Gatwick Airport installs next generation IT network with HPE

Gatwick Airport North Terminal

Hewlett Packard Enterprise have announced that it has supported Gatwick Airport – the UK’s second largest airport and a critical national infrastructure site – in future proofing its entire IT network.

The new network, provided by HPE and Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, allows the airport to take advantage of new, modern technologies for the benefit of airport users – including more than 250 onsite businesses, 30,000 staff and 45 million annual passengers – while also making the network more resilient and tolerant to disruption.

Completed in just 18 months while the airport remained 100% operational, the project had to be completed without any downtime or instability.

Similar transitions typically take up to four years, but Gatwick and HPE absorbed the challenges of completing the massive project in less than half the normal time, to ensure Gatwick had the resilience necessary for a critical national infrastructure site and the world’s most efficient single-runway airport.

Marc Waters, Managing Director for UK & Ireland, HPE, said: “Transitioning from old to new networks while keeping the world’s most efficient runway operating is like performing open heart surgery on a patient while he is running. We’re delighted with how smoothly the project has run – the world’s most efficient single runway now has an equally powerful and productive IT network to match it.

“All parties have worked seamlessly, while the airport remains fully functioning, to avoid any impact to the day-to-day running of the airport and its millions of passengers. This transition will be one of the most impressive to have taken place in recent years – we’re very proud to have led it.”

For Gatwick Airport, resilience and security is absolutely essential in the network. The old network provided a limited number of data paths to communicate between its constituent components – but the new simplified and fully meshed design provides 10 times the number of links for data to traverse the campus, making it much more resilient to disruption.

This will completely change the passenger experience and improve efficiency across the airport, with new technologies including; Internet of Things, Superfast WiFi; Network for campus entities; CCTV & IPTV services; Passenger flow analytics; Baggage reconciliation; Machine learning and facial recognition.

The network deal, worth $15 million, was implemented by a team of leading international experts within HPE, Aruba and the Gatwick team.

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