Eurostar

Eurostar is the high speed train service that directly links the UK and the Continent via the Channel Tunnel, with destinations including Paris, Brussels, the Alps and the South of France. Eurostar offers passengers a seamless city centre to city centre travel experience and since starting operation in 1994, has carried over 165 million passengers.

From the outset, the business has been built on innovation, as the first and only high-speed passenger service crossing the Channel. Over the last two decades, in a competitive marketplace, Eurostar has continued to innovate and invest in the behind-the- scenes operation to enable them to provide the best possible customer experience and set the standard for short haul European travel.

In 2016, Eurostar decided to move their existing server estate, including their enterprise services, applications and workloads from the conventional hosted model to AWS. Their goals were to retire legacy debt, realise the proven synergies that can be gained from embracing “the cloud” philosophy, and better align with their cloud operations.

“When Eurostar took the decision to move away from our datacentre, to run all of our centralised IT Services using cloud based service providers, we recognised that we needed a partner who could lead our teams in this new technology area. In addition, we knew that besides the knowledge of the new technology, we also needed a partner with experience of a new approach to running a project of this nature.

Cloudreach were selected for their experience in migrating infrastructure to the cloud. They very quickly got up and running and made an immediate impact with the direction as to how to approach this project. The consultants from Cloudreach quickly established themselves as part of our team and led the way in terms of both the technology and the project management.

I do not believe that Eurostar could have completed this project within the very tight timescales successfully without the engagement of Cloudreach. They were with us every step of the way bringing much needed knowledge, experience and advice to ensure the successful completion of the project.”

Andy Simmonds Head of IT Infrastructure and Operations

The Challenge

Eurostar were facing the following challenges when they embarked on the project:

  • Low capacity
  • High datacentre costs
  • Duplication of systems and services
  • Slow delivery of services and solutions to the business
  • Timely and expensive to scale the existing environment

Whilst internal teams at Eurostar has already operated in AWS with great success, Eurostar were looking for a partner to support with and complete the full migration whilst causing minimal interruption to the business.  

The Solution

Eurostar chose AWS as their cloud provider to benefit from the proven secure, agile and cost effective nature of the platform.

Cloudreach engaged a Cloud Enablement lead and a Cloud Architect to support Eurostar, and together, as a project team, delivered a series of sprints to migrate the existing applications and infrastructure. Cloudreach was responsible for the following activities:

  • Helping to design a secure and well governed VPC model
  • Implementation of best practices for Terraform
  • Implementation of Alert Logic for intelligent security management
  • Design and deployment of a highly available  URL filtering security solution
  • Review and implementation of retention policies and a backup solution
  • Advising on best practices for infrastructure orchestration
  • Implementation of Cloudformation templates to manage infrastructure in AWS

Training and workshops in cloud governance, tooling, culture and networking

The Partnership

Our approach ensured that Eurostar can consume cloud based IT in an intelligent, innovative, well-governed and secure way . This was achieved through the careful selection and provision of tools and services to deliver successful cloud adoption and the migration of their data centre. We worked closely with their technical teams and support partners, encouraging them to adopt a new culture and more cloud centric processes through the introduction of DevOps and continuous improvement.

Collaboration was key to success with this project, and Cloudreach acted as a trusted advisor to Eurostar teams, ensuring all stakeholders felt informed and updated throughout the journey.

The Outcome

By migrating their applications to AWS, Eurostar have been able to completely exit their data centre. They now have unlimited capacity available and can scale within minutes to meet the business requirements, in effect making them more agile. They have been able to shift their focus from managing servers and data centres to instead managing their applications and supporting the core business.

The migration allowed Eurostar to reinvent themselves in several important areas, making their BAU-teams operate in a more agile way, improving availability of their applications and bringing more visibility to their entire digital estate. This allowed for a reduced footprint, lowered costs and improved security and reliability.

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