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It was about 10 years ago when executives at Sabre Holdings Corp. decided they needed to start thinking about moving their online travel business off their existing proprietary mainframes and onto a new platform.

Internet-based travel booking was gaining rapid acceptance among a growing group of computer-literate consumers and among travel agents and airlines, and with that grew the need for real-time data. Travelers were demanding more services and more options, and those demands were driving up costs for the worldwide travel commerce company. Sabre needed an infrastructure that was cheaper, faster, easier and more scalable.

Fast-forward to 2004, and Sabre is more than four years into a project of migrating its massive Air Travel Shopping Engine, or ATSE, and Low Fare Lookup application from its Hitachi Ltd. mainframe legacy system onto a platform anchored by Hewlett-Packard Co.’s NonStop architecture and a farm of commodity servers running Linux.

“We knew that for our evolution, revolution and existence, we had to continue to push our technology further,” said Craig Murphy, chief technology officer at Sabre, who inherited the project when he joined the company in 1996.

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