Pythian's cloud DBA expertise helps Nav Canada move critical data to the cloud to lower costs while ensuring high performance

Company 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 its airspace. They are also responsible for providing timely reports on missing or overdue flights.

Business Needs

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 (AWWS). Nav Canada needed to migrate from Oracle to Microsoft Azure SQL Database in order to get  a more cost-efficient environment for their critical flight planning data, while optimizing performance.
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The organization engaged the Pythian team to migrate their Oracle database to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database. Pythian’s team was tasked with creating a Proof of Concept (PoC) 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.
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Pythian consultants were able to demonstrate that the same level of performance could be achieved within a more cost-effective environment. With a successful PoC complete, the client is in the process of implementing the system across the production environment. Pythian proved that you don’t have to sacrifice performance to maintain cost-optimality, and continues to work as a trusted advisor to Nav Canada.
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Manager, Database Technology Services

“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.”