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Monday, 14 February 2011
Round Rock, Texas, leading cruise line selects Dell servers, storage, workstations and laptops to manage onboard data, offering one of the cruise industry’s most advanced floating datacenter and shipboard social networks With the help of EqualLogic storage and PowerEdge servers, Carnival can save approximately 7,000 hours/year for shipboard Information Systems managers Dell is helping Carnival make its vacations as seamless as possible for its customers by providing the cruise line with high performance, reliable technology solutions to help manage all of their reservations and on-board experiences.

In order to support Carnival and its guests, the IT organization needed to consolidate its infrastructure to create a reliable, self-sufficient environment and to help reduce its physical footprint. Dell helped Carnival achieve this by deploying Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell EqualLogic storage arrays onboard the line’s 22 cruise ships and at their shore side data center in Miami, Fla. Carrying as many as 54,000 guests fleet-wide at any given time, Carnival needed an effective IT solution that would meet the unique criteria that comes with managing a self-contained cruise ship.

Carnival Cruise Lines can now benefit from running critical applications on their fully virtualized, Dell server and storage infrastructure by helping them save power and floor space while also reducing the amount of energy needed to operate their shipboard data centers. By implementing this new platform, Carnival has reduced their physical footprint by up to 60 percent, while the combination of storage automation and EqualLogic SANs have helped save Carnival’s information systems (IS) managers an estimated 7,000 hours/year in management time.

Depending on the size of the ship, Carnival was able to reduce the number of servers, which was anywhere from 13 to 22 physical servers, down to just two PowerEdge servers. The initial deployments were high-end four-socket PowerEdge R900 servers but Carnival quickly found their workload could be supported on mainstream two-socket Dell platforms such as the PowerEdge R710.

To support their back end data warehouse, Carnival selected EqualLogic PS6010XV, PS6010XVS, PS6000XV, PS6000E and PS5000XV 10GbE and 1GbE storage arrays. With the help of software features included in the EqualLogic platform, Carnival is now able to deliver high availability and redundancy for shipboard data centers. With the successes that Carnival had with the EqualLogic platform, they decided to move their shore side warehouse onto a similar platform. Prior to the EqualLogic deployment, the data warehouse was running on a legacy Sun Solaris-based system with EMC Symmetrix storage, but both the server and storage arrays were in need of replacements and upgrades.

“Dell helped us realize the advantage of the EqualLogic PS6010XVS array, which hosts hot data on solid-state drives while pushing cold data, the least-used data, to the slower spinning disks,” says Doug Eney, Carnival’s vice president of IS engineering. “Our proof-of-concept convinced us that the Dell platform could ensure that frequently used data is available without having to manually move data between two media types. This automation showed us that with the Dell solution, we save 60 to 80 percent compared to other high-end enterprise storage options we were considering.”

Furthermore, Carnival Cruise Lines has implemented Dell solutions in its corporate and onboard environments, including Dell OptiPlex desktops, Latitude laptops and Studio One desktop computers. Not only does this help provide passengers with onboard computer use, it allows them to access Carnival Dream’s Fun Hub, the cruise industry’s first shipboard social network, as well as a ship-specific intranet.

“Carnival has a well-deserved reputation as being one of the premier cruise lines in the world,” said Praveen Asthana, vice president of Enterprise Solutions and Strategy at Dell. “Dell worked collaboratively with Carnival to help design and implement the optimum data center and IT infrastructure for their unique environment. Dell understands and supports Carnival’s philosophy that logistics should never get in the way of fun for cruise ship guests.”

About Dell

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to its customers and uses that insight to help make technology simpler and create innovative solutions that deliver reliable, long-term value. Learn more at

About Carnival

Carnival, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is the most popular cruise line in the world with 22 “Fun Ships” operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe and other destinations. The line has two new ships set to debut between now and 2012. Additional information is available at

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

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