Russian Railways, one of the largest railway operators in the world, is working with IBM to help optimise its IT infrastructure and is using new technologies to improve its freight and passenger management systems.
Russian Railways manages an enormous network of passenger and freight trains relying on a powerful and dynamic IT infrastructure. To gain better control of this complex rail system, IBM is working with Russian Railways to migrate its freight and passenger management, as well as financial management, applications to three new consolidated, disaster-proof data centres based on IBM mainframe technology. Prior to this latest project, the company's human resource management system, which caters for the company's 1.3 million employees, was implemented on the new infrastructure.
The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2010, will enable Russian Railways to achieve a system reliability and fault-tolerance level of 99.9 percent while substantially reducing operating costs and capital required for future development.
'Rail networks in Russia have been using IT for more than fifty years, but in recent years technology has left the industry behind. Now we have access to the most powerful and intelligent hardware and software available to consolidate our large-scale IT infrastructure. This is increasingly important to us as we are integrating our operations and moving towards a centralised company structure,' said Valeriy Vishnyakov, Director of the Main Data Centre at Russian Railways.
IBM is partner to many other leading rail operators in various projects around the world where it is helping to build smarter rail systems. By using a combination of IBM hardware, software and services, leading rail networks are able to improve the speed, safety, reliability and efficiency of both passenger and freight trains.
'National railways are the backbone of the economy in many countries which is why governments all over the world are investing heavily in IT solutions to make railways more efficient and secure, and to improve the speed and maintenance of rail networks,' said Kirill Korniliev, Country General Manager of IBM Russia. 'IBM's technologies and rail expertise allow Russian Railways to lay the foundation for smarter railway transportation across Russia.'
IBM specialists developed an IT strategy that involved consolidation of the 17 Regional data centres and the main data centre to only three data processing facilities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. Replication between the facilities will enable data and process recovery in case of a regional disaster or failure at one of the centres, in which case the workload will be distributed between the other two operational centres.
Each data centre complex consists of two or more IBM System z10 servers running IBM DB2 and more than 15 high-end and midrange IBM Power6 servers. Earlier this year, IBM also signed a contract with Russian Railways to provide maintenance services for the data centres.
Russian Railways is also using IBM WebSphere software for core internal and external web portals. The internal portal is used for information management and document sharing amongst railway employees. The external portal improves the passenger experience by allowing tickets to be booked online without passengers having to visit a train station in advance.