British Airways boosts monitoring of critical systems

British Airways has reached the halfway point in a project to roll out a monitoring system for its storage area network, which is growing at about 15% a year and becoming more complex.

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British Airways has reached the halfway point in a project to roll out a monitoring system for its storage area network, which is growing at about 15% a year and becoming more complex.

The SAN monitoring tool from CA is being installed across the network to reduce the risk of BA suffering downtime to any of the critical business systems that rely on its SAN infrastructure, including its catering, engineering and cargo systems and its BA.com website.

Dave Smith, infrastructure manager at BA, said he identified the SAN as needing to be monitored earlier this year, after the network grew to more than 200Tb.

“It was an easy sell to higher management,” said Smith. “I didn’t undertake a formal risk assessment but set out the risk of failure to the SAN and the benefits that monitoring would bring.”

BA’s storage area network has not suffering any outages beyond a couple of shorter periods of downtime that Smith said were “insignificant”.

But Smith said monitoring was important to provide extra resilience “to manage the SAN and enable the business to keep running no matter what.”

Although the project has no formal return on investment attached to it, Smith said it would also enable better utilisation of storage capacity by giving the airline a view of where there was space on the network.

BA’s SAN is a Windows-free environment mainly running on Unix platforms like Sun’s Solaris and IBM’s AIX. The CA tools being used to support it include Storage Resource Manager and San Manager.

The six-month roll-out is expected to be completed by Christmas.


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