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September 25, 2012

UK's Air Traffic Control Organization NATS Adopts Virtual Desktops and Flash-based Data Storage

To save millions of pounds, UK air traffic control organization NATS is taking the virtual route. For that, the air traffic control group is adopting virtual desktops and Flash-based data storage system for its new cloud infrastructure. According to Computerworld UK, NATS has gone to Violin Memory for its Flash memory array technology to support its forthcoming 6,000 seat virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI) rollout.

The report indicates that NATS is transferring all of its desktop IT services to a cloud-based infrastructure. By creating a virtual desktop environment NATS expects to reduce costs by £9 million (US $14.6 million) over the next four years, shrink its environmental footprint, improve flexibility, meet operational SLAs and deliver an improved quality of service to 4500 users.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Violin Memory designs and manufactures enterprise Flash memory arrays that combine Toshiba (News - Alert) NAND Flash, DRAM, distributed processing, and software to create solutions like Network-attached storage (NAS), local clusters, and QFabric data centers.

According to Violin Memory, NATS is the largest implementation of cloud-based infrastructure in the transport sector to date. It will allow more effective collaboration between NATS staff and business partners across NATS locations, over multiple geographic regions.  Staff will have access to the services, information and applications they need for their particular role, creating a customized experience.

Flash-based data storage supplier said that its solution will be based on Violin Memory 6000 series Flash memory arrays that each provide over 1 million IOPS at ultra-low latency. High availability was of paramount concern and Violin Flash memory arrays offer industry leading levels of redundancy, making it the natural choice for this mission critical VDI deployment, said the maker.

In a statement, Gavin Walker, chief information officer for NATS, said. “To cater for the heavy loads generated by boot storms and logoff periods, traditional storage area network (SAN) based solution would have required many shelves of disks, consumed more power, required significant cooling and incurred higher maintenance costs. We needed a high performance solution which would scale to at least 6,000 seats with no appreciable degradation to user experience.”

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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