Alperia Drives Smart Grid Innovation While Lowering Costs 30% with VMware Cloud on AWS


Alperia produces energy from renewable sources and manages an electricity grid covering more than 8,000 kilometers. Altogether, it provides power to 107 municipalities in the Italian province of South Tyrol. In 2016, Alperia created a digital technology business unit (BU) to transform operations through initiatives, such as smart grid services, across its core BUs and more than 30 subsidiary companies. 

The creation of this digital technology BU was part of a broader plan drive greater efficiencies by adopting cloud services and gather real-time business insights to inform the development of new businesses models.

start a python tutorial

“With our VMware Cloud on AWS solution, we have implemented smart-grid services in under 1 week instead of several months.”

Sandro Moretti
Head of Networking and Infrastructure, Alperia

Seeking a Pathway to Modernization

Digital transformation soon became a challenge. The on-premises infrastructure couldn’t scale at the pace required for the transformation strategy. A lack of flexibility also meant additional time and expense to digitize systems in the VMware-based data centers. Over time, the situation became more acute as Alperia acquired new businesses, which in turn needed to be brought into the strategic plan. 

“It was getting impossible to introduce new services and infrastructure at the speed and cost we wanted,” says Jürgen Zwerger, team leader for cloud and on-premises infrastructures at Alperia. Moreover, the existing data center would require a huge investment if Alperia were to continue with its transformation plans. Upgrading to a bigger data center would increase power and cooling costs as well as management expenses.

Enhancing the Scalability of VMware

Alperia looked for a solution where cost would align with usage and the company could leverage its existing IT investments. Furthermore, it had to simplify development without compromising security while enabling greater levels of innovation. 

The right solution was VMware Cloud on AWS, which met all the business requirements while enabling Alperia to run its applications seamlessly between on-premises infrastructures and AWS. It would enable the company to move workloads to the cloud in cases where it needed greater flexibility. Zwerger says, “It gave us the freedom to implement change quickly.” 

Lowers compute costs by 30%

With VMware Cloud on AWS, Alperia personnel gain secure access to data from any location. This is as a result of AWS services that ensure a high level of reliability, performance, and data protection. For instance, with AWS Direct Connect, there is fast and reliable connectivity between Alperia’s on-premises data center and the cloud. 

Data in transit between these locations is protected withpoint-to-point encryption. To maintain performance as workloads increase, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances dynamically scale in line with need. Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) ensuresthe throughput to match the transaction intensity of any workloads
and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) delivershighly secure
data backups.

Lowering Compute Costs 30%, Retaining Sustainability Goals

As a result of integrating VMware Cloud on AWS with its on-premises infrastructure, Alperia can accelerate digital transformation. What’s more, the scalability of VMware Cloud on AWS, which also supports a VMware Workspace ONE virtual desktop, means Alperia can easily integrate acquired companies into its strategic aims. 

Zwerger states, “Thanks to VMware Cloud on AWS, we can easily scale resources and services according to the needs of the moment, while only paying for what we use. Through this optimization, we have lowered our compute costs by an astonishing 30 percent.”

Besides lowering compute expense, the company has established an IT platform that’s more aligned with its sustainability goals. The move to VMware Cloud on AWS enabled Alperia to consolidate its on-premises hardware, downsizing from 5 to just 2 data centers. 

The company no longer needs to power those obsolete sites, including its cooling systems, paying only for the cloud IT consumed.  “The decision to launch this technological partnership with VMware was also dictated by the sharing of the commitment to shape a resilient and environmentally friendly future,” said Luca Ceriani, chief digital and technology officer at Alperia.

Reducing IT Management 30–40%, Freeing Up Time for Innovation

Overall, Alperia has lowered the total cost of ownership for its IT by 20 percent. Since the move to infrastructure as code, many processes are now automated, and the IT team no longer spends time tweaking discrepancies between different pieces of hardware. 

Now, IT management workloads are down 30–40 percent, so there’s more time to focus on development. Sandro Moretti, head of networking and infrastructure at Alperia, says, “With our VMware Cloud on AWS solution, we have implemented smart-grid services in under 1 week instead of several months by not having to buy hardware.”

In turn, having more free time allows the company to focus on innovation and delivering its plans around real-time business insight to inform the development of new businesses models.  

Zwerger concludes, “The flexibility of our AWS solution ensures that whatever ideas we have today, we can pretty much implement tomorrow.”

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)

Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) is an easy-to-use, scalable, high-performance block-storage service designed for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Learn more »

Amazon EC2

Secure and resizable compute capacity in the cloud. Launch applications when needed without upfront commitments.

Learn more >>

VMware Cloud on AWS

AWS is VMware's preferred public cloud partner for all vSphere-based workloads. The VMware and AWS partnership delivers a faster, easier, and cost-effective path to the hybrid cloud while allowing customers to modernize applications enabling faster time-to-market and increased innovation.

Learn more >>

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as data lakes, websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

Learn more >>

Get Started

Companies of all sizes across all industries are transforming their businesses every day using AWS. Contact our experts and start your own AWS Cloud journey today.