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Shenzhen Airlines

Shenzhen Airlines Cargo Chooses Web-Scale Architecture for Mission-Critical Operations

Business Needs

Needed storage and server infrastructure that would provide higher availability for all business-critical airline IT systems.

Solution

Nutanix NX-3000 series and VMware vSphere

Benefits

  • Increased application performance, reducing the time to create reports by 80%
  • Decreased datacenter footprint and power consumption by 50%
  • Allow for zero management and maintenance for storage and servers
  • Enabled easy scalability

Founded in 1994, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo Co. Ltd (Shenzhen Airlines Cargo in short) subordinates to Shenzhen Airlines Ltd (Shenzhen Airlines in short). Relying on strong transport capacity of Shenzhen Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo offers professional air transport services, standardized airport ground service and diversified logistics supporting services since it is an airlines cargo business with a complete sales and delivery network covering all over China and APJ and a powerful operation capability worldwide.

By March 2014, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo covers 28 cargo centers in major cities like Guangzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Nanning, Shenyang and Xi’an, and boasts over 100 aircrafts such as Boeing 737 families, Airbus 320 and 319, running more than 200 air routes at home and abroad. In addition, it has a truck fleet consisting of 100+ vehicles.

With rapid and stable development these years, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo adheres to principles of leading market with featured services, improving values with professionalism, and creating brand with honesty and trust under the guidance of “Passengers and Cargo Are of Equal Importance” strategy. Complying with service rules of “Creating a great airline for you at any time”, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo has stayed itself to innovative service and extending. It is the first to promote airline electronic cargo and partner with Airline China Cargo. Shenzhen Airlines Cargo wins wide praise from all industries of society and builds up good reputation with secure and quick cargo shipping, warm hospitality and quality service.

IT Challenges

As one of China’s largest airlines, ensuring high availability and fast performance for all mission-critical systems was crucial for maintaining its high customer approval rating. But the existing storage and server IT infrastructure was very complex and inefficient, making the goals of high performance and 7x24x365 operations very challenging for the airline’s IT team.

In addition to the performance and application availability issues, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo’s expanding business requirements were also presenting significant challenges. To solve these issues, the airline’s IT team developed plans to deploy new and more powerful servers, to launch a VMware virtualization project, and to add networked storage. With so many complex projects to complete, the IT team started looking for a different approach to infrastructure that would be easier to deploy and manage.

The Nutanix Solution

After hearing about the Nutanix solution with web-scale technology from its partner, Enabletek Technology and conducting hands-on testing, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo made the decision to purchase and deploy a Nutanix NX- 3000 solution for the airline’s IT modernization project. Shenzhen Airlines’ existing servers have now been virtualized using VMware vSphere, and the majority of the airline’s primary applications, including its office automation (OA) system, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle databases, and other web applications, are now running smoothly on the Nutanix systems.

Nutanix Benefits

The Nutanix systems have provided a wide range of benefits for Shenzhen Airlines. After a fast and easy installation, all IT operations are now much more stable with the new hyperconverged storage and server solution and performance of the company’s core business systems have been greatly enhanced. For example, the time required to produce the airline’s detailed key operational reports has been reduced from 90 minutes to less than 20 minutes, an improvement of nearly 80%.

System availability and reliability have also improved with Nutanix. Prior to deploying the Nutanix appliances, Shenzhen Airlines Cargo was relying on separately managed servers and storage infrastructure with its own availability challenges. The Nutanix converged and distributed storage service with self-healing capability and VM-centric operations provides much greater protection for the airline’s IT systems, reducing the risk of any failed single systems.

The airline’s IT team reports that Nutanix systems are also very easy to manage and maintain, requiring far less administrative effort. And finally, the spaceefficient Nutanix systems have also enabled Shenzhen Airlines Cargo to reduce its storage and server footprint and lower power consumption by 50% in the
corporate datacenter, helping contribute to their environmental goals.

“We are very pleased with our decision to deploy the Nutanix systems,” stated Cao Zhi, IT manager at Shenzhen Airlines Cargo. “The hyperconverged solution has enabled our airline to achieve higher levels of performance and availability. The systems are performing so well that we are now planning to expand our use of Nutanix for disaster recovery facility in the near future.”

Working with a Trusted Partner, Enabletek Technology

Shenzhen Airlines Cargo works in partnership with local IT services provider and Nutanix Partner, Enabletek Technology. The IT professionals at Enabletek Technology recommend and purchase the most appropriate solutions for the airlines, conduct product testing and evaluation, and install and test all new applications and system upgrades in conjunction with the local Nutanix team.

Enabletek Technology recommended the Nutanix solution to Shenzhen Airlines Cargo. “Nutanix is a very well recognized and successful technology company in China, so no other solutions were considered for the IT upgrade,” noted Lu Zhaoming, Sales Engineer at Enabletek Technology. “The Nutanix systems provide much higher availability and better performance than many other server and storage solutions. They also provide flexible modular scalability, which will simplify system expansion for Shenzhen Airlines Cargo in the future.”