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Midwestern U. S. International Airport

“Some of our switch configuration changes had not been saved. There was no report available in the legacy system to tell me that. With the information from NetMRI, the IT team quickly remedied the problem.” — IT division manager, U.S. airport


Industry: Travel

The Customer

This customer is a municipal airport catering to general, private, and corporate aviation at one field and scheduled service at another. It handles flights originating in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and some other countries. The IT organization provides support to airlines and other tenants serving the airport’s passengers.

The Challenge

IP addressing is an important factor in the operations of the airport. If it is not performed efficiently, passengers can miss flights or flights can be delayed or even cancelled, and if that happens, the consequences for the airlines can be serious. They might have to pay passengers for missed flights, and they might be fined for not maintaining schedule. Their reputations are also at stake. IP addressing also supports the free Wi-Fi service the airport offers to passengers, which at any given time can have anywhere from 300 to 600 people accessing it from their mobile devices.

The system in place at the airport consisted of roughly 300 switches from a major switch vendor. The management tool from that vendor didn’t give IT the ability to identify the root causes when there were problems, which meant downtime for services to airlines and passengers. Minor outages were common, and a major outage was a constant possibility.

What the airport needed was an IP address management (IPAM) solution that wouldn’t go down, period.

The Infoblox Solution

The airport’s IT team heard about Infoblox at a trade show, and got a demonstration of the Infoblox NetMRI network automation solution, which provides automatic network discovery, switch-port management, network change automation, and continuous configuration compliance management for multi-vendor routers, switches, and other layer-2 and layer-3 network devices. They were sold.

The Results

“We installed NetMRI,” says the IT division manager, “and the first week we just kind of left it alone and let it gather its stats and do what it needed to do. Then we started running reports on it. One of the things we found out was that a certain percentage of our switches had changes made to the configurations, but those changes had not been saved. There was no report available in the legacy system that would have told me that. I would have had to log into each one of the switches individually.” With the information provided by NetMRI, the IT team was able to quickly remedy the problem. Within the first week of NetMRI operation, the IT team’s service-level compliance score rose from 8 to 9.2. After six months, they began to plan to integrate the solution into their disaster-recovery site. Infoblox also offers training in the solution that the IT team is taking advantage of.

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