From Take-off to Landing - Inspur Joins Hands with Air China to Build a \\\"superbrain\\\"

Background:

Air China Limited

Air China Limited (Air China) is China's flag carrier for civil aviation and one of the largest airlines in the country. As of late 2015, Air China's fleet consisted of 590 aircraft, most of which were manufactured by Boeing and Airbus. It operates 360 passenger routes across 40 countries and regions. As one of the three largest aviation companies in the country, Air China strives to establish an efficient and smart information system, so as to increase its operational efficiency and quality of service.

Over the years, Air China has insisted on using information technology to optimize its operation standards and airline service. Following the growth of its business, its data resources have never ceased to expand. For instance, the customer-centric information platform includes information query options and summarizations of various procedures such as flight query, booking, purchasing, check-in, and arrival procedures. Massive data are converged and query and analysis requirements are raised in these business systems, which in turn necessitates an enhanced information infrastructure platform. Thus, Air China plans to establish a next-generation information platform with rapid, stable, secure, and user-friendly interfaces, as well as to expand its existing infrastructure resources.

Challenge:

Requirements and challenges

  • Gradual expansion of data resources
  • Complex and diverse business systems
  • Establishment of a system with high deployment and large-scale access volume

System building requirements

  • Providing stronger computing power: The system must be able to support the company's service systems to realize massive data queries, comparisons, and analyses; optimize flight paths; formulate flight plans; and oversee aircraft functions
  • Increasing I/O throughputs: The system must be able to support the company's service systems, such as its self check-in system and sales system, under high access load conditions

Solution:

Based on the requirements of various business systems, Air China decided to build its system using Inspur's brand-new flagship four-path NF8480M4 server and dual-path NF5280M4 server. The NF8480M4 server is mainly used to support the company's business systems, such as its operation management system and flight planning system. Thus, the flight plans of all aircrafts are all controlled from a unified command and coordination center. On the other hand, the NF5280M4 server is mainly used to support the company's service systems, such as its self-check-in system and sales system. The server's ability to realize load balancing can achieve a system scale-out, which ensures that all guests are able to receive real-time services by accessing the company's network.

Benefit:

20% increment in processing performance: The excellent computing performance of the system ensures that all of Air China's flights around the world are under the precise control of its unified command and coordination center.

Enhanced network performance: During high concurrent access events, the system ensures a maximum response of six seconds.