Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gulf Air moves to Cloud

Neelam Mathews

Aug 23, 2011

Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, has launched  ‘Cloud Computing’ to take advantage of the high-speed, high-capacity computing power the technology offers through its virtual ‘cloud’ of servers.

Airlines carrying 57% of the world's passenger traffic have reported a real increase in IT and Telecommunications (IT&T) expenditure and are ready to spend big on passenger mobile services and other transformative technology, according to results of  the 13th annual SITA/Airline Business Airline IT Trends Survey.

Malaysian Airlines was the first to announce a pilot with SITA as part of its effort to shift some of its operations to cloud computing.

 “By moving to cloud computing, Gulf Air’s IT is providing crucial customer-end services such as Contact Center, Internet booking, online-payment, online check-in, extending IT services to new destinations, etc., faster with much less cost and manpower which in turn enables Gulf Air to respond to our customers immediately,” says Gulf Air Acting Director Information Technology Jassim Haji.

“Looking ahead, cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere through mobile devices, which is increasingly playing a major role in aviation business. With this new technology, we are well positioned to serve our ‘fly-by-wire’ passengers,” added  Haji.

The new technology also saves substantial cost in investing in expensive IT infrastructure and software, as it requires less number of servers, less hardware maintenance, less software licenses, less environmental resources and less manpower. Besides, since all databases are stored in a virtual but integrated cloud, Gulf Air need not invest in expensive database licenses. The adaptive nature of the technology allows using the server capacity as and when required and in real time, which means it saves substantial cost on server acquisitions.

Gulf Air is also setting up  another cloud  for disaster recovery in a remote site independent of the main cloud so critical business applications and data can be virtually accessed and made available to business with minimal intervention to ensure business continuity and maintain day-to-day business and operations, in case of any unforeseen disaster.

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