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					                                               Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
                                               Customer Solution Case Study




                                               Cruise Line Sees Increased Availability,
                                               Smoother Sailing, with Monitoring Solution


                                               “On the e-commerce side, the greater availability
Customer: Carnival Cruise Lines
Web Site: www.carnival.com
                                               enabled by Operations Manager 2007 service-level
Customer Size: 36,000 employees                monitoring will translate directly into enhanced
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Travel & Reservation Services
                                               service to users and increased revenues.”
                                               Rodney Orange, Supervisor, Wintel Server Engineering Team, Carnival
Customer Profile
Carnival Cruise Lines, based in Miami,
Florida, operates 22 ships on cruises to the
                                               Carnival Cruise Lines wanted to boost the availability of a
Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska,            Microsoft® Exchange Server deployment crucial to ship-to-shore
Hawaii, New England, Canada, Bermuda,
Europe, and the Greek Isles.
                                               communications, as well as boost availability on its increasingly
                                               important e-commerce Web site. It’s doing that thanks to Microsoft
Software and Services
 Microsoft® System Center Operations
                                               System Center Operations Manager 2007. That means smoother
  Manager 2007                                 operations at sea, better customer service, higher revenues—and
 Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
  − Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
                                               increased efficiency on the part of the IT staff.
  − Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005
    Enterprise Edition
  − Windows Server® 2003 Enterprise
    Edition                                    Business Needs
                                               Carnival Cruise Lines wants to send                That ship-to-shore communication, it turns
                                               everyone on a cruise—except its IT staff.          out, is handled the same way most of the
                                                                                                  rest of the world communicates: through e-
                                               Carnival’s 22 ships make it the largest and        mail. Carnival has long relied on Microsoft®
                                               most popular cruise line in the world,             Exchange Server 2003 and is now upgrading
                                               according to the company. Carnival expects         to the 64-bit Exchange Server 2007. It has a
                                               to welcome 3.6 million guests to those ships       computer running Exchange Server on each
                                               this year. And while they’re enjoying their        ship, communicating over satellite with a
                                               cruise vacations, Carnival staff will work to      four-node cluster in Miami. And it’s not only
                                               make sure that operations run smoothly.            employees who communicate ship-to-shore
                                               Part of that effort means constant                 using Exchange Server—even line-of-
For more information about other Microsoft     communication between the ships and                business applications such as the Shipboard
customer successes, please visit:              Carnival’s Miami, Florida headquarters.            Property Management System rely on
www.microsoft.com/casestudies
Exchange Server as their communications             warehouse server, and an audit collection       Carnival is expanding its deployment of
mechanism. In all, Carnival has 800 servers         service (ACS) server.                           System Center Operations Manager 2007
running the Microsoft Windows Server® 2003                                                          beyond Exchange Server, to include its e-
operating system across the enteprise, many         To ensure a smooth transition from              commerce Web site and core applications
of which exchange data with the 16 to 20            Operations Manager 2005 with minimal            and services such as Microsoft SQL Server™
servers on each of the cruise line’s 22 ships.      impact on the business and its users,           2005 and the Windows Server 2003 Active
                                                    Carnival is implementing a side-by-side         Directory® service. As with Exchange Server,
Which makes Exchange Server mission-critical        migration to System Center Operations           the monitoring of the Web site and line-of-
to Carnival. But the solution was running at        Manager 2007, with the new monitoring           business applications provide full service-
only 90 to 95 percent availability. When            servers and agents operating alongside the      level monitoring.
problems arose with the infrastructure aboard       older versions for several weeks until the
ship, Carnival had to fly an Exchange Server        company implements a cutover. “Our              Benefits
specialist from its IT staff to the ship, whether   deployment is proceeding in a very              “MOM 2005 gave us a view into our server
the ship was sailing off Caribbean islands,         straightforward way,” says Orange. “With        performance, but we wanted more,” says
Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, or Europe (among            Operations Manager 2007, there are no           Orange. “We turned to Operations Manager
other destinations). The specialists probably       surprises.”                                     2007 for service-level monitoring to
didn’t mind too much, but Carnival did—                                                             understand how our services are
because of the expense and, even more,              Carnival makes extensive use of Microsoft-      performing—and where the bottlenecks are.
because the need to fly them out meant that         and third-party management packs for their      For example, our Exchange Server
shipboard operations could be affected, with        best practice knowledge to discover,            environment is highly distributed, with
potentially negative impact on guests.              monitor, troubleshoot, report on, and resolve   bridgehead servers, spam appliances, mail
                                                    problems for specific technologies. Orange      stores, and edge devices. When there are
