

Since the configuration data change history is also stored, the configuration at that time can be confirmed by specifying the physical device and date/time, and the impact of the failure can be quickly ascertained based on the operational details before the failure occurred. Moreover, linkage with other systems enables more efficient operations and new service offerings.

In conclusion, KDDI is extremely glad about the solution implemented with CMDBuild, which allows to achieve a full centralized management. With other products and services it would not be possible to reach this range of management and also the critical aspects of a low-cost and an in-house development would not be matched.