Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) has 12,000 employees and provides both the infrastructure and air-traffic control for the more than 47 airports of Spain. In an effort to reduce IT cost and complexity, Aena looked toward the advantages of extending its core IT team to include an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor directly from Microsoft. To do so, Aena opted to take advantage of Microsoft Services Advisory Services. Since working with its advisor, the organization has greatly accelerated its technology deployments, aligned IT to the needs of business, and achieved cost savings through ongoing infrastructure consolidation efforts.
||Our advisor is one of us, and his advice, technical level of knowledge, and understanding of our IT environment is what makes him our trusted advisor. He provides a very clear, actionable IT strategy for Aena.
||Rafael Perez Roca, IT Business Manager of the Windows Department, Aena
Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) has approximately 12,000 employees and is the government-run airport and air-traffic control authority of Spain. The organization provides both the infrastructure and air-traffic control for more than 47 airports and six air-traffic control centers.
Aena works primarily with outsourcing partners and vendors while maintaining a minimal IT team of its own to support its distributed IT environment, which includes more than 1,500 Windows-based servers. These servers host critical services, ranging from email to runway lights management. Because airports are crucial national-infrastructure resources, the Aena IT team makes systems availability a top concern, holding redundant data centers at some of Spain’s key airports.
The Aena IT team is responsible for finding ways to deliver more value through IT while reducing IT cost and complexity. In meeting these objectives, Aena looked toward building a more consolidated and manageable enterprise architecture. Its ultimate goal was to empower the Aena IT team to focus less effort on systems upkeep and maintenance in favor of supporting new IT initiatives. Aena made the strategic decision to extend its core team to include an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor directly from Microsoft. Rafael Perez Roca, IT Business Manager of the Windows Department at Aena, explains, “To build a more effective enterprise architecture across our airports, we wanted to add an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor from Microsoft to our operations. This would provide us not only with the capabilities we needed as an organization but also with a gateway into the Microsoft product groups, which would help ensure that the services we deployed followed proven best practices and were highly available.” Solution
To architect a more efficient IT infrastructure, the Aena IT team turned to the benefits of Microsoft Services Advisory Services, which provides Aena with an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor. To begin, the advisor worked across the IT, business, and outsource teams of Aena to build a strategic road map for IT improvement. Says José Ramon Padilla, IT Manager from Indra working on behalf of Aena’s Windows Department, “Our advisor worked closely with us in developing a very ambitious IT road map. And because of the level of expertise he brought to our team, we were confident that we could act on it.”
From this road map, Aena began a journey in which it rolled out a single Active Directory service for all 12,000 employees. Aena also deployed an organizationwide email service, server management tools, and current operating-system and business productivity software. At the same time, Aena underwent multiple server-software upgrades, enabling the organization to ultimately take advantage of virtualization technology to help consolidate infrastructure, reduce costs, and improve the availability of services. Through server virtualization alone, the Aena IT team has achieved dramatic improvements in the following areas:
Production servers. In the future, Aena plans to consolidate the Active Directory domain controllers of its small-sized airports to a single Hyper-V Server cluster with Active Directory controllers.
Email servers. In future work, Aena will centralize its email service for all smaller airports to a single, centralized email cluster, eliminating as many as 30 servers.
Stand-alone application servers. Much of Aena’s airport software resides on stand-alone servers. Aena plans to consolidate these servers into virtual server clusters, not only reducing infrastructure costs, but also improving the availability of these services.
In helping to facilitate these projects, the advisor holds quarterly checkpoints to compare with the initial road map and to report on advances that have taken place in the organization with Microsoft technologies. The team measures the success of the projects by using surveys and service-level agreements between the Aena business and IT groups. Ongoing knowledge transfer, which the advisor facilitates, also plays a key role in helping the Aena IT team build the enhanced skills needed to drive these ongoing IT improvements and enhance the supportability of the evolving and now more streamlined environment.Benefits
By extending its team with the expertise of an IT Architecture and Planning Advisor from Microsoft, Aena has acted upon a range of strategic IT initiatives while laying the groundwork and establishing a plan for ongoing IT improvements. Says Mr. Rafael Perez Roca, “Our advisor is one of us, and his advice, technical level of knowledge, and understanding of our IT environment is what makes him our trusted advisor. He provides a very clear, actionable IT strategy for Aena.”Accelerate Technology Deployments
Having leading IT architecture expertise on tap has proved invaluable for Aena, enabling the team to quickly act on new projects. Says Mr. Rafael Perez Roca, “For us, the return on investment of Advisory Services is found in how it enables us to greatly accelerate our technology deployments. We are a very large organization and it generally takes us years to finish a project. With our advisor, we were able to overcome many of the roadblocks we would otherwise face and successfully completed a range of projects in a much shorter period of time.” Reduce IT Costs
Through Advisory Services, Aena was able to consolidate its infrastructure and deploy a new, more effective IT backbone for its organization, ultimately reducing IT costs.
“With the help of our advisor, we were able to consolidate our infrastructure and reduce maintenance and administration costs while simultaneously improving the redundancy and availability of our IT services through technology such as virtualization,” says Mr. Rafael Perez Roca. “And thanks to these efforts, we are now seeing cost savings across hardware, air-cooling systems, and other physical infrastructure. These types of cost savings will only get better as we continue to consolidate additional infrastructure and build new, more effective data centers for the remaining airports.” Maximize IT Investment Through Business Alignment
Working with its advisor, Aena took advantage of the Microsoft products and technologies it already licensed to act on the needs of business and build a more consolidated and highly available IT environment. Says Mr. Rafael Perez Roca, “Our IT Architecture and Planning Advisor has helped us to deliver more value through IT. He brings deep knowledge of Microsoft products and technologies and can incorporate that into both our short-term and long-term strategies, helping to ensure that our IT initiatives are in line with business goals.”
Adds Mr. José Ramon Padilla, “The engagement has not just been about the fact that we could consolidate our infrastructure and save money. It’s about how time is freed and how we can now spend time on new things and look at new technologies as we move forward.”