Independence Air Chooses Stratus Servers

Low-fare airline Independence Air has chosen four ftServer(R) W Series 3300 fault-tolerant servers to run the maintenance and scheduling systems that keep its planes flying on schedule, Stratus Technologies announced today. Based at Washington Dulles International Airport, Independence Air’s 87-plane fleet currently serves the Eastern United States from Vermont to Florida. Independence plans to become a coast-to-coast carrier as it takes delivery of 28 Airbus 319 jet liners over the next 18 months. To support its expansion and current operations, Independence Air runs its critical scheduling, dispatch and maintenance control on two ftServer 3300 systems at its main control center at Dulles, and a nearby training center. The other two servers support 4,700 Microsoft Exchange users at the main control center and an ancillary data center.

Independence Air chose Stratus after seeing a presentation at a conference and talking to WestJet, another regional airline using Stratus(R) servers. WestJet, said it got good results from its Stratus servers and fast answers to all questions.

“We looked at clustering, but after we saw a Stratus presentation and spoke to one of their customers, we felt comfortable going with their fault-tolerant servers,” said Jay Little, Independence Air’s manager of operational command and control technology. “The systems running on the Stratus servers control everything that keeps our planes moving. That makes uptime critical. Before Stratus we had many single points of failure and no fault tolerance. Now we have complete fault tolerance and virtually no single point of failure.”

The ftServer 3300 system is a continuous-availability system built around Microsoft(R) Windows(R) server operating systems and the Intel(R) Xeon(TM) processor. It delivers 99.999 percent and greater uptime in a compact form for space-constrained data centers and remote offices. The ftServer 3300 model’s hot swappable components enable Independence Air’s IT staff to do upgrades and routine maintenance without downtime. Before Stratus, IT had to take the application and system down to do maintenance at odd hours. Customer service also weighed heavily in Independence Air’s choice.

“Stratus stood out as being different from other vendors in that after the sale they were very proactive and had their people here right from the beginning,” Little said. “Whenever we have a question, they turn around all of our questions almost immediately, with exactly the information we need.”

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In addition to travel and transportation applications, the ftServer 3300system is a popular choice for other operations that require continuous uptime, such as public safety computer-aided dispatch, financial services ATM/POS, call/contact center, and manufacturing operations management.

“Independence Air is a perfect example of a company that counts on Stratus because it’s not just their business at risk if their network is down, it’s the integrity of their entire flight schedule,” said James A. Gargan, senior vice president, worldwide marketing. “It’s always gratifying to have companies like this entrust their critical operations to our systems, and this win was even more significant for us for us because another of our customers helped Independence Air make their decision. That’s the kind of impression we like to make on our customers with our products and service.”
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