Published on 07-Sep-2011
"The quantitative results of the IBM solution go well beyond what we had imagined." - Fabrice de Biasio, Director of Information Systems, Europe Airpost
Travel & Transportation
Business Intelligence, Business Resiliency, Energy Efficiency, High Availability , Information Infrastructure, Information Integration, Infrastructure Simplification, IT/infrastructure, Optimizing IT, Smarter Computing
IBM Business Partner:
Europe Airpost is a unique airline company that operates 24 hours a day in two distinct segments: leisure and charter passenger flights for the main European tour operators, and freight transportation for post offices and express freight operators in Europe. As the world’s leading quick-change operator, Europe Airpost maintains a fleet of 19 planes, including 15 that can be quickly reconfigured to carry either freight or passengers. With headquarters in Paris CDG, Europe Airpost has bases at major airports in France.
As a passenger airline and courier of urgent and valuable packages by air, Europe Airpost processes huge volumes of shipping data. Its complex data center infrastructure, based largely on HP servers, was reaching end of life, resulting in poor IT performance and generating increasing costs. Europe Airpost wanted to improve performance, reduce energy consumption, and cut data center footprint.
Working with IBM® Business Partner Diademys, Europe Airpost consolidated 70 HP servers onto two IBM BladeCenter® H chassis housing eight IBM BladeCenter HS22 servers. Implemented two IBM System Storage® DS5100 arrays with 40TB capacity and IBM Tivoli® Storage Manager to manage archive and backup.
Cut energy consumption from 18 kW to 8 kW; cut IT administrative workload in half, and reduced the total cost of ownership by 60 percent.
To read a French version of this case study, click here.
Europe Airpost is a unique airline company that operates 24 hours a day in two distinct segments: leisure and charter passenger flights for the main European tour operators, and freight transportation for post offices and express freight operators in Europe.
As the world’s leading quick-change operator, Europe Airpost maintains a fleet of 19 planes, including 15 that can be quickly reconfigured to carry either freight or passengers. With headquarters in Paris CDG, Europe Airpost has bases at major airports in France, and conducts passenger and cargo flights throughout Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and Africa.
Challenges of a complex IT landscape
The company had acquired a diverse array of Hewlett-Packard servers to support its business operations. Altogether, the company relied on 40 Intel-based systems of various models – all running the Microsoft Windows operating system and housed in five server racks – as well as a pair of HP 9000 servers running UNIX.
With such a complex IT architecture, Europe Airpost was struggling to keep pace with the management demands of its server environment, resulting in low processing efficiencies. Some of the organization’s servers were operating at a usage rate as low as 5 percent, while 20 percent of the systems were consuming 60 percent of the data center’s energy and space. These inefficiencies, in turn, were driving up overall costs. Even worse, the company could not easily back up its critical systems. And because of the poor optimization, the company had run out of room in its data center, making it difficult to accommodate future business growth.
Recognizing the benefits of cloud computing
Europe Airpost sought to introduce cloud technology, designed to remove reliance on a particular hardware set or configuration. The company believed that such a move would not only improve management efforts but also help the business rein in its energy usage – a goal recently set by company management.
Selecting IBM technology
Recognizing the robust nature and high availability offered by IBM technology, Europe Airpost worked with IBM Business Partner Diademys to consolidate its data center environment onto IBM server and storage hardware. The new infrastructure includes a pair of IBM BladeCenter H chassis that contain a total of eight IBM BladeCenter HS22 servers running the VMware vSphere 4 operating platform. These servers are used to support the airline’s flight and freight scheduling systems. Europe Airpost uses VMware vSphere and associated technologies to build its own private cloud, where physical hardware can be added to the pool to increase capacity with no disruption or reconfiguration.
The client also put in place a new IBM System Storage DS5100 disk system that boasted a 20 TB total capacity. This system stores application data from the client’s order entry, capacity planning, crew scheduling and freight management systems. And to protect its critical information, Europe Airpost will deploy IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software within its data center later this year. The IBM application will be used to manage the archiving and backup of business data.
Driving down costs and boosting availability
Within two months of solution implementation, Europe Airpost was able to cut the total cost of ownership for its data center by 66 percent. The reliable, easy-to-manage IBM BladeCenter and IBM System Storage hardware has cut maintenance costs by 70 percent. And the energy-efficient IBM technology has reduced the data center’s overall energy consumption from 18 kW to 8 kW, while increasing processing and storage capacities. The compact design also freed up room within the data center, requiring half the floor space of the previous infrastructure.
And while the new IBM Tivoli software is not yet fully deployed, the client is encouraged by the increased reliability and availability that the application will support. The IBM software will allow the business to put in place viable disaster recovery and business continuity plans that will better protect company operations and help encourage consumer confidence.
“The quantitative results of the IBM solution go well beyond what we had imagined.” — Fabrice de Biasio, Director of Information Systems, Europe Airpost
Finally, the quality of service offered by IBM Business Partner Diademys and IBM helped achieve a smooth migration to the new infrastructure, resulting in no downtime to company business systems.
Designed for Data: Europe Airpost matches air consignments, deliveries and airplane availability on a rolling basis, alongside crew scheduling and aircraft maintenance. For passengers, Europe Airpost matches seats, schedules and prices, and reconfigures its aircraft at ultra-short notice to optimize fleet usage.
Tuned to the Task: Multiple IBM BladeCenter systems run both Windows and Linux operating systems, depending on the workload requirements. The business-critical NetLine aircraft and crew scheduling component runs on Linux, with solid-state drives for ultimate performance.
Managed in the Cloud: Europe Airpost created a private cloud on the IBM BladeCenter using a variety of virtualization, load balancing and clustering technologies. The IT mantra is ‘failure is not an option,’ and Cloud enablement provides resilient, scalable services that are perfect for the air industry.
Driving Innovation: Europe Airpost thrives on its ability to extract maximum aircraft utilization by reconfiguring for passengers or freight more rapidly than any other carrier. The cloud-enabled IBM BladeCenter solution allows Europe Airpost to respond to changed business conditions and carry more freight and passengers without increasing costs, helping to drive profit.
Products and services used
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