SriLankan Airlines, the National Airline of Sri Lanka, is an award winning carrier with a firm reputation as a global leader in service, comfort, safety, reliability, and punctuality. Launched in 1979, SriLankan is currently expanding and further diversifying its wide range of products and services in order to drive the country’s ongoing boom in tourism and economic development. The airline’s hubs are located at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, Hambantota providing convenient connections to its global route network of 89 destinations in 44 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, North America, Australia and Africa.
SriLankan Airlines currently employs around 5000 employees. Majority of existing workforce consisted with permanent members of staff working in areas such as finance, human resources, engineering, airport security, baggage handling and air traffic control.
Existed desktop infrastructure at SriLankan Airlines consists over 2100 physical desktops and over 100 Notebook computers. Most of the desktops available are over seven years old and low on computing resources. The main reason behind causing high expenses, and low performance was due to old IT infrastructure. More over issues related to support and maintenance, security and mobility also existed due to limitations in the outdated End User Computing infrastructure. If further detailed;
The shorter replacement cycle and the high power consumption were major reasons for resulted high cost figures, which was able to reduce through the implementation of proposed solution.
Resource limitation in the desktops were major constraint existed which lead to issues in inability to cope up with growing performance requirements and also virus definition updates consumed vast PC resources.
Support and maintenance
Maintaining many desktops images for differential models of PCs, patch management, upgrades process, imaging process, asset and configuration changes tracking, license management etc. all these processes were time consuming, labor intensive, inconsistent and inaccurate.
Security and Mobility
Existed solution consumed PC resources for virus definition file which was a main difficulty faced by SriLankan Airlines.
Another issue held at SriLankan Airlines was there were restrictions in USB device usage which is a major requirement of today. This has resulted in less mobility which arises due to limited end device models for whole environment (e.g. – Laptop, iPad, Smart Phone). With changing working styles of employees from office to home to while travelling, lack of a solution to carry out work as employee wishes make lower the throughput, enthusiasm, accuracy and efficiency.
There were issues in software metering, administration user management, data encryption and protection too.
SriLankan Airlines contacted to KBSL and subsequently worked with KBSL to design a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) pilot for IT administration based on VMware View. After the success of the pilot, SriLankan Airlines extended the infrastructure to support its entire desktop estate.
With VDI solution, SriLankan Airlines was able to provide better end user experience while addressing key business drives,
- Provide on-demand end user computing.
- Reducing Desktop Services TCO.
- Ease and speed of application deployments
- Enable Sri Lankan IT staff to move on the IT value chain by outsourcing low end IT services.
- Increase Mobility / Profile Roaming.
- Improving User Productivity and Satisfaction.
- Ultimately building an internal private cloud
The solution proposed, consisted with following key components integrated to deliver a desktop solution with high reliability, better performance and rich end user experience while lowering TCO to SriLankan Airlines.
- Computing Infrastructure (Server Hardware)
- Storage Infrastructure
- Networking Infrastructure for the VDI core.
- Desktop Virtualization
- Application Virtualization
- Management and Monitoring of Virtual Desktops and Core Infrastructure.
- Security Infrastructure (as per the scope detailed herewith)
- Internet Service Infrastructure
- End-user Devices
Business Results and Benefits
The proposed DaaS model solution has reduced the capital expenditure drastically while reducing the operational expenditures due to low power consumption by new Zero client and the LED displays.
IT team of SriLankan Airlines enables to focus on business operations which contribute to enhance the business prospects rather than solving time consuming desktop issues and focusing on servers, storage, backups, desktop operating systems, security and administration related processes.
The efficiency and the accuracy of carrying out business operations have increased with the added resources compared to old PCs.
Increased flexibility through the capabilities of dynamic provisioning when required an additional PC and discontinuing the virtual desktop.
Ability of quick responding to the new business requirements via uninterrupted transition from Windows XP to Windows 7 while maintain the application capabilities.
Increase mobility, through rapid deployment of common, supported desktop environment across the network where users can access their desktops from anywhere in the world via internet with their own devices while maintaining security.
Enable to meet all different use cases of SriLankan Airlines, such as Dedicated, Floating, SSO on, SSO off, Kiosk mode etc.
Increase user productivity and user confidence of the system through centralized manageability and controllability responding to any issues.
The proposed hardware solution delivers the benefits;
- Advanced scalability and performance
- Exceptional security protection at Layer 2 through Layer 7
- Ability to work with other modules in the chassis for comprehensive security delivery
New internet edge proposed with components such as new perimeter security gateways, VMView security servers and internet load balancers, delivers efficient, safe web browsing for end users.
The proposed Antivirus solution for VDI and endpoint protection for laptops through Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), delivers highly reliable endpoint protection platform.
The proposed backup solution with Netapp integrated data protection offered a single, high efficient platform that delivers high availability, backup and compliance with frequent backups and quick restorations.
Furthermore, following benefits have experienced by the users in daily working processes.
- No resource limitations in the desktop
- Upgrade process is not time consuming and not labor intensive
- Easy deployment of desktop images for different models of PCs
- Patch management
- Virus definition file updates
- High response during OS patching and virus scanning and DAT file updates.
- USB device enable
- Unrestricted desktop limits user interaction and freedom
- Less time consuming imaging process
- Easy license management.
- Dynamic resource allocation
- Asset and configuration changes tracking
- Administration user account management
- Data encryption and protection
- Proper power management
- End point security
Ultimately, SriLankan Airlines experiencing a rapid return on investment with high user experience while carrying out the business operations in an efficient, accurate manner allowing mobility through the project carried out as per the proposed solution by KBSL Information Technologies Ltd.
“We proud to be the first IT Company, managed Desktop as a Service project in the country and the first of its kind in the South Asian region due to its sheer scale and application complexity”