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Travelport Taps IBM to Enhance Travel Services Platform

03/17/2009

IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Travelport selected IBM to assist in the modernization and consolidation of its data centers into a single, Atlanta-based facility. Travelport achieved a key milestone in the consolidation of its global data center operations in 2008 when it successfully migrated its Galileo, Apollo and airline host reservations systems from Denver to Atlanta resulting in a significant upgrade in equipment and operating environment.



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The consolidated data center helps Travelport, one of the world’s leading global distribution providers offer faster transaction services to its travel agency customers and its travel supplier network of more than 450 airlines, 80,000 hotels, 28,000 car rental locations and a wide array of tour operators and cruise lines in 145 countries.


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Travelport utilizes Web Services to simplify access for travel suppliers and travel agency customers. To meet the growing needs of their customers while searching for ways to save expenses, Travelport and IBM developed a service oriented architecture (SOA) strategy that allows Travelport to use open standards and combine their existing servers with new IBM System z mainframes.

These efforts have positioned the Travelport data center to handle an increased processing load with the highest reliability, while dramatically improving the data center’s “green” profile and operations cost. For example, the largest complex at the data center supports Travelport’s industry leading e-Pricing fare shopping function. As a result of the recent server refresh and installation of new IBM System x servers the average power consumption for each request has been reduced by more than 75 percent.

Once fully deployed, the new integrated system is expected to support more than 620 million travel-related bookings and process more than 200 billion messages in its first year of operation. Combined peak message rates will be more than 20,000 per second and more than 1 billion messages per day at peak. Response time performance improvements will mean websites for travel customers using the Travelport system will be faster and as a result travelers will have a better experience when booking airfares, hotel reservations or reserving cars.

“Travelport is a perfect example of how IBM is helping to build smarter systems in an effort to make travel and transportation more reliable and cost efficient,” said Sandy Carter, VP, IBM SOA and WebSphere. “By utilizing the open standards that are the core of an SOA environment, Travelport has been able to respond to consumer demands to provide a reservation system that makes it easier and faster for travelers to book their trips.”

Prior to the consolidation, Travelport’s data centers supported a wide variety of hardware and specialized applications. Travelport worked with IBM to help create an open, standards-based transaction processing environment in Atlanta and to prepare to adopt its new z/Transaction Processing Facility (z/TPF) software. z/TPF is based on open systems and standards and supports SOA to allow for the seamless integration of new and existing applications.

The use of an open SOA environment has given Travelport a new level of business agility that allows it to utilize all of these existing resources – regardless of vendor – and integrate the best of their existing systems with modern platforms that can scale to meet new market challenges.

“The increasing openness of the IBM System z mainframe platform means that our hybrid architecture has been able to leverage the unique strengths of both high-end server and System x distributed servers, while supporting the cost-effective implementation of our SOA infrastructure. The loose coupling of these platforms afforded by a SOA strategy provides the flexibility to rapidly deal with major business process changes.” said David Lauderdale, CTO of Travelport GDS. “The hybrid architecture has allowed us to move applications, such as fare shopping, to distributed platforms only where that effort most benefited our customers. SOA and a hybrid platform strategy are not ’art for art’s sake’. They provide what our industry demands – agile functionality and high reliability delivered in the most cost effective manner possible.”

Travelport’s Atlanta facility represents an industry-leading technology platform in terms of performance, reliability and security which is now available to the benefit of all Travelport GDS customers.

The backbone of the z/TPF environment will be a series of six clustered System z9 Enterprise Class mainframes connected to a 316 terabyte IBM System Storage DS8300, integrated with IBM System x and Power System distributed servers, as well as IBM DataPower XML appliances.

With more than 7,020 customer implementations worldwide, IBM is the SOA market leader. This leadership in SOA is further illustrated by a thriving community of greater than 120,000 architects and developers, 300 SOA-specific technology patents, 2,000 universities advancing the SOA curriculum, and 7,420 Business Partners building SOA skills, solutions, and practices.

For more information on how IBM is helping clients make smarter, faster decisions by using SOA, visit: http://www.ibm.com/soa

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