Emirates Group Consolidates and Virtualises Data Centre Network with Cisco Technology
Airline deploys 10 Gigabit Ethernet Core based on Cisco Catalyst 6500
GITEX, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 26 September, 2005 - Cisco Systems today announced that it is working with the Emirates Group to implement a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet data center network at its operations headquarters in Dubai. With the first phase of the project, Cisco is collaborating with local Cisco Gold Certified Partner GBM/UCMC to deliver an intelligent data centre networking infrastructure as part of Emirates' plans to consolidate and virtualise existing server farms.
Nigel Hopkins, Executive Vice President Service Delivery Emirates Group, said: "The Emirates Group is one of the world's fastest growing airline businesses. As our business continues to grow so the demand for data traffic will continue to soar at a rate of some 50 per cent annually. A network review was essential to meet these challenges. Our work with Cisco included technology refreshes, which will help stabilise both operational and capital expenditure."
"Critical data delivery is now enhanced, and the infrastructure offers support for multimedia services such as Voice over IP. We will now be able to meet the transporting demand with regards to day-to-day reservations and bookings data from more than 80 of the airline's offices worldwide, and from flight booking agents in every corner of the globe."
The new deployment will help Emirates to reduce the complexity of its existing ATM-based networks, simplify the overall network infrastructure and build a resilient data centre core network. The Cisco technology will also help enable virtualisation of network resources across the core network, as well as optimise resources across server farms, and provides a framework to evolve towards multimedia service delivery.
Emirates recognised that parts of its existing infrastructure were approaching end of life and with growth in customer volumes, needed further scalability to support peak traffic across the data centre. Cisco's phased vision of an Intelligent Information Network helped Emirates to build a roadmap to evolve towards a virtualised infrastructure.
"The collaboration between Cisco and the Emirates Group to deploy Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches at the core of the airline's data center network opens the door for a long-term strategic relationship between the two companies," commented Mark de Simone, VP Middle East and Africa for Cisco Systems. "By evolving towards a Cisco Data Centre architecture, Emirates will benefit from the scalability and service flexibility to continue to deliver network-based services to customer-facing staff, as well as help to build a reliable foundation for business continuity."
In collaboration with GBM/UCMC, Cisco will also provide advanced services support to the airline throughout the project deployment plan. With the deal, Cisco becomes the first IT company to lease equipment to the Emirates Group through Cisco Capital, and will be able to provide technology refresh services during the contract. Emirates will deploy Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches with 10 Gigabit Ethernet inter-switch links in phase one of the project. Existing Cisco Catalyst switching infrastructure provides server farm connectivity as well as interfacing with Emirates' existing storage network infrastructure.
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