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Leading Indian Travel Solutions Company adopts Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Develop Mission-Critical Travel Portal
October 21, 2012
Using Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® as their enterprise platform, along with other open source applications, has made Epitome Travel Solutions' core business more agile and the travel company more responsive to customers’ needs.
Customer: Epitome Travel Solutions
“Red Hat Enterprise Linux has made our business more agile by allowing us to rapidly respond to ever-changing business needs.” Vishwajeet Singh, chief information officer, ETS
Epitome Travel Solutions needed a cost-efficient, scalable and fully supported platform as the foundation for the design and creation of its travel portal, which provides customers with holistic travel solutions and excellent service.
Red Hat ® Enterprise Linux®
IBM Blade Servers
Using Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® as their enterprise platform, along with other open source applications, has made Epitome Travel Solutions#39; core business more agile and the travel company more responsive to customers’ needs.
About Epitome Travel Solutions Epitome Travel Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. (ETS) is a unique travel organization that offers diverse travel-related solutions and services to corporations and individuals. Founded by a group of experts who have decades of diverse experience, ETS aims to be a game changer in the burgeoning travel industry. Envisioned to provide holistic solutions to the awe inspiring and ever-expanding travel industry, the organization is focused on delivering excellent service to travelers. The ETS service portfolio reflects the diversity of existing market needs. It was developed after in-depth research by a group of travel experts and enthusiasts who are not only passionate about travel, but aspire to fill the gap left by the exponential expansion of global travel industry and rise in the aspirations of travelers. From the beginning, ETS has been focused on building a scalable and reliable IT infrastructure to serve and delight customers anywhere, anytime.
Building an agile, secure, high-performance platform
Epitome Travel Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. (ETS) is committed to being a game changer in the travel industry. The organization capitalizes on decades of experience and prides itself on providing holistic travel solutions and excellent customer service. “The travel business, in both its conventional and online forms, has reached a certain maturity level, so it is important that we find ways to set our services apart,” said Vishwajeet Singh, chief information officer, ETS.
The firm’s senior management realized early on that IT would play a pivotal role in enabling excellent customer service. Armed with this knowledge, the company created a comprehensive plan to establish a robust infrastructure for its travel portal. With ambitious aspirations to grow in the near future, ETS planned to initially cater to B2B and B2E segments, then add the large and complex B2C segment by the start of the next year. “To support such massive growth we needed an robust, reliable and agile IT platform,” said Singh.
Although IT is critical for business growth, the firm was highly cost-conscious. “We strongly value return on investment (ROI) for IT spending,” said Singh. The firm made a calculated decision to avoid off-the-shelf products to build its portal. “There were two major reasons behind this,” Singh added. “One was the exorbitant costs of these products, and the other was lack of flexibility in building the entire framework to specific needs.” ETS opted to build the complete framework of the travel portal, including the core engine and the interface, in house. “This would not just be cost effective, but we would also be able to use our experience to become a differentiator in the travel industry,” said Singh.
In addition to reliability, flexibility and cost, the infrastructure platform needed to be manageable, secure and supported 24/7. “Just as we support our clients 24/7, we needed similar assurance from our technology partner,” said Singh. Because the portal would be heavily accessed from multiple customers across the globe, security was also a critical parameter.
“Last, but not the least, was the performance parameter,” said Singh. The performance of the platform had to be excellent, especially since it was designed to feature various complex searching patterns and algorithms to respond to customers’ queries. “The resource requirement of the application was very high, but the operating system platform needed to consume minimal resources,” said Singh.
Developing a robust travel portal with Red Hat Enterprise Linux
With its requirements on hand, the ETS IT team began evaluating various options for implementing its unique travel portal. “Our requirements were very specific to our needs, and we knew we would need to build a customized application,” said Singh.
The firm evaluated multiple proprietary and open source operating systems. The IT team did the proof of concept (PoC) for two months to evaluate. “We rigorously evaluated the operating systems on reliability, flexibility, performance, security, ease of support, and cost,” said Singh.
After rigorous evaluation, ETS selected Red Hat as its trusted solution partner and implemented Red Hat Enterprise Linux as its core enterprise platform. The Red Hat solution was an ideal fit that not only met the firm’s criteria, but also allowed ETS to take advantage of rapid innovationfrom the open source community and avoid proprietary lock-in. Simultaneously, Red Hat’s subscription model provided ETS with a predictable total cost of ownership (TCO), while ensuring that ETS derives continuous value even after initial roll outs.
Platform to Succeed
“With the help of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we built a cost effective operating system platform without compromising quality,” said Singh. The entire infrastructure is powered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems running on IBM blade servers. The Red Hat platform ensures minimal use of hardware resources to maximize resources for the portal’s core engine. “We found that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a green operating system, highly efficient and fine-tuned,” said Singh.
After more than one year in production, the operating system platform has not faced any major issues or downtime–a strong testament to the stability and reliability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The firm has used other open source applications like Apache web server, Perl scripting language and MySQL database to develop its travel portal. “The combination of other open source applications with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is extremely robust and offers optimal system performance,” said Vishwaeet.
Red Hat’s partner, Team Computers, was a key factor to helping ETS implement its core operating system. “After analyzing their work environment, we found that the new travel application needed high availability and security,” said Vivek Srivastav of Team Computers. “We recommended Red Hat to suit their needs.”
Red Hat’s subscription model has helped ETS automatically obtain the patches, updates, and upgrades of the operating system. “With Red Hat, we found a trusted technology partner that supports us 24/7, from the development throughout the post implementation phase,” said Singh.
The travel portal of ETS has been live for over a one year. Today, more than 500 agents and various corporations use the firm’s services. “Currently, we have restricted ourselves only to the B2B and B2E market segments,” said Singh. “But with the kind of performance we on this platform, we are confident to launch and serve the B2C segment by early 2013.” In the future, ETS will implement additional Red Hat’s solutions. “Red Hat is the brand to trust and in the near future we will gradually move to a Red Hat-based open source environment,” said Singh.