Heathrow Airport’s partner for ICT services, SITA, has 4,500 employees, around 450 members and 2,800 customers worldwide — over 90% of the world’s airline business.
Maximising service availability
Today, Heathrow is the world’s busiest international airport and the hub of the civil aviation world. Over 70 million passengers travel through the airport annually on services offered by 90 airlines flying to over 180 destinations in over 90 countries.
With an average of 71 take-off or landings per hour carrying more than 10,500 passengers, even an hour’s outage would cause major disruption and make the national media. Terminal 2 alone has 30,000 network end points.
The network performance management solution, based on CA eHealth, forms an essential part of SITA’s international monitoring system, but the version in use had a number of significant issues. Running on older Sun Solaris hardware made it expensive to maintain, and it could not support newer device types that were critical to network availability. Furthermore, the architecture had hit a ceiling and needed to be redesigned.
Russell Parker, Network Consultant at Heathrow Airport, said: “The existing hardware and software were out of support and no longer compliant with the company’s OS policy, with the result that we couldn’t monitor newer devices on our network. Replacement hardware would have been very expensive. Auditing the systems had become challenging. We asked Devoteam, whom we know as specialists in service assurance across Europe, to examine the problem.”
Devoteam has been a long-term partner for organisations that have managed the ICT network at Heathrow Airport, the latest being SITA.
What did we solve?
Increasing server monitoring capacity
Under guidance from Devoteam, SITA built a new and expanded monitoring system for multiple servers to replace the previous one sitting on a single server. The client then engaged Devoteam to
- Review the solution build, resolve errors and tune the solution to optimise performance and capacity;
- Identify and plan the best migration route to the new platform;
- Execute the migration in a controlled and auditable manner while avoiding any disruption to the airport’s network or other management solutions.
Devoteam designed and implemented the migration of the CA eHealth 6.2.3 network monitoring solution to run on MS Windows 2008 Enterprise in a virtual cluster in under three weeks.
Their IT operations management Consultants went on to customise the SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) Discovery policies for more efficient information gathering on and configuration of the wealth of network devices, such as servers, printers, hubs, switches and routers.
“Partnering with Devoteam accelerated our project delivery, saving time and money.”
Russell Parker observed: “Partnering with Devoteam accelerated our project delivery, saving time and money.” Elaborating on the theme of teamwork Russell continued: “It is refreshing to work with an organisation that meets our own standards. Not only did Devoteam’s consultants display great technical knowledge, they also demonstrated absolute consistency in their way of working including the transfer of their knowledge to our team throughout the project. We trust their guidance and pragmatic approach which always focused on a successful outcome.”
Enhancing business performance
Devoteam’s approach to and experience of Service Assurance for enterprise organisations has enabled SITA to keep pace with the expanding environment of the world’s leading airport, and continued to ensure that network issues can be proactively identified and actioned before they impact passengers.
- The new virtualised server environment has reduced operating costs
- The management capacity of the solution has been doubled
- The virtualised solution now conforms to Heathrow Airport’s OS policy
- System auditing has been much simplified
- The new solution meets best practice guidelines.
Andy Nelson, Devoteam’s Service Assurance Practice Leader, concludes: “As a leading ICT consultancy with unparalleled expertise in service assurance, Devoteam has an excellent record of helping organisations across Europe achieve their business goals in a competitive field and a challenging climate.”