Brisbane Airport deploys VCE private cloud


news Brisbane Airport today announced it had selected technology from the VMware, Cisco and EMC coalition to deploy a new private cloud computing environment to meet its server processing needs, reportedly migrating on a previous IBM platform along the way.

The rollout was disclosed in a statement distributed by Cisco this morning. “To achieve our vision, Brisbane Airport requires a highly available and resilient datacentre infrastructure platform that will scale to support our future expansion,” said Stephen Tukavkin, technology manager, Brisbane Airport Corporation. “The selection of Cisco, EMC and VMware helps fulfill this requirement while also providing us with the business agility to create and rapidly deliver new services to the business.”

Logicalis subsidiary Corpnet, which has previously worked with the airport was selected by the organision to deploy the Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus switches, EMC VNX storage platform and VMware vSphere virtualisation software that the airport will use.

Brisbane Airport is a sizable operation — servicing more than 21 million passengers, 420 businesses, 20,000 workers located at the airport, 27 airlines, the community and government, according to this morning’s statement. “In the future, BAC’s strategic vision is to transform Brisbane Airport into a major commercial centre for business and leisure that supports the economic and cultural growth of Brisbane and Queensland, and acknowledges the important role it plays in Brisbane’s transformation into a new world city,” the statement read.

The airport said it would obtain a number of key benefits from the rollout, ranging from increased agility and scale in its datacentre to support its business growth, a reduced datacentre carbon footprint and cooling costs, and new levels of operational efficiency.

“By centralising and virtualising different projects and applications to create virtual network resources, BAC expects to reduce its energy consumption and cooling costs by approximately 20 percent,” the statement said. “Since BAC began virtualising with VMware ESX 3.5, approximately 80 percent of its environment has been reduced which is estimated to reflect the removal of 70 physical servers from operation.”

“By streamlining operations and providing a “single pane of glass” with Cisco UCS Manager for automated, policy-based management, BAC reduces its risk and improves operational agility and scalability,” it added.

“These efficiencies have helped increase BAC IT staff productivity, freeing staff to focus more on strategic, business-critical initiatives. With airport business operations absolutely critical, the platform is planned and designed with 99.999 percent availability with site recovery across datacentres.” ZDNet and iTNews have reported that the airport was previously using IBM X-Series servers in its datacentre.

Brisbane Airport is only the most recent Australian organisation to have deployed the VCE system. Other organisations to have done so include the National Broadband Network Company, Westpac and Corporate Express.

We haven’t heard much about private cloud deployments in Australia for a while, with the likes of Cisco having been fairly quiet in this area over the past six months after a flurry of announcements in late 2011. Given the small size of Brisbane Airport as an organisation (in terms of its IT assets, it seems that it’s only a moderate technology operation), I’m a little surprised Cisco issued this as a media release.

This may indicate that the company hasn’t had as much success with the VCE coalition as it might have liked — or it may merely indicate that some of the major VCE deployments don’t want to talk about the issue publicly, which is often the case with these kind of technology rollouts. In any case, it’d be interesting to see to what extent so-called private cloud solutions are actually taking off in Australia, now that the hype around this area has died down a bit.

Image credit: Qantas


  1. I’m always very, very appreciative when customers such as BAC and the others you mention take the time to share their deployment experiences with the media. Customers gain a lot from reading about the experiences of other organisations – of all sizes, industries – as they consider their own plans. Here’s another customer win that our partner Tecala Group announced with Seventh Day Adventist Church at EMC Forum this week. See press release here:

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