Eurostar Migrates to Cloud in Six Months with Expert Assistance

Sagging network performance and frustrated users lead rail company Eurostar to deploy a cloud-based solution. With expert guidance, Eurostar moved to AWS and improved network operations, gained agility and insights, and reduced capital expenses, all within an incredibly condensed timeframe.  

  • August 24, 2023 | Author: Susan Biagi
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Eurostar operates train services between the U.K. and mainland Europe, and is perhaps most famous for its high-speed routes between London and Paris, where riders travel at speeds up to 300 km per hour (185 mph) and arrive in about two hours. The rail company offers 18,000 rail services each year and has served more than 200 million customers.

With that level of service and the back-office systems to support it, Eurostar needed to upgrade its technology infrastructure. The company was looking for a cloud-based system that would support fast, frequent, and incremental technology modifications as it continued to improve its services.

The pressure was on. Eurostar’s traditional data center agreement was about to expire, and it needed to move to the cloud within six months to avoid excessive contracting costs. To accomplish that, Eurostar had to migrate 30 databases and dozens of applications to the cloud and, critically, improve performance of the Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) system.

Oracle EBS posed a critical challenge. One of Eurostar’s biggest technology systems, Oracle EBS is used for a host of applications from employee payroll to supplier procurement. It ran on physical servers in a third-party data center, but performance degradation was causing problems during times of peak use. With offsite operations and limited IT staff, Eurostar had difficulty responding to user complaints. Eurostar wanted to boost functionality of Oracle EBS to lessen the problems.

Getting Performance Back on Track

To improve performance, gain agility, and reduce costs, Eurostar decided to migrate its financial, human resources, payroll, and procurement systems to the cloud. The process included transferring nearly 30 databases with terabytes of data and engaging new features to enhance operations. The Eurostar IT team sought a partner in Hitachi Vantara.

Hitachi Vantara provided a full assessment of cloud services options and detailed the implementation requirements and resources needed to complete the migration in the six-month timeframe. Eurostar chose AWS and formed a transition team with a lead architect from Eurostar and experts from Hitachi and Eurostar.

Close communication and teamwork enabled them to complete the migration one month early and on budget. The combined team broke down the migration tasks, tapped onshore and offshore expertise from Hitachi, and used the sprint methodology to complete tasks and test system changes without disrupting business processes. Post-implementation support includes infrastructure management from Hitachi.

On Time, on Budget, on Point

The migration to AWS has been a success. The entire migration was completed in five months, resulting in a capital expenditure savings of £3 million over five years. System and service availability has increased, allowing users 24/7 access from any device and location. New apps can be launched rapidly, and they have the ability to scale automatically as needed.  

Eurostar’s cloud-based system is faster overall, and non-production systems run at nearly the same speed as the live environment. Oracle EBS performance has improved, enabling faster interfaces with banks, HMRC tax authority, and other cloud systems that connect to Oracle EBS.

With the improved performance, user complaints have essentially ceased. In addition, Eurostar has gained agility, enabling it to modify its infrastructure quickly and easily. AWS provides greater analytical capabilities and better network visibility, so IT staff can plan and test upgrades before rolling them out. The result is a faster, more flexible network that enables anytime, anywhere system access and continued service availability, allowing Eurostar to focus on train travel not troubleshooting. 

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Image Credit: Hitachi Vantara

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