Christchurch Airport – Bringing the World South
The airport is the busiest and most strategic southern air connection to the world’s trade and tourism markets, having welcomed 5.7 million passengers in 2014.
Some 6000 personnel work on the airport campus, making it the largest site of employment in the South Island. The airport company itself has 280 FTEs.
In addition to CIAL’s aeronautical activities, the company is involved in several other ventures including the International Antarctic Centre, parking facilities, tourism promotion, as well as a number of commercial developments.
Challenges & Goals
CIAL’s IT team has a primary purpose to enable the business to operate quickly and efficiently. In a recent review, the IT team identified that it wanted to remove barriers and to be innovative. Though a smaller airport on the world’s scale, the IT team is presented with the same challenges all other international airports are, but has a smaller budget with which to overcome them. To remedy this, IT team members rely heavily on technology to lower the barriers and achieve what they set out to.
- Previously CIAL managed all IT backup systems in-house. In recent years, this presented some serious challenges. As well as being labour intensive, the backup process took up to 23 hours to complete. This meant staff were constantly backing-up. If they ever had to do a restoration, then a backup couldn’t be done until the following day – a serious risk to any company.
- With their services supporting critical airport operations, robust systems are imperative.
- Prompted by the region’s earthquakes, CIAL also wanted to reduce the risk from a major crisis by ensuring part of the company’s DR capability was located off-site.
- After making several changes to its current system, CIAL felt it had taken it as far as possible and began exploring other options.
- When CIAL went out to tender, vBridge was the only IT infrastructure company which could deliver exactly what was needed. vBridge offered the most innovative, flexible and cost-effective solution – including a DR capability that was unique and which CIAL wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Backup as a Service
vBridge provides CIAL with high speed connectivity to an off-site location which hosts the company’s backup solution. This solution also includes software licensing, off-site storage and backup-to-tape services.
Standby Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
In addition to the off-site backup solution, vBridge provide IaaS capacity to be enacted in the event of a disaster. This provides protection for key business operational systems and forms the basis for CIAL’s DR plan.
Infrastructure as a Service
vBridge provides CIAL with IaaS hosting services to complement the on-premise solution. This has provided CIAL with additional capacity to meet growth and performance requirements.
vBridge regularly works with CIAL to diagnose and develop its on-premise hosting environment. This has enabled CIAL to gain maximum value from its investment.
Results & Return
CIAL’s IT team went from spending approximately twelve hours per week carrying out backups to a maximum of two hours per week on the same task. This has allowed the team to focus on tasks which are more valuable to the CIAL business.
Having a robust and secure IT backup system has contributed to maintaining existing relationships with partnering airlines, by giving them a good experience on the ground.
Todd Cassie, CIAL’s Knowledge and Information Technology Manager says during this changeover “vBridge was able to identify potential problems before they became an issue. Now the system is in place, we really appreciate that when vBridge identifies cost-savings in its infrastructure, they pass them on to us.”