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Catherine Kellogg

Fareportal Brings Supply and Demand to its Data Center Management

fareportal data center managementWe are big fans of supply and demand over here at VMTurbo. It is the driving principle behind our technology, and just so happens to be the driving economic force behind the modern travel industry, from ride-sharing services (cough, cough, Uber) to online travel sites. So it’s only right that Fareportal, a leading technology company powering some of the world’s largest online travel agencies, including CheapOair and Travelong, brought this supply chain mindset to the their data center management.

Virtualization is not a new concept, per se, but over the last decade we’ve seen greater adoption than ever before. For a company providing the breadth of services that Fareportal does, operating in a non-virtualized environment was outrageously costly and time consuming, and simply was not an option if they hoped to grow and continue their success. Thus the IT team took a “leap of faith” and virtualized their environment, quickly achieving nearly 95% virtualization. Old habits die hard however, as they say, and they continued the same provisioning practices that they had before virtualizing. “It was as if we moved from one physical environment to another,” said Fareportal’s Senior VP of IT and Operations Infrastructure, John Samuel. What they needed was a control platform that matched the needs of their applications with available infrastructure resources to enable them to get the most out of their investment in virtualization and avoid constantly overprovisioning. In other words, they needed a way to meet demand with existing supply.

vmturbo data center managementAnd it is here that VMTurbo enters the story. After deployment, the platform quickly mapped out Fareportal’s environment, and immediately began providing recommendations to improve both performance and efficiency.

A major impediment to Fareportal’s ability to see maximum value in their investment in virtualization had been the massive size of their workloads. “We used to run just a few VMs per UCS blade as we were concerned about overloading them during busy workload periods – remember these are large volume web servers.” VMTurbo’s real-time control system allowed Samuel and his team to do something they had never been able to do before: meet the demand of the workloads with the infrastructure supply. By increasing the amount of VMs per blade, VMTurbo enabled the Fareportal team to get up to 60% more out of their investment.

Samuel’s team found this “supply chain mindset” to be the solution to their troubles. “You can only do so much by load balancing, especially for workloads as large as ours,” he said, “Out of the box VMTurbo made rightsizing recommendations by matching supply and demand of current workloads, in real time.” The increase in density experienced by the IT team at Fareportal allowed for tremendous savings on hardware, dramatically increased utilization and not to mention, some much needed peace of mind over the performance of their massive workloads.

For more on how supply-demand principles allowed Fareportal to gain control over their environment, take a look at this customer case study.