The city manages traffic using a digital clone built by Alstom and its partner DXC Technology. The clone is based on VMware hyperconverged infrastructure.

Originally published at VMware Blogs

Alstom is one of the leading international players in the rail industry with more than 75,000 employees in 60 countries worldwide. The company generates annual sales of €15.5 billion.

Alstom produces railway equipment (high-speed trains, trams and metros), but also provides security systems management services and maintains equipment and systems in operation. Digitization plays an increasingly important role in the company.

Alstom’s Digital Mobility division (ADM) develops traffic management systems for the rail sector. The focus here is on optimizing real-time performance in terms of security and multimodality by providing connectivity and focusing on autonomous driving. ADM is currently developing the world’s first regional rail network with self-driving trains.

ADM also plays a key role in traffic management in one of Europe’s largest cities. The Amsterdam metropolitan region has a population of 2.5 million and has a highly integrated public transport network. ADM manages the city’s tram and metro system.

To explore different traffic scenarios, ADM wanted to make a digital clone of the Amsterdam public transport network. According to Mehdi Belahcen, Senior Cloud Architect at Alstom, the ADM team needed a scalable and secure technical infrastructure to do this. That is why a pool of more than 3,000 servers was hosted in a private cloud on Alstom’s premises. ADM takes care of the management itself.

Making a digital clone accelerates innovation

Alstom has been supported by DXC Technology, a digital services provider, since 2015. DXC Technology’s technical teams manage Alstom’s private cloud, public cloud and legacy infrastructure environments.

DXC Technology, with support from hardware and software partners including VMware, has combined a hyperconverged VxRail™ platform from Dell EMC with a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) and VMware Cloud Director™.

“Alstom attaches great importance to security. That’s why we integrated the VMware NSX™ Data Center software suite to separate and secure the production environment as a whole. This separation allows us to isolate all environments managed and hosted on the VxRail platform and provide a high level of security and exchange across applications.”

Stéphane Torlet, Chief Technology Officer EMEA at DXC Technology

The platform is a pre-packaged solution of 21 hyperconverged units that integrates storage, CPU, and RAM. This allows Alstom’s project needs to be met in a highly secure manner without compromising scalability.

Deployment of the hyperconverged platform for new projects

“Thanks to the digital clone, we have been able to show our Amsterdam customer that the proposed solution is viable. The development of a traditional model would certainly have taken several months, but with the digital clone we were ready in a few weeks, including validations.”

Mehdi Belahcen, Senior Cloud Architect at Alstom

The Amsterdam success has accelerated the adoption of this platform in other business projects within the group. In less than two years, Alstom has expanded the number of virtual machines from 300 to more than 1,500. In the future, the company plans to go even further by replicating the model based on VMware solutions in the public cloud, increasing flexibility and scalability.

“The VMware solution allows us to achieve a high level of delegation of fully optimized actions applied directly by the Alstom companies in an autonomous and highly secure manner”.

Stéphane Torlet, Chief Technology Officer EMEA at DXC Technology

About DXC Technology

For more than 15 years, DXC Technology has been developing IT solutions that leverage VMware technologies to modernize and integrate data centers with public clouds, renew applications and transform security.

Jens Koegler

Jens Koegler is VMware's Healthcare Industry Director in EMEA. He is helping our healthcare customers develop and run modern applications to drive innovation and ensure better patient care through a digital foundation that includes data center, hybrid cloud, mobile, networking and security technologies. VMware plays a strategic role in the healthcare industry. Its leading innovations in enterprise software help ensure consistent patient care and reduce IT access time for healthcare professionals so they can spend more time with their patients. Jens plays a key role in helping customers understand how new applications, devices, the latest IT technologies and digital transformation are driving innovation in healthcare.