Migration of FISCHER travel agency data to the data centre

THANKS TO THE PORTFOLIO OF DATASPRING SERVICES, THE FISCHER GROUP INCREASED THE GUARANTEE OF AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS.

Customer profile

The FISCHER travel group has the widest portfolio on the Czech market. The FISCHER, NEV-DAMA, eTRAVEL and PRIVILEQ brands represent the largest travel group in the Czech Republic, with annual revenues exceeding CZK 6 billion. The travel agency handles over 300,000 clients a year. This activity depends on IT, therefore the operation of this is important for the operation of the entire company. The DataSpring solution was chosen for the operation of IT.

Implementation

To implement the project, we decided to change the IT operation concept, purchasing our own equipment and operating it at the company headquarters. We decided to use the range of services from DataSpring, mainly to guarantee the availability of information system, because FISCHER travel agency is heavily dependent on this. This need is fulfilled by the operation from the Tier III data centre. The operating costs are another aspect. The price for services corresponds with the real need for computing power, disk capacity, etc., which can be continuously adjusted, so we use the budget optimally, without having to invest in advance, e.g., by purchasing new hardware designed for several years ahead. Thanks to the IT infrastructure operating in a modern data centre with services from DataSpring, our IT department can respond flexibly to business requirements – and thus better support the functioning of the entire FISCHER group.

Petr Dvořáček

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES MANAGER

Initial situation and project goals

Before the migration to the DataSpring data centre, the FISCHER travel agency operated all of their IT from the data room located at the company headquarters on their own or leased hardware. The Board of Directors decided to migrate to the DataSpring data centre, mainly due to higher availability of production systems, dual connectivity to the Internet and contact centre, TIER III data centre environment, unlimited resources as needed, and service management. The sale of tours is directly dependent on the company’s websites functioning, especially the reservation systems, which are accessed by sellers from FISCHER travel agency branches and external commission dealers. For this reason, the whole operation could not be interrupted, or if it was then it would only be minimal downtime at night. The migration project lasted 8 months, mainly addressing the performance issues of the migrated systems. There was a need to increase operational security and computing power, and to optimize IT costs.

Benefits

  • Increase system security due to a Tier III-certified data centre
  • Operating costs (OPEX) are only charged on the basis of services actually consumed
  • More efficient connectivity between branches
  • Higher and guaranteed availability of production systems
  • Dual connectivity to the Internet and contact centre
  • Possibility of unlimited increase of resources as needed
  • Possibility to take over the management of systems as-a-service

Description of the solution

The implementation itself took place in several steps. First, it was necessary to map the current infrastructure, computing power, and installed servers. Subsequently, the migration procedure of individual servers was planned. Several migration routes were considered and it was decided to migrate gradually. First, less important systems were migrated, on which the chosen migration technology was tested, enabling the transfer of systems with a minimum downtime. Some systems required a special approach. An example is the mail server, whose move to a data centre required a special procedure to run as quickly as possible and with minimal impact on business operations. The migration of the selected HW and the delivery of an individual server, which is located in the DataSpring data centre, also had to be solved as-a-service. Finally, MPLS data connectivity of branches and headquarters was built and selected branches were backed up.

FISCHER travel agency now has its own VMware resource pool, in which they operate about 130 virtual servers. The computing power corresponds to 160 vCPUs, 1.8 TB of RAM, and over 30 TB of disk capacity. These resources are fully available to the customer. They manage them alone and can freely create, change and cancel virtual servers. The data is backed up, one copy is stored in another, and it is geographically separated at the DataSpring data centre. There are also 2 servers, a disk array and a mail security appliance in the DataSpring data centre. The total space for housing is 15 U. The headquarters and branches are connected to the DataSpring network using MPLS technology, which is backed up at the headquarters and at one branch with a contact centre. Line capacities are from 50Mb/s to 1 GB/s. Internet connectivity, with a capacity of 150Mb/s, is provided from the DataSpring data centre. Security is solved using two redundant dedicated firewalls, which are managed by FISCHER travel agency.

Used technologies

  • Technologies used
  • Tier III certified data centre
  • Firewall Fortigate
  • Backup with Commvault software
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