Air Transport Industry set to get global cloud

SITA announces programme to develop dedicated ATI cloud to unify global IT infrastructure

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Air Transport Industry set to get global cloud Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA says that the best way to serve the airline industry's needs is to build an integrated cloud combining network and IT solely dedicated, and specifically tailored, to the air transport industry.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  April 7, 2011

Air transport IT specialist, SITA, has announced a programme to build a dedicated air transport industry (ATI) community cloud, to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

According to SITA, development work on the project is already well underway and both the cloud applications and services, including infrastructure, platform, desktop and software-as-a-service offerings, will go live in June.

"SITA has a successful 60-year track record of working solely for the air transport community, taking a long-term view and investing for the industry's future. Our global communications backbone and industry knowledge provides the foundation for our investment in the ATI Cloud," said Francesco Violante, SITA CEO. 

The air transport industry provides a unique set of needs, with many different companies, such as airlines, airports, manufacturers, that must share business applications and co-operate across the air transport eco-system.

The ATI community also has unique national, regional and global regulations and standards that need a consistent approach from all stakeholders and across IT services.

"The best way to really serve the industry's needs is to build an integrated cloud combining network and IT solely dedicated, and specifically tailored, to the air transport industry. SITA has a community ethos of providing solutions to the air transport industry and providing the ATI cloud is the logical next step for SITA," said Violante.

"The ATI Cloud is firstly about having a secure and reliable global network, and SITA already has that; the ATI Cloud is about managing shared IT infrastructure such as that at airports, in which SITA is a leader; and it is about optimising the operation and distribution of applications from data centres to end users. As the leading provider of air transport IT solutions, SITA has now committed to the delivery of the ATI Cloud."

The ATI Cloud is based across five continents on six large regional data centres as well as virtual data centres at large airports. The cloud will provide self-service and automation portal technology giving IT managers' on-demand access to provisioning, control, visibility and reporting. According to SITA, end-users will be a maximum of 100 milliseconds away from any one of the data centres.

The ATI Cloud will benefit end users by providing the right sets of applications and IT services to end-users in the ATI, which will be based on their role, workplace and business profile. This allows a global consistency with the same applications and services following identical protocol being deployed worldwide.

The Cloud will be integrated into the ATI ecosystem at three levels; network services will be integrated with ATI -centric applications; ATI Cloud services will be integrated with the private clouds of customers; all ATI stakeholders will be integrated at all 320 airports where SITA already operates.

The ATI Cloud will also have choice and control on where data and applications are located, in high end data centres meeting industry standards, and securely integrated with the private clouds of ATI customers.

"Putting an air transport industry cloud in place is not just about the technology but about business relevance. SITA has global distribution combined with presence at airports and the network that links all the players in this industry. SITA has specialist industry knowledge of the air transport industry. That is why SITA is the organisation best-placed and uniquely qualified to develop and implement the air transport industry cloud," said Gregory Ouillon, SITA's Vice President heading the ATI Cloud programme.

"The ATI Cloud will be a game changer for the industry. For example, by deploying new applications on virtual servers and by providing access to desktops in the cloud to its ground operations staff and partners, an airline will be able to adapt its IT to route expansion, disruption or traffic spikes at lower cost. Such deployments would normally take months but with the ATI Cloud all operators at the various locations globally will have their applications instantly."

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