European Telecom Company saves 42% on monthly image lifecycle management

A major European telecoms company wanted to build an image lifecycle management solution across its three public cloud environments – Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. At first, the company decided to manage this in house, but soon realised costs were spiralling out of control.

The Problem


As a mature organisation in its cloud journey, the company was confident it could deliver a solution to building and maintaining images across its three cloud environments – starting with Azure before expanding to AWS and Google Cloud.

However, after three months, with its Azure image lifecycle management solution just about at a base level, the company realised costs were beginning to spiral in maintaining images across all its VMs. It was also locking in valuable architect time.

What’s more, project had revealed various complexities during development stages, particularly in customising CIS-hardened images. Repeating the process across another two cloud environments, whilst maintaining the Azure lifecycle solution, was an uphill battle.

The Challenge


There are a range of solutions and tools available to businesses for creating, hardening and maintaining golden images across multiple platforms. The telecoms company in this case opted to purchase CIS hardened images and customise the images in-house.

The financial reasons for this initially seemed solid. The team put four in-house full-time architects on the job, and although the cost of the individual CIS images was quite expensive, the forecasted TCO of the in-house solution seemed cost-efficient.

However, the total accumulative operational costs of these images – running over thousands of VMs per hour, can be overlooked. Also, the team soon realised that dedicating four architects to this project was not a smart use of valuable resources. They’d essentially locked up skills that were extremely scarce on the market, to work on a lengthy project that wasn’t adding any real value. 

And on the technical side, although the CIS images are provided with compliance elements built-in, there was still a level of customisation needed, which meant time spent building the tooling required. Then testing and maintenance was needed.

The tipping point was when, after three months, the Azure stage of the project was still not complete. Costs were spiralling, and they’d only reached the base level. It was time to call for help.

The Solution

Enter ImageFactory.

ImageFactory is a fully managed multi-cloud image hardening SaaS. The telecoms company had previously considered this approach but had chosen against it, believing the more cost-effective solution was keeping things in-house.

Sure, whilst the managed service costs need to be considered, the total costs of a solution like ImageFactory is actually cheaper than building and managing the image lifecycle in-house.

So, the ImageFactory team did a more realistic tailored cost comparison over the company’s 3000 VMs and three clouds. The savings when using ImageFactory were significant – 42% less per month compared to the in-house alternative – while also freeing up their architects for more value-adding projects.

It was a no-brainer, and ImageFactory was brought in right away.

The approach


Once the ImageFactory team got started, the first task was solving some of the complexities the company had been struggling with. Customising the hardened CIS images was a painful process of disabling the hardening, customising, and hardening again.Then once built, if needed to spin up a new VM, the hardened images need to be tested to make sure everything’s running perfectly.

From here, everything is built into ImageFactory’s toolkit. The lifecycle can be automated and managed at scale, meaning it’s no longer necessary to spin up new VMs for every image, for example.

Automation also helped the company with their compliance reporting, to prove that all images are CIS compliant. ImageFactory is able to deliver this documentation in a quick and easy way.

The ImageFactory team also provides holistic support in mapping the image lifecycle management approach across all three clouds. This meant shaping an overarching model that could be applied to Azure, AWS and Google Cloud, but each tweaked with their own unique elements to suit the feature set of each cloud. This means ImageFactory can deliver consistency across all clouds, in testing, security and compliance.

Reduce costs

Significant savings when compared to purchasing CIS images and managing the lifecycle in-house

Free up architects

No need for dedicated resource in building or managing the solution, freeing up valuable architect time.

Peace of mind

Forget about the technical complexity of image-hardening across different cloud environments.

Safe and sound

ImageFactory has built-in automation to meet stringent compliance, security and reporting needs.

Results Delivered


After switching to ImageFactory, the telecoms team were happy they’d eventually made the right call. What had become an incredibly time-sapping, expensive and complex project had switched into something that was much more cost-efficient, and reliable way.

It means the entire image lifecycle is managed in an automated, stress-free way from the company’s point of view. With the peace of mind that any compliance needs or new versions are handled and secure, without any extra cost, time or complexity.

For example, every time a new security update is needed, or the latest image version needs to be released, this is taken care of. That could mean ten images a week, for example, replicated across four different regions, so 40 image versions a week.

With ImageFactory, if the company needs to spin up a VM in Australia, for example, the functionality is built in so it’s as easy as setting the country and pressing go. Without this, each image would need to be customised in some way, which is extremely tedious at scale.


monthly cost savings

6 mos.

of in-house resource saved


architects time freed up

Looking for similar results?

Get a free Nordcloud Klarity demo to uncover hidden cloud optimisation opportunities.