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Supporting a flying business

Jack Loo | Dec. 10, 2009
Budget airliner virtualises its IT infrastructure without having to place assets offshore

Jetstar CIO Stephen Tame faced the challenge of supporting the budget airliners international business without putting IT infrastructure offshore. His answer is to ride on telecommunications operator Telstras IP VPN service, where Jetstar was able virtualise all of its offshore systems.

CIO Asias Jack Loo spoke with Tame about how Jetstar is running the Telstra service.

Where does Telstra fit in with your virtualised systems?

If you move towards thin client, virtual systems access and look at how you could deploy those applications; you actually have to invest more in your telcos because you need bigger and better networks in order to achieve that outcome. For example, putting in a Singapore point of presence means having a 20 megabit link all the way between Australia and Singapore, it is an expensive proposition but it is far less expensive than having to have connections and PCs in all our off-shore locations.

How does the IP VPN service connect your infrastructure?

We have direct links into the airports in places such as Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Jakarta and Denpasar in Indonesia, Saigon in Vietnam, Honolulu in Hawaii, and Singapore. Because we have our own private link into the airports, it means that we can run our business applications on the check-in counters. So I can run any application inside my office out of the check-in counter in Bangkok or Singapore.

So it costs me a little bit more in network to deploy the network connection but because Ive done that, what it means is that I dont actually have to spend any money on deploying any local IT or local systems or local infrastructure because now everything is delivered over the network. So the way it works at the moment is that weve been successful so far in actually not employing any IT offshore. All of our ground handlers and contractors come directly to the Jetstar virtual office where we can give access to all our business systems.  

Why do you need to set up a point of presence in Singapore?

One problem that weve had with this model is that as you start moving further afield from our data centre in Melbourne and Sydney, you start running into international latency problems in countries such as Japan and Vietnam. So what weve done in conjunction with Telstra is that we have put together a point of presence in Singapore which basically means that theres going to be a 100 megabit access and a 20 megabit link all the way to Australia.

So now when you go to the virtual office, the system is smart enough to work out where youre closest point is and then we put you on the high-speed all the way back down to our data centres here. At the moment, we have about 700 remote access tokens offshore and the alternative to us if we were to pull our traditional IT would be to have 700 PCs offshore. The actual cost model of deployment become easy and inexpensive because all the money gets tied up in getting the infrastructure in place and once youve done that, the actual cost of the expansion then diminishes over time.


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