Airline opens redesigned, energy efficient data centre



Manama: Following its pioneering and successful introduction of cloud computing last year, Bahrain's national carrier Gulf Air has once again demonstrated its corporate social responsibility by adopting several "green" solutions in its Information Technology infrastructure and practices.

The latest in these initiatives is the opening of a state-of-the-art, energy efficient DataCentre at the airline's headquarters by Mr Maher Salman Al Musallam, Gulf Air Acting Chief Executive Officer.

After a tour of the Data Centre recently, Mr. Al Musallamsaid, "Gulf Air's 'Green IT' initiatives follow the directives of His Highness Shaikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Personal Representative of His Majesty The King, who has shown keen interest in promoting green technology in  Bahrain."

Gulf Air, as a corporate entity has been actively pursuing a 'green policy' in its business functions. Whether it is cloud computing or virtualisation, our goal isto be the pioneer in adopting "green solutions" that would help our organisation, our country and the environmentby saving energy, cost and increasing productivity.ThemodernData Centre is a very good example of this effort," Mr Al Musallam concluded.

Dr Jassim Haji, Gulf Air Director of Information Technology added, "The fully revamped Data Centre has been redesigned with energy-efficient blade technology and virtualisation that cuts the power requirement by 50% and uses 30% less airflow, making it one of the most environment-friendly IT centres in the country."

 "Similarly, through virtualisation we have reduced a substantial number of our physical servers resulting in 80 per cent less energy consumption. Besides cutting down our power and cooling costs and allowing more computing power in less space, these measures also help us to reduce carbon emission in our environment; for example, every server virtualized is equivalent to removing four tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the environment," Dr Haji concluded.

Gulf Air has successfully introduced a range of innovative solutions and practices across its IT domain – from networking to communications systems, from desktop management to IT business support services - which are not only environment-friendly but also prove to be cost effective and energy efficient resulting in higher productivity.

In recent times, Gulf Air has significantly reduced the use of hardware materials such as cables, wires, printers, desktops, servers that consume power, paper and time, adopted virtualisation, wireless networking, e-ticketing, Voice-Over-Internet-Telephony (VOIP) instead of wired telephones, and promoted recyclability and/or biodegradability of defunct products and waste.

Forthcoming green measures include e-form automation, SKyMeals application to reduce meal wastage through improved analysis and planning, introduction of wireless communications on the aircraft for "black box" recorders and replacing magnetic tapes with electronic recordings, online interface for information exchanges and reporting and, Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) that removes the need for paper based flight plans and manuals, to name a few.

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