“We wanted the Exchange Server                      and his colleagues are using management         problems, Operations Manager 2007 will
environment to run at top efficiency,” says         packs for System Center Operations              help us to pinpoint them immediately. We
Rodney Orange, Supervisor of the Wintel             Manager 2007 “out of the box;” are utilizing    expect fewer problems and faster time to
Server Engineering Team at Carnival. “We had        their investment in customized management       resolve the problems that do arise.”
to be able to see and troubleshoot problems         packs by migrating them to the new
without having to fly out specialists.”             monitoring solution; and expect to create       Service-level monitoring of the e-commerce
                                                    their own management packs using the            Web site and line-of-business applications
Solution                                            solution’s authoring tools.                     show the comprehensive status of the
To achieve that goal, Carnival is upgrading its                                                     services being provided, rather than just the
monitoring solution from Microsoft Operations       “We can have our developers create custom       status of individual servers. As a result
Manager 2005 to Microsoft System Center             management packs for their .NET solutions,”     Carnival gains a truer picture of service
Operations Manager 2007, the best-of-breed          says Orange. “That will build monitoring into   status, enabling it to make adjustments or to
end-to-end service management solution for          those solutions from the beginning, making      address problems more quickly. Service-level
Windows®-based infrastructures. The                 them more effective. This is key to enabling    monitoring of the e-commerce site, for
company began evaluating a prerelease               our IT staff to keep up with the growth we      example, enables Carnival IT staff to
version of the solution in November 2006 and        expect in the number of custom applications     understand how consumers are experiencing
began production deployment with the                we author and maintain.”                        the site, so the staff can take corrective
software’s release in March 2007.                                                                   action as appropriate to ensure that
                                                    EMC SMARTS is also part of Carnival’s           consumers have a great Web experience and
The System Center Operations Manager 2007           monitoring environment. To ensure smooth        can purchase reservations without problems.
environment at Carnival consists of six             integration of these solutions, Carnival has
servers: a gateway server to the DMZ to             used the Operations Manager 2005 EMC            As a result of service-level monitoring,
handle traffic from outside the enterprise,         Connector and it is evaluating the new          Orange expects Exchange Server availability
three root management servers, a data               version of that technology.                     to climb from 90-to-95 percent to 99 percent
                                                                                                    and availability on the e-commerce Web site
to achieve nearly 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-                             Carnival is reducing costs and boosting IT
week uptime. “Those increases make huge                                 efficiency through System Center Operations
differences to us,” says Orange. “It reduces                            Manager 2007 in other ways too. For
costs for the Exchange Server team and for                              example, the new version of the solution lets
the help desk that has to respond to our                                the company consolidate what had been
users, and ensures smoother operations on                               three Microsoft Operations Manager 2005
our ships. On the e-commerce side, the                                  configuration groups into just one. The three
greater availability enabled by Operations                              configuration groups had been necessary to
Manager 2007 service-level monitoring will                              give three sets of administrators—the e-
translate directly into enhanced service to                             commerce team, SQL Server database
users and increased revenues.”                                          administrators, and operational team—their
                                                                        own views into the monitoring environment.
Carnival executives want to know how these                              Now, role-based security groups in System
mission-critical services are performing—and                            Center Operations Manager 2007
System Center Operations Manager 2007                                   accomplish those same role-specific views in
tells them. Orange and his colleagues are                               a single installation. For example, database
creating dashboards that pull real-time                                 administrators only see alerts related to
reporting data from Operations Manager to                               database operation, rather than having to
give executives constantly updated statistics                           pour through alerts from the entire
on service-level availability and other service-                        infrastructure.
level agreement data.
                                                                        “Role-based views are a big advantage
Meanwhile, the use of management packs                                  because now, when administrators see
gives tier 1 helpdesk support more                                      alerts, they know those alerts are relevant to
information regarding user issues than ever                             them and they can take immediate action,”
before. With that information, helpdesk                                 says Orange. “The enterprise operates more
personnel can more quickly resolve many                                 efficiently—and our administrators do, too.”
problems without time-delaying escalation,
and they can more quickly escalate the issues
that require more in-depth support. In both
cases, the solution gets users up and running
more quickly.

System Center Operations Manager
contributes greater knowledge of
infrastructure status to Carnival in other ways,
too. For example, Audit Collection Service
goes beyond the corporate error reporting that
Carnival has been using, to provide an in-
depth log on computer and server activity that
Carnival can use to help identify recurring
problems, track security issues, enhance
planning, and meet regulatory audit and
reporting requirements.




This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published March 2007

				
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