In its operating activities, Aeroflot makes a special focus on modern information technology as a powerful tool to improve the quality of customer service and cost efficiency. The airline now uses dozens of IT services with a round the clock exploitation to ensure operations and goals of key business units, such as a system of booking and ticketing, flight planning, specialized avionics systems.
"One of the key tasks of Aeroflot’s IT infrastructure is a reliable backup of all the information services. With the increase in air traffic and the introduction of new highly critical IT services, we had a need to organize a full-fledged backup data center," said Kirill Bogdanov, Aeroflot Deputy Director General for IT.
IT professionals of Aeroflot analyzed two variants of creating a DC: outsourcing –rent of a commercial data center, - and construction of its own data center. Two main deciding factors were put forward in the analysis: availability of mission-critical services 24/7 and minimizing the total cost of ownership. The results showed that the first option was unacceptable due to the lack of clear SLA on downtime and guarantees of compliance with the requirements of the Federal Law 152. In addition, the total cost of renting the necessary physical infrastructure and additional services in two years would exceed the total cost of Aeroflot’s own DC, including the capital cost of its implementation and operation during the same period. Calculation of the second option showed a relatively high cost of data center deploying and a lengthy period of implementation (from 18 to 24 months) which was unacceptable under active business development of the company.
Aeroflot’s detailed analysis of the market resulted in choosing the option of modular DC deployment at its own flight complex Sheremetyevo with a term of 6 months of implementation proposed by Technoserv in partnership with HP. The solution includes a product of Technoserv - a modular data center “IT Crew” and specially designed IT infrastructure based on HP equipment for the tasks of Aeroflot. The project was completed with the assistance of a leasing scheme organized by the financial services division of HP in Russia.
“Creating an innovative backup DC for Aeroflot is the next step in the development of fruitful cooperation between the flag carrier, Technoserv and HP,” commented Sergey Korneev, chairman of Technoserv advisory board. "Let me remind you that last year we also created a high-tech Situation Centre which helps Aeroflot to effectively manage operating processes in the case of malfunctioning or a crisis situation. Aeroflot’s leadership is supported, among other things, by a constant desire and ability to thoughtfully use modern IT solutions for business processes which sets a high bar for the development of Russian aviation industry. "
Data center consists of standard modules made on the basis of a unique solution "IT Crew" of Technoserv and includes 4 server blocks, 4 engineering blocks, warehousing and dispatching units, as well as a block of uninterrupted power supply. DC capacity is 56 standard server racks. Row air conditioning units allow withdrawing 10 kW of heat from each rack.
Aeroflot backup data center has a two-tier modular structure. Blocks are arranged vertically in two tiers: the lower tier of engineering equipment is designed to maintain the smooth operation of the server unit located on the upper level. Two server blocks are docked together creating a single technological facility for the installation of active equipment, as well as two engineering units are also docked to form a single engineering platform. Each unit is an integrated engineering solution, and it is staffed with all the necessary specialized systems including security of energy supply; maintenance of temperature and humidity; automatic control of computing systems; fire protection systems; remote control, monitoring and surveillance. The solution provides redundancy of all engineering infrastructure to the level of 2N, and it is developed to meet Tier 3 requirements set by the Uptime Institute.
HP was a supplier of hardware and software for creating the DC which was built in record time thanks to HP's existing program of leasing services. It is worth noting that the consolidated data storage system in Aeroflot’s backup data center was built on the base of HP P9500 XP disk arrays designed to meet the needs of those customers for whom any system downtime, even during maintenance, is unacceptable. Availability of XP P9500 systems with full-duplex hardware is at least 99.9999 %. Any components can be replaced without closedown; all the operations for updating the firmware do not require blocking access to data. CPU blades are installed in pairs, and in the case if one of them stops, work load is transferred to the second blade.
"HP Company has leading experience in the field of design, creation and maintenance of DC. Our infrastructure can support the most complex and difficult tasks of our customers and provide them with an effective solution. We are well aware of the scope of tasks that Russia’s leading carrier needs to deal with today and to maintain the high level of services. I am confident that the proposed solution will allow Aeroflot to reach a new stage of performance in an increasingly competitive market," said Alexander Mikoyan, HP vice-president, general manager of HP in Russia.
HP is not only a supplier of solutions, but also a trusted advisor on Aeroflot’s IT.