SITA, the IT arm of the air transportation industry, is building a "community cloud" designed specifically for the industry's unique needs. The private cloud is scheduled to go live in June, the membership organization announced earlier this month.
The Air Transport Industry Cloud will be built on SITA's global network, which connects 90% of the world's airlines and 320 airports.
Depending on demand, the cloud will use six regional data centers on five continents, plus virtual data centers at large airports. SITA wants to ensure that end users experience response times of no more than 100 milliseconds.
The IT group plans to deliver desktop virtualization in June, followed by infrastructure as a service. SITA also plans to offer software as a service; available applications will include its baggage management system.
The cloud could help SITA and the air transportation industry cut costs by, for example, consolidating servers in regional data centers.
SITA estimated that the industry could save $40 million to $50 million per month if all eligible companies move their server infrastructures to the cloud.
Cloud services could also allow airlines to quickly adapt to industry changes -- such as route expansions, disruptions or traffic spikes -- at lower cost, SITA said.
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