Having migrated its full ICT operation to two datacentres, Air New Zealand now claims to be the only corporation in the country to have operations of Tier 3 or higher standard across two separate commercially available sites. Following a two-year migration process, the company is now operating from the Civil Defence-rated datacentre in Airedale Street, central Auckland, operated by Gen-i. The airline has also recently completed its migration into a second datacentre, housing production and development systems located in Highbrook, South Auckland, operated by IBM. IBM came in for harsh criticism from Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe in 2009, after slow response to a major outage that crippled services and disrupted thousands of passengers. Fyfe said at the time that in a 30-year working career he was struggling to recall a time where he had seen a supplier so slow to react to a catastrophic system failure and so unwilling to accept responsibility. Air NZ’s chief financial officer Rob McDonald says the just-completed migration programme represents the largest ICT infrastructure change programme undertaken to date at the airline. The centres will both be kept in an active configuration, ensuring fast failover in the event of a mishap at one centre. Air NZ took the opportunity to build new systems “where appropriate” and decommission legacy systems during the move. “The opportunity to build new core and shared infrastructure in advance of the migration also significantly de-risked the migration programme of key systems into the new facilities and supported rigorous testing of the improved failover capability,” says McDonald. Other contributors to the migration success included Techspace for programme leadership, Dimension Data, delivering Wintel systems, and storage re-platform and consolidation to a single storage layer provided by OSS.
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