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Aeroméxico Expands Global Reach to Serve Millions with High-availability Deployment and Innovation on Pantheon

Mexico’s flagship airline uses Pantheon and WebOps to cancel downtime, accelerate development, and monitor performance for an excellent customer digital experience

Summary

Challenge

  • With millions of customer visits a month, Aeroméxico needed to strengthen its critical availability and reliability
  • Ensure no downtime, streamline required website maintenance and upgrade processes, and deliver excellent Drupal content management system (CMS) performance
  • Protect the website against slowdowns and failures during high-traffic events 

Approach

  • Active/active server configuration to provide failover in the event of an outage with no data or transaction loss 
  • Active/active configuration for load balancing site traffic and extending the Dev-Test-Live environments with Multidev
  • Pantheon’s practitioner training program to train development teams, and Diamond account for engineer support with a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) 
  • New Relic® Performance Monitoring to optimize high-traffic CMS performance 

Why Pantheon

  • Proven track record of enterprise-level reliability, uptime, security, and performance, even under heavy traffic conditions
  • Supported second instance of Drupal 7 for high availability, redundancy, and an error-free user experience
  • Expert training, proactive support, and a Dedicated CSM quickly onboarded Aeroméxico and supported ongoing projects 
  • Integrated New Relic into Pantheon dashboard for simplified management and to support critical Drupal modules like multilingual translation

Business Outcomes

  • Zero site issues during the airline’s high-traffic holiday season protected Aeroméxico’s revenue and ensured customer satisfaction with online ticketing
  • Achieved high eCommerce business continuity with an active/active high-availability deployment that supports one of the main sales channel for Aeroméxico
  • Won back time and resources, allowing developers to concentrate on creating outstanding customer features and Delta partner integration
  • The practitioner training program, customized support, and software tools allowed Aeroméxico to unlock new levels of productivity for its web and mobile apps

Introduction: Aeroméxico

Aeroméxico is Mexico’s largest international airline and is well known for its innovation and safety. Aeroméxico operates flights to more than 90 destinations, including Mexico, North, South, and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

In 2015, Aeroméxico extended its partnership with Delta so both airlines could give Mexico and U.S. travelers a seamless flight experience. The opportunity came with a challenge for Aeroméxico: Align its website experience with Delta’s and serve millions of customers a month on its website, mobile apps, and airport kiosks. 

Challenge: Always-On, No Matter What

With millions of customer visits a month, Aeroméxico needed to innovate web and mobile development, ensure high performance, and strengthen critical availability and reliability. The airline also sought to align design standards to support cross-promotional campaigns with Delta efficiently.

The IT organization swung into action to select a new web platform. Core requirements included a high-availability platform that would remain available to customers even during server downtime. The Aeroméxico team looked to improve the efficiency and pace of its DevOps team’s web and app development. The team also added a second instance of Drupal 7 for an active/active deployment, which protected website data and kept visitors from experiencing errors on the front-end. 

Finally, the team needed to deploy resource monitoring to manage heavy traffic for seasonal ticket sales, which in the past had overwhelmed the website and led to lost business and unhappy customers.

When our site failed two years ago, it was a serious loss. That can never happen again.”

— Daniela Soler, Systems Development Manager

Approach: Ensure Uptime with Two Active Site Options

Aeroméxico adopted Pantheon WebOps as its critical backbone. 

The first order of business was to build a highly available network configuration. Aeroméxico worked with Pantheon to deploy an active/active configuration model for production servers, where content syncs between the two configurations. Should the primary site go down, the secondary site will immediately take over with no loss of data or transactions. The Pantheon team integrated the WebOps platform with the airline’s Akamai content delivery network (CDN) configuration to enable the deployment.

The immediately available secondary site gives Aeroméxico high confidence in the site’s reliability. Soler said, “When our site failed two years ago, it was a serious loss. That can never happen again. We went with Pantheon, and we are confident that even if our site goes down, the secondary site will immediately take over.”

The active/active configuration also balances site traffic between the two configurations and supports Dev-Test-Live, enabling the developer teams to develop content and apps efficiently. 

The content team easily adds additional content every day directly in Live. Multidev lets the application development team work asynchronously on different projects and features without accounting for dependencies. The team uses the Test environment to verify and quickly reintegrate apps before going Live. 

To make the most of Pantheon WebOps and its advanced software tools, Aeroméxico used Pantheon’s practitioner training program to get its entire development team trained on the platform. The airline also signed up for the Pantheon Diamond tier, which provides a Dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) and 24/7 expert support. 

Soler said, “We were launching a major holiday campaign and expected very heavy usage on the website. Pantheon with New Relic enabled us to proactively monitor our applications and easily identify any potential issues before the campaign went live. We made a few changes and ended up with a high traffic, high sales, flawless campaign.” 

We went with Pantheon, and we are confident that even if our site goes down, the secondary site will immediately take over. 

— Daniela Soler, Systems Development Manager

Why Pantheon: A WebOps Platform that Delivers 

Aeroméxico turned to Pantheon and its proven track record of enterprise-level reliability, uptime, and performance. Expert training allowed the teams to reap the benefits of the platform rapidly.

Pantheon’s high-availability architecture coupled with an active/active deployment solved the airline’s biggest challenge: Keeping the site online even under heavy traffic conditions.

The support team of Pantheon is great, very responsive, and very fast. We get expert answers within the first 15 minutes of asking a question or reporting an issue.

— Daniela Soler, Systems Development Manager

Results: Confidence, Reliability, and Great Customer Experiences 

By choosing Pantheon as its web platform, the Aeroméxico teams immediately won back valuable time and resources from managing its tech stack. Developers put the saved time back into developing user-facing features to enhance the customer experience.

Downtime is a thing of the past with the active/active high-availability configuration, even with millions of monthly customer visits and even higher traffic during sales events. Performance monitoring runs from Pantheon’s dashboard, which frees up developer and IT time. 

Utilizing Pantheon’s practitioner training program and tools like Multidev and Terminus, Aeroméxico was able to confidently adopt WebOps practices and unlock new levels of productivity for its web team.

Soler also appreciates Pantheon’s expert Drupal support for critical modules like Drupal’s multilingual translation capabilities for Aeroméxico’s websites, mobile apps, and airport kiosks. No matter where a customer is accessing the Aeroméxico site, Pantheon reliably delivers the content.

Pantheon gives us the freedom to spend more time on delivering great experiences to our customers. 

— Daniela Soler, Systems Development Manager

Download the full Aeroméxico case study here.

Webinar Date Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 12:45

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