Case Study – Transport – Keolis Downer – Migration to Azure

Keolis Downer is Australia’s largest private provider of multi-modal public transport. They are the largest light rail operator in Australia and one of the nation’s most significant bus operators. Their operations combine world-leading expertise and in-depth local knowledge, drawing on the experience of Keolis, international operator and integrator of all mobility modes, and Downer, one of Australia and New Zealand’s leading providers of services to customers in markets including Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Industrial Engineering, Utilities Communications and Facilities.

Keolis Downer is the largest light rail operator in Australia, operating and maintaining Yarra Trams in Melbourne, G: link on the Gold Coast and the new Newcastle Light Rail. Keolis Downer is also the largest private multi-modal transport operator in the Southern Hemisphere with significant bus operations in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland, and is the operator of the new integrated public transport system in Newcastle. They also develop new forms of shared and customised mobility to answer local needs, such as demand-responsive transport services and autonomous vehicles.

Keolis Downer Bus division has been working with ITeam Consulting for over six years now. The close partnership allows for ITeam Consulting to provide alternate solutions for the companies’ future strategy. The two companies were keen to come up with a solution for the challenge of modernising a server fleet which was across three data centres in Australia and due for a hardware refresh. There was a need for enhancing the Disaster Recovery (DR) solution to reduce the risk and impact to the business of lengthy downtime within the dated solution that was in place. The design required an architecture refresh that provided flexibility to grow and deliver a robust Disaster Recovery solution without upfront over-investment risk while also maintaining an economical operating cost.

While legacy options to replace the hardware were considered, Microsoft’s solutions and features available in Azure met the demands of the expanding business and their requirements;

• Use remote desktops to remove the latency previously experienced by users.
• Provide Storage flexibility to grow.
• Enhanced Disaster Recovery.
• End the hardware replacement cycle.
• Greater visibility and control of systems

A tenancy in Azure was set up with a secure network connection into the existing network mesh. Azure Site Recovery (ASR) was used to migrate 20 existing Windows and Linux (to suit Line of Business) servers to Azure. Once systems were cut over, ASR was again used for DR in another Azure region.

The ITeam solution reduced the transition cost and eliminated the risk of replacing the existing hardware in the old Data Center while providing flexibility to grow without capacity limits. Reserved instances were used to reduce costs.

With ITeam’s monitoring systems we are able to identify and monitor costs at a granular level, leveraging PowerBI as a critical piece of the costing analysis. These tools also allow accurate budgeting for new server or service requirements in Azure. Moving from Capex to Opex allowed the business to manage its cost based on their current requirements. This flexibility is a double edge sword as the per hour cost on many Azure resources may lead to higher costs, but these are monitored and contained.

Server Disaster Recovery times now meet the business requirements reducing the previously 12 – 48 hours experience to 4 hours and in special cases down to 15 mins.

Azure’s Enterprise security systems are now available to Keolis Downer at significantly lower complexity and cost compared to what would have been required in their previous data centre environment. There is no longer the need to budget for hardware refresh of data centre equipment. Incremental project initiatives can be easily costed, without requiring scoping for new hardware/infrastructure and eliminating the ceiling on the server performance for additional projects.

The migration project was a big one for us and having ITeam manage this process so seamlessly and on time was a real comfort to us on the ground.  Any hurdles we came across, were worked through as a team, and the support ITeam provided was excellent.   Maria Kneller, IT & Support Services Manager

Comments are closed.