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Allegiant Travel Relies on Linux on Power to Stay Cutting Edge in Data Analytics

Bryan O’Neil Allegiant Travel
Bryan O’Neil Director of Data Architecture, Allegiant Travel - Photography by Jacob Kepler

When Allegiant Travel started evolving its brand from a budget airline to a full-fledged online travel agency (OTA), the company realized data was the key to its future. While it was already using Power Systems* technology, the POWER8* chip provided some amazing movement forward. Paired with Red Hat Enterprise Linux* and the potential of OpenPOWER, Allegiant Travel now has a much better grasp of the meaning behind the data it gathers and how it can be put to actionable use.

“Data analytics is as much about finding questions as it is answers. And those questions are limitless, as are the answers. It’s all about, data, data, data,” says Bryan O’Neil, director of data architecture with Allegiant.

Allegiant currently has six Power Systems 822Ls handling all of its IBM DB2* requirements and it’s in the process of ordering two more, one of which will be devoted to IBM PowerVM* virtualization. Although these systems are more powerful than the ones they replaced, the core count actually shrank by about 75 percent. Comparing the cost of this deployment to an x86 installation, it saved the company around $1.2 million.

Prior to deploying its new data-crunching infrastructure, however, Allegiant was facing what so many other enterprises are—a plethora of disparate sources and large amounts of data that are sometimes impossible to make sense of, even though much of it is valuable and can impact the bottom line. From tweets to posts to online customer behavior, they’re simply awash in information.

But as Allegiant Travel has discovered, there are few excuses not to capture as much intelligence as possible, looking not just at yesterday, but also years down the road. As O’Neil puts it, “I like to think in longer, broader terms, as opposed to what the problem of the day is.”

And that surely is one of the keys to putting data to work, no matter how much or from which source. If it can be properly captured and parsed, it can lead to previously unattainable insight and increased competitive opportunities.

A Better Overall Picture

Sometimes referred to as Allegiant Air, Allegiant Travel is moving away from its roots of being known as an “ultra low cost carrier” to becoming an OTA. So instead of simply having a fleet of jets servicing underserved markets, flying into the smaller airports such as Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport rather than Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, for example, it’s branching out to become a one-stop shop offering many travel-related options, including hotels, rental cars and bundled leisure trips.

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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