Ryanair kits out data centre with €470,000 storage system

3 Aug 2010

Ryanair has spent almost half a million euro on a new storage deal which the airline says will bring major efficiencies in its data centre.

The €470,000 contract was awarded to Dell, which beat competition from HP and an IBM/Network Appliance partnership. Dell supplied Ryanair with a 10GbE EqualLogic solution, which is said to be a simplified storage solution that delivers 10 times more storage performance for virtualisation and business applications requiring high throughput.

Ryanair’s IT

All of Ryanair’s main IT is run out of Dublin, but its 7,000-plus employees are located in 32 bases across 26 countries. Constant access to email and other critical applications are essential, and Ryanair opted for a strategy based on a consolidated, virtualised environment. This will increase data processing capacity, reduce maintenance and downtime. The company also required a disaster recovery solution to be implemented.

As a result, Ryanair recently decided to upgrade its data centre to manage its internal IT requirements. The low-cost airline wanted to design, implement and manage a three to five-year virtualised server and storage solution to run the company’s internal IT infrastructure. 

Dell said its EQL solution will allow Ryanair to scale easily over five years to meet its future growth needs. It also provides a simple, robust backup solution to meet its business continuity requirements.

With growth comes data centre demands

CIO Eric Neville said Ryanair’s continued growth would put greater demands on its data centre. “We needed a solution that would give us the foundation to build a virtualised environment to allow the company to scale for future expansion,” he said. “Of critical importance is that the virtualised and simplified storage solution provided by Dell has dramatically reduced the time required to look after the system, freeing up the IT team to focus on delivering more value to the business.”

According to Dell’s regional sales manager John Stobie, the EqualLogic solution is easier to manage and the total cost of ownership is now lower than before. 

The contract also included Dell’s premium support offering, ProSupport Enterprise Wide Contract. Under the terms of the deal, Ryanair will also have access to a service delivery manager based in Dell’s Cherrywood site, who will work with the airline to get a complete understanding of its infrastructure and processes. Dell is also implementing a strategic services plan that will detail how Ryanair engages with Dell’s Expert Centre in Cherrywood and the computer maker’s European Command Centre in Limerick. 

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic