SriLankan Airlines slashes daily backup windows up to 64% and enhances business continuity with Commvault
SriLankan Airlines improves data management efficiency by 33% and meets compliance for regulatory and safety audits
- Labor-intensive data recovery from tapes and failure to quickly respond to a critical safety audit
- Need for a modern data management solution to support long-term data retention requirements
- Backup performance improvements required for the complex environment to minimize IT team workloads
- Deployed Commvault® Backup & Recovery to enable rapid recovery of data in the on-premises environment, including Microsoft Exchange and Oracle Database
- Engaged Commvault Partner company South Asian Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd and V S Information Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. to support the implementation
- Up to 64% reduction in the daily backup window for Microsoft Exchange
- 33% data management efficiency gain
- Ensured timely response to safety audits by automating backup and recovery processes
- Enabled the IT team to focus on driving the value for the business instead of managing tapes
- Automated tiering of long-term data retention to comply with regulatory requirements
Travel & Transportation
At a glance
- Award-winning national carrier of Sri Lanka and a member of the oneworld Alliance
- Offers flights and connections to over 100 destinations across more than 50 countries
Key assets protected
- 120TB of data
- Oracle Database and Oracle E-Business Suite
- 210 VMware virtual machines and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Exchange
- Internet Authentication Service (IAS)
- Airline-specific applications for traffic and cargo services
The backup environment
- Commvault® Backup & Recovery
- HP DL380 G10 servers
- Hitachi G130 storage system
“After evaluating various products, Commvault was the best fit for our environment because of its backup technology, storage and cloud integration capability.”-Chamara Perera, Group Head of Information Technology, SriLankan Airlines
“Now we have improved recovery time to meet business demand through automation of backup processes and minimization of human errors.”
– Chamila Weerakoon, Manager, IT Business Systems, SriLankan Airlines
“With Commvault Backup & Recovery, we now have a modern data management solution, so we know our data is in a secure environment and recoverable at any time.”– Darshana Palliyaguru, Chief Network Engineer, SriLankan Airlines
“Thanks to Commvault, we have a 64% reduction in our daily backup window for Microsoft Exchange servers. It was a massive improvement.”– Amali Hemachandra, Lead Systems Engineer, SriLankan Airlines
Ensuring business continuity for critical airline operations
Founded in 1979 as Airlanka, SriLankan Airlines is an award-winning national carrier with a reputation for safety, punctuality, and reliability. As a member of the One World Alliance, SriLankan Airlines offers connections to a global route network with 121 destinations across 55 countries. The airline has received awards from various aviation research agencies and travel magazines. SriLankan Airlines won the Cargo Service Excellence Award at the Let’s Talk Cargo 2021 Conference in Singapore and Platinum Standard status by APEX Health Safety powered by SimpliFlying 2021. It also received “World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean” title and “Asia’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean” title at World Travel Awards 2020 as well as First Star title in ‘Airline-International’, ‘Music International’ and ‘Campaign’ categories in Golden City Gate Awards, ITB Berlin 2020. They were also recognized as one of the Top 5 Airlines by Absolute Cargo Growth at the Changi Airlines Awards in 2020.
As the ground handler for Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport and Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, SriLankan Airlines needed to manage large volumes of data for itself and other airlines operating at these airports. In addition, it also runs separate business units that provide cargo and catering services to all airlines at both airports.
“Data is like jet-fuel for business continuity in the aviation industry. Protecting our precious data with realtime backups is considered as one of our prime interests that evolves continuously with an advanced and industry-leading backup solution,” said Chamara Perera, Group Head of Information Technology at SriLankan Airlines. “After evaluating various products, Commvault was the best fit for our environment because of its backup technology, storage and cloud integration capability.”
Enabling timely responses to safety audits
Before deploying Commvault, SriLankan Airlines used a legacy solution for backups and stored backup tape copies offsite. It was labor-intensive to recover data from tapes – collecting and transporting them between locations involved multiple steps. In addition, when safety audits from the parliament or cabinet required timely response, this manual process created significant challenges.
“As a heavily governed entity, we were exposed to a lot of audits and compliance deadlines. For example, the investigative commission could ask for business data dating back up to ten years, and we had to provide the information in two or three days,” said Darshana Palliyaguru, Chief Network Engineer at SriLankan Airlines. “With the data volume we had from different business units, it was a nightmare to recover data from tapes and meet the given timeframe.”
By integrating Commvault Backup & Recovery with its Hitachi storage system, the airline gained a high-performance backup solution to ensure data availability for the workloads across the on-premises environment. This helped to eliminate the tape operations and allowed SriLankan Airlines to respond to safety audits quickly.
“With Commvault Backup & Recovery, we now have a modern data management solution so we know our data is is in a secure environment and can be recovered at any time,” said Palliyaguru.
Chamila Weerakoon, Manager, IT Business Systems at SriLankan Airlines added: “Now we have improved recovery time to meet business demand through automation of backup processes and minimization of human errors.” said.
Improving backup windows up to 64% and data management efficiency by 33%
Through the Commvault solution’s automation, Chamara and his team freed up their time to focus on driving more value for the airline’s business instead of managing tapes.
“By using Commvault Backup & Recovery, we saved 33% of the time spent in backup operations. We expect to drive further efficiency up to 70% with further fine-tuning, cloud integration and expansions” said Palliyaguru.
Another surprising benefit was efficiency gains in backup performance. “Thanks to Commvault, we have reduced our daily backup window for Microsoft Exchange servers by 64%. It was a massive improvement,” said Amali Hemachandra, Lead Systems Engineer at SriLankan Airlines.
The airline industry also must comply with strict data retention rules. For example, SriLankan Airlines had to retain financial data for up to 11 years and some other data for nearly as long. Using Commvault Backup & Recovery automates the tiering of long-term data retention, enabling the airline to meet regulatory requirements.
Transforming data management and supporting future growth
With the complexity of over 100 applications and tight regulations in the airline industry, Commvault Partner company South Asian Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd (SAT) and V S Information Systems (Pvt.) Ltd. (VSIS) worked with the Commvault team to simplify implementation.
“This project was a totally new environment for SAT and VSIS, but they learned it quickly and put resources into it,” said Hemachandra. “We were delighted with SAT and VSIS as they helped us maximize the features of the Commvault solution and get the most out of the implementation.”
“Commvault has transformed the way we manage our data. We have confidence that Commvault will deliver further efficiency and financial savings for the airline for years to come,” said Perera.