Nav Canada – flight data in the cloud

Customer Success

Pythian’s cloud DBA expertise helps NAV Canada move critical data to the cloud to lower costs and ensure high performance 

NAV Canada needed to move critical data to the cloud to lower costs, while ensuring high performance. Pythian’s services ensured a seamless migration from Oracle database to Microsoft Azure SQL database. 

Overview

NAV Canada is a private, non-share capital corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service (ANS). The organization provides in-depth interpretive weather briefings and en route advisories to pilots operating anywhere in its airspace. They are also responsible for providing timely reports on missing or overdue flights. 

NAV Canada supports flight planning with aviation weather, aeronautical information, and online flight planning. Their collaborative planning system enables pilots to file, amend, delay, or cancel flight plans. The flight planning system supports complex flight information including visual flight rules (VFR) flight plans, user updates to VFRs, instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plans, updates to IFR flight plans, along with information from the Aviation Weather Web Site. 

The organization engaged Pythian to migrate their Oracle database to Microsoft Azure SQL database to get a more cost-efficient environment for their critical flight planning data, while optimizing performance.  

What we did

  • Provided consulting to demonstrate that the same level of performance could be achieved within a more cost-effective environment 
  • Created a proof-of-concept on an Azure database, while simulating the central SQL database; the team designed the tables on Azure with the proper data types, while translating more than 3000 lines of Oracle PL/SQL code to T-SQL code, primarily targeting improved performance 
    • With the existing database, geographical data is frequently collected from different sources to local Oracle databases and then transferred to a central Oracle database 
    • In the central database, a process (3000 lines of PL/SQL code) runs every 20 seconds, performing calculations on up to 3 minutes of collected data
    • This process calculates and summarizes the data (including geographical functions) and updates central tables accordingly 

Technologies used

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft Azure SQL Database  

Key Outcomes

Pythian’s breadth of expertise spans both traditional on-premise and cloud environments, making Pythian the perfect partner as we migrated critical workloads to the cloud.

– Pascal Chamma, Manager, Database Technology Services 



Increased performance and reduced costs significantly with a successful migration to a new Microsoft Azure SQL database environment 

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