CAMPBELL, Calif., 7 January, 2003 - One of the world's largest online tour operators has chosen Redline Networks appliances to speed user access to its Web sites and solve latency problems that had been slowing its transatlantic and transcontinental Web traffic.
In initial tests, London-based Gulliver’s Travel Associates (www.gta-travel.com) found that deploying Redline Networks appliances could improve download speeds by as much as 50 percent across its worldwide network. Since the end of 2003 all of GTA's website traffic has been running through Redline appliances.
GTA's central online booking system operates on a global extranet and offers access to accommodation and local services via local travel operators, allowing database searches of more than 20,000 hotels worldwide. Booking requests are passed to the company's back-office reservation system for availability checking. With most contracted hotels guaranteeing space exclusively for GTA's use, the system can offer room confirmation in seconds. A recently established online brand, www.OctopusTravel.com, extends these services directly to the consumer, often through co-branding agreements with GTA partners such as EasyJet, BMI and Eurostar. OctopusTravel's newest service lets visitors access interactive destination maps to plan routes and itineraries; in September a survey showed that requests for such maps came in at the rate of one per second.
OctopusTravel.com's rapid growth and the addition of new services had, before Redline, been accompanied by a slowdown in Web page uploads and downloads, especially in the company's largest markets, the Far East and the United States, said Chris Anders, operations manager at GTA.
"Our existing Web servers had been robust and reliable, but cracks were beginning to appear," Anders said. "As demand soared and we expanded our service to international markets, we found ourselves competing with local suppliers whose Web solutions did not have the latency issues brought about by transatlantic traffic. The old model of adding new servers to boost capacity was not sustainable from a cost or service-level perspective, so we started looking for new ways to guarantee customers a fast and simple transaction process."
GTA commissioned a third-party consultant to test the ability of Redline Networks appliances to improve Web infrastructure performance from different global locations. Sitting in front of an organization's Web servers, the appliance uses an operating environment and software architecture designed specifically for Web-based I/O functions. Outbound traffic is compressed and optimized in real time, speeding transmission of content to modem and broadband users while reducing bandwidth usage and increasing server capacity.
Download speeds to GTA's central system improved significantly using the T|X solution: 50 percent from the Far East, 35 percent from the U.S. and more than 30 percent across all territories. Based on these test results, GTA is deploying two T|X units to handle all its Web traffic and offload SSL (secure sockets layer) traffic from its Web servers.
"The Redline units manage all HTTP session requests from the client, dramatically reducing server overhead," Anders said. "This has not only improved our Web site performance, but it will also lead to major savings on the amount of bandwidth GTA has to purchase in the future. This will future-proof GTA against anticipated bandwidth demand, and ensure that customers in our key markets enjoy quicker upload and download speeds so they can complete bookings and other online transactions and bookings quickly and efficiently."
Gullivers Travel Associates is the largest independent supplier of global tourism products to the travel industry. GTA serves a global network of clients who benefit from the company's buying power with thousands of hotels and millions of services worldwide. The 30-year-old GTA has more than 1,700 employees, 30 global sales and service offices, and revenues in excess of 6 million.
About Redline Networks
Redline Networks designs and manufactures network appliances that maximize the performance, flexibility and scalability of Web-enabled enterprise data centres. The company's family of E|X enterprise application processors, deployed at corporate data centres, and T|X Web I/O processors, used by Websites, enable users to control and customize any HTTP-based environment while reducing infrastructure cost and complexity. Redline is a privately-held company based in Campbell, Calif. For more information on Redline and its products, visit http://www.RedlineNetworks.com.
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