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OBS, Sita to build a global cloud infrastructure

SITA, the air transport industry IT specialist, and Orange Business Services (OBS), the leading global integrated communications service provider for businesses, have agreed to jointly build a global, high performance, managed cloud computing infrastructure. Each partner will use this infrastructure to deliver their cloud services portfolio to their markets with added global reach, reliability and minimum latency.

The cloud computing infrastructure will be based on six seamlessly interconnected Tier III+ and Tier IV data centres in five continents, in Atlanta, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney. Each data centre will cover their regional hemispheres and will be interconnected via Orange’s high-speed MPLS network. Over this infrastructure, OBS and SITA will offer their individual portfolio of cloud computing services, encompassing infrastructure as-a-service, platform as-a-service, desktop as-a-service, and software as-a-service. Both OBS and SITA will continue to own the service relationships with their end customers.

The infrastructure will deliver high performance cloud computing services globally. Network connections between the data centres are secured with premium levels of protection against malicious threats. Highly resilient service is ensured through redundant connections, failover sites, and network-based intelligent re-routing that can transfer traffic around any disruptions, leading to significantly higher performance levels between the data centres. The two companies are aiming to achieve no more than 100 milliseconds of latency when their customers are operating their applications in the cloud.

Rollout of the infrastructure has already started with the data centres of Atlanta, Frankfurt and Singapore being fully operational in Q1 2012 and all six data centres in Q3 2012.

The scope and reliability of this cloud infrastructure speak to the current needs of OBS and SITA’s customers, who are looking for sophisticated cloud computing engagements that can equally cover the global nature of their operations and deliver high performance.

Francesco Violante, CEO, SITA, said: “SITA has a successful 60-year track record of working solely for the air transport community, taking a long-term view and investing for the industry’s future. The globally managed network delivered to our customers as well as our industry knowledge provides the foundation for our investment in the air transport industry (ATI) Cloud. SITA continues to have a successful partnership with OBS, built on our network business. Cloud computing is a network-centric concept so when we were looking for a partner to build the infrastructure for the ATI Cloud, we knew it would be strategic to partner with a global operator. OBS was the obvious choice. Sharing the building and operation of the infrastructure brings economies of scale to both companies. Only by working together are we able to bring a fully formed, high-end cloud computing infrastructure that can meet the complex and global requirements of the air transport industry.”

Vivek Badrinath, CEO, OBS said: “By working for so many years with SITA, we know that the air transport industry is highly demanding. Therefore partnering on a managed cloud computing infrastructure is real-world proof that OBS can deliver the same high-performance, high-security cloud services to its multinational customers. The ambition of OBS is to make it easy for customers to access the IT resources they need by providing a one-stop-shop for a range of cloud computing services. By taking an integrated approach, OBS can deliver network and IT with end-to-end service level commitments wherever our customers do business. Thanks to this joint infrastructure, we will bring increasingly varied and flexible cloud services to the international market like never before, providing the global reach and the reliability our customers need to catch the promises cloud computing can deliver. It is a key milestone in our ambition on the cloud computing market.”

The strategic agreement between OBS and SITA builds upon a long-standing relationship between the two companies, aimed at  broadening their respective offerings and establishing innovating communication services for airlines, airports and other participants in the air transport industry.

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