Schiphol Group implements data science infrastructure

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To increase the business value from their data, Schiphol Group, the company that operates Dutch airports serving over 55 million passengers a year, consolidated all its data in a scalable Big Data infrastructure, using the latest technologies to ensure privacy and security. For Schiphol, data consultancy firm Xebia implemented Europe’s first Cloudera big data solution on Microsoft’s cloud hosting platform Azure.


After a tendering procedure, Schiphol Group awarded a consortium lead by the leading Dutch big data boutique Xebia to implement a managed Data Science Workbench on Microsoft’s Azure platform and with Cloudera’s Big Data solution. This workbench is a ready to use platform with all the necessary tools for Data Scientists, such as R/RStudio, Python/Pandas and IPython/Jupyter, but also easily extendible.

Schiphol Group is excited about the opportunities that are now within reach: ‘For Schiphol Group, Big Data has a strategic focus. In order to take maximum advantage of our data, we recently introduced our Data Innovation Lab,’ says Diederik Meijerink, team lead Data Innovation Lab at Schiphol, ‘The data science workbench enables us to kick start our Lab to improve the efficiency of our operations.’

Providing state-of-the-art solutions requires us to early adopt and combine new technologies. Being the first to accomplish the implementation of a managed service of Cloudera on Azure, exemplifies the innovation that motivates us’, says Rob Dielemans, managing director of Xebia.

In the next phase of this project, Schiphol Group and Xebia will work together on the development of data science solutions, including predictive maintenance models for the airport’s assets, like conveyor belts and elevators.

The first production implementation of Cloudera’s CDH on Microsoft Azure

Even more interesting than bringing an airport to the cloud, was that this is the first production implementation of Cloudera’s CDH on Microsoft’s Azure in Europe. By working closely together with Cloudera, Xpirit, Microsoft and Xebia, Xebia was able to implement the proposed solution.

Combination of Open Source and Microsoft

An interesting aspect of the implementation is the blend of open source components on a Microsoft platform. “Microsoft has made extensive engineering investments to make Linux and Open Source software a first class citizen on our Azure Cloud Platform, and with our partners like Xebia we are able to provide customers like the Schiphol Group with the widest choice of technology and deployment options to empower them on their journey to the cloud,” said Mark Hill, Vice President Open Source Sales & Marketing.

Managing director Pascal Greuter of Microsoft Gold Partner Xpirit (part of Xebia Group), adds; “What stands out in this project is that nowadays it is not necessary anymore to work with one technology exclusively. Instead we can focus on the right technology for the right purpose, no matter what brand is on the package”.

“Cloudera Enterprise is quickly becoming the platform of choice for companies that want to capture and run analytics on IoT data in the cloud,” said Tim Stevens, vice president, Business and Corporate Development, Cloudera. “Our reference architecture for Microsoft Azure allowed Xebia to implement a big data solution for Schiphol that’s tailored to their unique requirements."

About Schiphol Group

Schiphol Group is an enterprise that operates airports in the Netherlands, conducts international activities and participates in airports abroad. Operating Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the Group’s largest activity. Schiphol Group is the owner and operator of Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Lelystad Airport, and holds a majority share in Eindhoven Airport.

At the end of 2014, Schiphol Group employed 2,104 people, the majority of whom (1,915) worked at the Schiphol location.

About Xebia

Xebia is on the forefront of Big Data innovation. The team consists of a unique combination of experienced Data Scientists, excellent Data Engineers and state-of-the-art know-how of technology.

Whether it is search optimization for an e-retailer, predictive maintenance for a public transportation company, fraud detection for a bank or supply chain management for a production company; Xebia's Big Data solutions add to the bottom-line of any business.

Clients of Xebia include Wehkamp,, KLM, ING, Rabobank, Bakkersland and NPO.

About Cloudera

Cloudera delivers the modern data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies. The world’s leading organizations trust Cloudera to help solve their most challenging business problems with Cloudera Enterprise, the fastest, easiest and most secure data platform available for the modern world. Our customers efficiently capture, store, process and analyze vast amounts of data, empowering them to use advanced analytics to drive business decisions quickly, flexibly and at lower cost than has been possible before. To ensure our customers are successful, we offer comprehensive support, training and professional services. Learn more at

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About Xpirit

Xpirit (@Xpiritbv) are the experts in new Microsoft IT. Xpirit is a group of the leading IT specialists in Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management, Azure Cloud, and Enterprise Mobility. At Xpirit we employ the best people in the industry. We are a proven authority in new Microsoft IT. This is backed by the fact that over half of our employees have been awarded titles like Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and Microsoft Regional Director.