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Travelport GDS

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2013 American Business Awards


Company: Travelport GDS, Atlanta, GA
Company Description: Travelport GDS is one of the world’s largest global distribution system (GDS) providers operating both the Galileo and the Worldspan brands, providing real-time travel information and booking capabilities to online and offline travel agencies in over 145 countries. Travelport GDS is a division of Travelport, one of the world’s largest service providers to the travel industry.
Nomination Category: Information Technology Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Information Technology Team of the Year

Nomination Title: Travelport UCS (Unified Computing System)

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since January 1 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

As a leading global provider of travel distribution services, Travelport provides technical operations support and content-processing services to travel agencies, travel suppliers, corporations and travel wholesalers worldwide.

Recognizing that business goals were outpacing its infrastructure capabilities was Travelport’s first step in creating a new, next-generation network and server plan. While an expansive Linux® and Windows® infrastructure already served millions of customers, Travelport’s Technical Operations team knew the existing infrastructure needed to be more resilient to support increasingly complex server/network management requirements, and more scalable to handle growth and capacity demand in the coming years.

To address these issues, Travelport’s Technical Operations team based its planning concepts on the Cisco® Unified Computing System, powered by Intel® Xeon® processors and Cisco Nexus® Series Switches. As this approach represented a technology change for Travelport, the team chose to partner with Cisco’s advanced services group to create the initial plan and a proof of concept. The team also tapped an existing partnership with Presidio™ Networked Solutions, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, to assist with planning and engineering services.

Additionally, as the Intel platform is best suited to Travelport’s development needs, Intel was engaged to assist in systems configuration and help ensure the success of the implementation.

The unified team first established specific requirements, design and the engineering structure. Equipment was then delivered to Travelport’s Data Center, and the team configured service profiles, set up media access control (MAC) address pools, created reports and developed standards for labeling fabric interconnects to track alerts through data center systems. The new switches and systems achieved a 10GB-capacity backbone, which, in addition to meeting infrastructure requirements, also supports virtualization through virtual device contexts (VDC), and further optimizes power consumption, space requirements and service speed.

By the beginning of 2011, Travelport had implemented its Unified Computing System, which delivered immediate and ongoing benefits including:

• Increased server resiliency and flexibility
• Visible improvement in the number of virtual machines deployed per core for record-breaking scalability
• Ability to deploy and/or restore applications in mere minutes

In 2011, Travelport also realized significant operating costs savings:

• 8 times savings on racking, cabling, server and network costs
• 86 percent savings in support hours
• 70 percent savings in total power (kW) and cooling costs
• 86.5 percent savings in total data center floor space

Travelport also merged its networking, server and storage teams to gain additional cost reductions in hardware, network ports, cables and staff time.
As a result of the new Unified Computing System, Travelport continues to see greater responsiveness and efficiencies and is now poised to handle capacity demand and customer support needs for years to come.

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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated team:

Steven Senecal, manager of Travelport’s Technical Operations - Global Server Engineering team, is responsible for global server architecture strategy, engineering and third-level support. He has 24 years’ experience in information technology, and the consumer products, banking, telecom, airline and travel industries. He has managed radio and telecommunication projects for law enforcement, airline flight operations, security engineering, mainframe automation and network systems management.