Flight Centre takes off with HDS

Discount travel specialist Flight Centre has enlisted Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) to help cope with its burgeoning storage needs.In a recent two-phase project, Flight Centre implemented myriad solutions from HDS including, a Hitachi Thunder 9500V and CommVault Galaxy Backup & Recovery software combination.

Discount travel specialist Flight Centre has enlisted Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) to help cope with its burgeoning storage needs.

In a recent two-phase project, Flight Centre implemented myriad solutions from HDS including, a Hitachi Thunder 9500V and CommVault Galaxy Backup & Recovery software combination.

The company, which is known for offering competitive discounted airfares, can also boast of a new disaster recovery strategy. In a statement, Flight Centre said it has decided to synchronously replicate business critical data -- using Hitachi TrueCopy -- to HDS' data centre in Windsor, Queensland.

The Windsor data centre is a fault-tolerant infrastructure offering component redundancy. It's connected to Flight Centre's office located in the Brisbane central business district via dark fibre where another Thunder 9500V is co-hosted. This provides an uninterrupted service to business critical applications managed remotely by Hitachi HiCommand software, Flight Centre said.

"The contract was awarded on three main criteria: the ability to understand our business goals and to work with us to meet them; the ability to provide a tightly integrated complete solution for our AIX, Windows and Red Hat environments; and a demonstrated ability to professionally deliver high levels of customer service. Hitachi Data Systems won on all three measurements," said Geoff Tyerman, Flight Centre's technical services manager.

Tyerman said the deal with HDS was its largest technology purchase.

Financial arrangements were not disclosed but HDS said that apart from CommVault Systems, it partnered with Cisco Systems and Quantum to service Flight Centre.

The travel retailer selected Cisco's MDS 9509 Fibre Channel Director and is the networking giant's first customer to use its virtual SAN technology in Australia.

Flight Centre is has over 3,000 employees in Australia and another 3,500 workers in the US, Canada, South Africa, the UK and New Zealand. For the first half of 2004, it posted $364 million in revenue, a 29 percent increase compared with the corresponding period last year.