The airline industry's struggle to fill planes and flight schedules is reverberating throughout its supply chain, as fewer flights translate to lower demand for parts and maintenance services. One aircraft parts manufacturer is hoping that a project underway to better control IT spending will help it through these tough times.
Goodrich Corp., a $4.36 billion Charlotte, N.C., maker of aircraft parts, including engine nacelles, landing systems, and sensors, is rolling out Connect Corp.'s total lifecycle management desktop backup software to its Aerostructures and Aviation Services group. By next week, nearly 2,400 of the group's 2,500 managers, engineers, plant floor workers, and office workers will be able to use Connected TLM to more efficiently back up desktop files.
Connected TLM is comprised of the TLM Agent, the TLM Data Center, and the TLM Web-based management console. The TLM Agent runs on every PC in a company's network, enabling backup sessions to occur automatically without user intervention. TLM Data Center compresses data before it leaves the PC and stores it in a centralized database. The software also allows only change sets to be sent, rather than whole files. The Web-based management console enables IT managers to program automated backup sessions and review the results.
By making desktops more reliable locations to store data and files, because they can be easily restored, users are able to get more use out of their hard drives and backend servers don't get overburdened, says Aerostructures' team leader Mark Decker. The Aerostructures and Aviation Services group uses a combination of Compaq file servers that equal a capacity of 680 Gbytes.
With TLM, Decker and his IT staff can set up automated desktop backups, a trick they were unable to do previously. TLM also allows users to restore their own lost files, rather than requiring the user to open up a trouble ticket with IT support. By making it safer to store information on the desktops, Decker doesn't purchase extreme amounts of capacity for his file servers, which he estimated would grow to nearly 2 Tbytes over the next few years without desktop backup software. "We've slowed the rate at which we invest in capacity on the back end," Decker says. "If you're going to buy a 10- or 20-Gbyte hard drive and not use most of it, you're wasting money."
Decker characterizes the move more as cost avoidance than cost savings. He's freeing up staff from having to resurrect deleted files and freeing up capital by not purchasing new file servers, which he estimates cost Goodrich $25,000 each.
International Data Corp. research indicates the market for client backup software and services will grow from about $50 million in 2000 to about $127 million in 2005. In 2000, sales of Connected's TLM client backup software were about $12 million, or about 24% of the market, topping competitors such as Veritas Software, Dantz Development, and Novastor.