In my previous blog post, 5 Things to Know about the IBM System x Reliability Solution for Stratus everRun Enterprise, I introduced the IBM System x Reliability Solution. In this blog post, I’d like to explore one of the implementation cases of the solution in the Travel and Transportation industry.
Air Traffic Control (ATC) is one of the most critical services in providing safe and secure air transportation environment around the world, and one of the key ATC components is a voice communication system between air traffic controllers and airplane pilots.
No doubt, the ATC voice communication systems and applications should not experience any downtime, because any loss of communication could lead to catastrophic consequences. Therefore, continuous availability and fault tolerance are essential requirements for any ATC system.
To support mission-critical workloads of such a kind, IBM and Stratus have partnered together to deliver the best of breed combination of highly reliable IBM System x servers and leading edge Stratus everRun software. The IBM System x Reliability Solution for Stratus everRun Enterprise is designed for continuous availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery.
The solution offers a set of hardware and software components, technologies, and tools to make sure that your Windows and Linux applications can continue to run without any interruption, despite a failure in hardware or software, or even in the event of an entire site failure. Unlike many other high availability solutions that focus on recovering from a failure as quickly as possible, this solution is focused on preventing downtime. IBM and Stratus achieve this by incorporating multiple levels of redundancy with intelligent monitoring and fault handling capabilities into the solution.
Because of its need for continuous availability and fault tolerance in critical air traffic control environments, Harris Corporation chose the IBM System x Reliability Solution for its installations of ATC voice communication software at airport sites in the Middle East, South Africa, and South Asia. At each airport, the IBM System x Reliability Solution enables air traffic controllers to communicate with airplanes, and allows engineers to maintain the communications environment. Airports with extremely stringent operational requirements can run their management application on a pair of System x servers in a virtual environment, which provides the redundancy to achieve the required higher availability.
The solution components included redundant fault-tolerant pairs of IBM System x3250 class servers running Intel Xeon processors, Stratus everRun MX software, and Citrix XenServer virtualization. In the event of a system failure, the user experiences no interruption or perceptible change, because the ATC management application hosted on a virtual machine exists on a redundant server pair. If one server fails, the application continues to run on the other server with no interruptions or data loss.
Francis Deault, air traffic control systems engineer with Harris, states: “Whenever we need the Stratus solution, we use IBM System x servers – and we don’t plan to change that.”
For more information, read the full case study: Stratus everRun and IBM System x servers support continuous availability for air traffic control
Ilya Krutov is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on various topics related to IBM System x, IBM BladeCenter, and IBM Flex System. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaAtRedbooks.