Putting the power behind Hotelbeds’ soaring business

A scalable, cloud-based server platform makes staying ahead in the travel industry more affordable.

Company
Hotelbeds Group
Industry
Travel, Transport & Logistics
Employés
Less than 10,000
Location
Mondial

Overview

Staying at the forefront of today’s travel industry means Hotelbeds Group has to manage hundreds of millions of online transactions every day. And that number’s always growing. Keeping on top of that growth meant investing in more and more computing hardware. As a result, the group had around 700 servers, hosted in a third party data centre. But it needed a smarter solution. 

With our Cloud Compute platform, the group could scale up fast. And more affordably. Our professional services team made sure migration went smoothly. Now the group has near-limitless capacity and the assurance that our security products and experts are keeping cyber-threats at bay.

The challenge

The Hotelbeds Group’s platform connects travel services providers with travel sellers across the globe. With upwards of 430 million data requests a day from users worldwide to manage, the group was buying hundreds of new servers to keep up. As a result, the company’s physical estate had grown to around 700 servers, hosted in a third party data centre. It simply wasn’t sustainable.

We need to be able to quickly and flexibly increase our compute capacity. The only way to do that economically is in the cloud.”

Álvaro de Nicolás
CIO, Hotelbeds Group

The group needed a better way to manage its growing number of transactions. One that meant they could scale their services more affordably, make the most of their existing investments, and keep their whole operation secure at the same time. They knew that meant looking to the cloud.

The solution

With our Cloud Compute platform, the Hotelbeds Group can do things like deploy and monitor its own cloud services. Or create hybrid environments to address both private and public requirements. Everything’s easily managed via a set of tools in a self-service portal. 

The Hotelbeds Group solution runs across one of our BT data centres and a Hotelbeds Group data centre, both in Madrid. They’re linked over our IP Connect Global network for high availability and easy connection to the company’s operations in Europe, Asia and the US. 

To kick things off, our professional services team hosted a number of workshops with the Hotelbeds Group IT team to develop a transition plan. We also prepared briefings to help the company communicate the plan to staff and senior management. 

Once everything was agreed, the professional services team looked after the group’s migration to the cloud and made sure things ran smoothly and didn’t affect day-to-day business. 

Our Cloud Compute solution features Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) hardware “For us it’s important that BT runs Cisco appliances,” says Álvaro de Nicolás. “UCS provides a combined computing, networking and storage solution that means a faster and more reliable network.” 

The great thing about Cisco UCS is that it decouples scale from complexity. So, whether you’ve got one server, or a thousand, it’s all easy to manage. It also makes it quick to deliver new services, with end-to-end provisioning and migration support for both virtualised and non-virtualised systems.

The result

As well as being far more sustainable, our Cloud Compute means the Hotelbeds Group’s can better align IT investment with growth thanks to flexible commercial terms. New virtual servers offer near-limitless capacity and sure up business continuity. And they mean new servers can be deployed in minutes, rather than weeks, making the whole business more effective. 

Better still, Hotelbeds Group is redeploying 200 of its existing servers to our private cloud. The remainder removed or re-used for non-core applications in its HQ in Palma, Mallorca, so nothing goes to waste. The Hotelbeds Group Oracle database will be hosted on physical servers within the BT private cloud and the rest of the infrastructure will be fully virtualised in our public Cloud Compute zone in Madrid. 

And everything’s kept secure. Our contract with Hotelbeds Group also sees us provide security services like firewalls and DDoS attack prevention. 

“In fact, security is one of the key items on my agenda and the CEO’s agenda,” confirms Álvaro de Nicolás. “BT helps us with firewalls that protect our websites, as well as allowing us to move and redirect traffic in case of cyber-attack.” 

All in all, the new solution means the whole business can react to a growing and changing market faster. Sam Turner, Sales Director at Hotelbeds Group, sums up: We’ll also reduce cost per transaction, which in a scale-and-growth business is very important.”

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