British Airways Takes The Virtual Route

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 11, 2014

british airways

Leading global airlines, British Airways has deployed a virtualization solution to scale up its IT infrastructure. The airlines group partnered with Red Hat to deploy the latter’s Enterprise Virtualization on its infrastructure.

Headquartered in the UK, British Airways has running for over 90 years, flying more than 40 million passengers to 177 destinations around the world every year. According to a company statement, there was an urgent need to support expand its IT infrastructure in line with the company’s growth and to support the production environment, especially for its official website. British Airways’ website in recent years was getting an average in excess of 450,000 visitors per day owing to online ticketing and queries and needed rigorous support.

The airlines was looking for a solution that would support their projected future growth and anticipated additional e-commerce traffic, and it was then that it identified Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as the best solution for its Linux workloads – in terms of functionality, value, and avoidance of vendor lock-in – for the production environment that supports its website and other workloads such as internal applications, both pre-production and production.

With Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, British Airways has deployed 750 virtual machines on 130 physical hosts across two datacenters, replacing a previously virtualized estate.

British Airways’ new IT infrastructure has reaped several important benefits in areas such as administration and ongoing efficiency for developers at the company. As Richard Dawson, a UNIX and Linux infrastructure consultant at British Airways, explained: “We use Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to create our own cloud so that our developers can use it to build their own virtual machines and hence build and control environments as they wish. As developers need to create and delete environments quickly, a highly scalable solution is critical for us and this advantage then means that we don’t need to over-commit on our IT plans.”

“As an operation that functions 365 days a year with a plane always in the sky, high availability is key for the safety of our operation and ultimately our customers. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization now enables us to have a single-pane view as to what is going on in the whole environment which we didn’t have before,” Dawson said.

Dawson also said that a dedicated Red Hat Technical Account Manager or support team had helped the airlines prevent issues with proactive planning, technical reviews and on-site visits.