Linz Airport Reaches New Heights by Selecting Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Launch Company Website

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October 19, 2011

Customer: Blue Danube Airport Linz

Industry: Transportation
Geography: EMEA
Country: Austria


Business Challenge:

To migrate and re-launch a new software platform for new company website

Solution:

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®, OpenCms web content management system

Hardware:

A total of four physical servers (HP Proliant DL380G7, 12 kernels, 60 GB RAM) have been deployed, running 50 virtual machines using load balancing

Benefits:

Highly scalable; Eliminated downtime; Increased flexibility; High-performance IT infrastructure for new website

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Background:

Aviation plays a major role in the further development of Europe's business growth. As a key component of upper Austria’s air traffic infrastructure, Linz Airport (Blue Danube Airport Linz) ensures mobility and rapid access to its customers, making sure its region is integrated with the rest of Europe and highly interconnected with the global economy.

Business Challenge:

Linz Airport’s legacy web content management system (CMS), OpenCms Web, allowed the company to benefit from the transparency of open source technology-based software. However, the company was looking for a supported system after questions arose over the software implementation and technology updates. Also, the maintenance contract for the server which maintained the company’s web CMS had expired. The server was running on Fedora, the Red Hat-sponsored community version,which does not include enterprise support.

In addition, Linz Airport had already virtualized large parts of its server infrastructure except for the computer running the web CMS. The tight server-application link proved to be a problem when developing an end-to-end virtualized IT environment for greater flexibility. Lastly, it had been several years since the company’s CMS experienced regular updates, leaving patches and bug fixes incomplete and updated only sporadically. In short, the software needed an update, leading Linz Airport to re-evaluate the existing infrastructure for the new website.

Solution:

Linz Airport entrusted the task of modernizing its system to a locally-based company and Red Hat partner, WebDynamite IT Solutions. WebDynamite, which was founded by Dr. Rainer Lischka and Dipl.-Ing. Dietmar Schinnerl, has been developing innovative high-end software solutions since 1999. As a spin-off of the University of Linz, the company maintains close links with upper Austrian research institutions. WebDynamite has several years of experience with developing applications using the JBoss® Enterprise Application Platform. “Based from experience with other IT projects, we knew that WebDynamite was an experienced and reliable partner,” said Ronald Hitzler, IT director at Linz Airport. “The company’s proven expertise with other large-scale implementations of web CMS software was also an important factor affecting our decision.”

One of the first steps was to migrate from Fedora, the Red Hat-sponsored and community-supported open source Linux community collaboration version to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a stable, supported and certified Linux version. Red Hat Enterprise Linux couples the innovation of open source technology with the stability of a true enterprise-class platform. By selecting Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Linz Airport could now take advantage of the flexibility and robust security of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The technology keeps systems secure through Red Hat support and security services. Red Hat works with customers, partners, and the global open source community to identify security threats and deliver fixes for potential vulnerabilities within one business day after being reported.

WebDynamite was responsible for both designing the entire new solution and for its technical implementation. First, the OpenCms web CMS was brought up-to-date and installed on the new server, enabling Linz Airport to host the website internally. The application was then migrated onto a virtual machine running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Migration of the older version of OpenCms to the current version was completed in just a few weeks’ time.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux represents the centerpiece of the new platform and is joined by OpenCms. The new application retrieves flight arrival and departure information from other systems via an FTP interface and prepares it for publication on the new website. For example, using the search functionality, potential customers can search for scheduled flights to and from Linz, while obtaining other important travel information.

Benefits:

Following the migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, both Linz Airport employees and customers visiting the new website now have an enjoyable user experience and increased quality of service. In addition, the website allows visitors to immediately access pertinent travel information so their travel experience is top-notch. To maximize the quality of user experience, the website has been rolled out in multiple languages, including German, English, and Czech.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux provided the airport with the stability and flexibility it needed to transition to the next generation of its website, at www.flughafen-linz.at. The modular and robust architecture supplemented by powerful management tools offers more control and scalability, and has enhanced infrastructure and application availability. These features are all crucial for the easy accessibility and the high quality of service of Linz Airport’s new website, which is one of the most important sources of information for its business and leisure travelers.

“In terms of the technology foundations, we deliberately focused on open source solutions when modernizing our website. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides an extremely reliable and highly scalable operating system for our IT platform,” said Ingo Hagedorn, marketing director, Linz Airport. “In particular, the website’s intuitive usability and its simple, easy-to-understand structure offers many advantages. With individual components that work together seamlessly and with Red Hat Enterprise Linux at its heart, it is extremely easy for us to develop or update it further. What we especially like is that it is highly flexible, and that makes our jobs much easier.”

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