SilverRail Technologies

SilverRail Technologies: Driving railroad innovation, powered by Opsio and AWS
Executive Summary

In the critical landscape of railroad travel, SilverRail stands as a beacon of innovation, committed to enhance rail- and ground travel experiences for users all over the globe. As part of their mission to build the digital infrastructure for global rail, SilverRail embarked on a transformative journey to harness the full potential of Amazon Web Services (AWS), reaping benefits such as consolidation, modernization and efficiency – while paving the way for future growth initiatives.

It all began with a plan within SilverRail to migrate their Nordic branch and merge it with their global organization into one primary platform: Amazon Web Services.

To effectively plan for and perform the Migration project, SilverRail sought assistance from AWS Migration & Modernization Competency partner Opsio, providing expert competency throughout all different stages of the project. Opsio’s expertise is distinguished by their long experience and proven track record in driving migrations and initiatives for modernization, security and DevOps – unlocking the capability of cutting-edge technologies for AWS customers in the Nordics, while relieving operational heavy-lifting. By engaging Opsio as their partner, SilverRail could also draw benefit from the triangular relationship between themselves, the partner (Opsio) and the platform provider (AWS) to fully unlock the possibilities of AWS’ partner ecosystem. This provided an immediate additional value not just for increased transparency, alignment and efficiency – but also for funding, made available through AWS’ Migration Acceleration Program and Opsio’s self-established enablement funding.

The partnership collaboration with Opsio allowed SilverRail to smoothly address core challenges during all project phases, ensuring an efficient cloud journey with a smooth landing in a platform designed to increase agility, scalability, security and operational excellence. The migration to AWS has provided SilverRail with a future-ready infrastructure, ready for SilverRail’s continued track towards innovation.

Challenges Faced:

Before embarking on their transition to drive centralization of their mission-critical workloads in AWS, SilverRail encountered several headaches with their previous platform setup. Fixed costs, slow provisioning, limited control over feature releases and a limited ability to modernize, all posed obstacles to their goal of achieving maximal operational efficiency.

SilverRail's previous infrastructure was based on a traditional platform hosted in a Data Centre - which limited SilverRail’s ability to efficiently operate and modernise their infrastructure.

  1. Cost: The previous infrastructure had fixed, predictable costs due to bulk purchasing, resulting in higher expenses for SilverRail. The lack of transparent pricing based on forecasted consumption limited cost optimization opportunities.
  2. Provisioning: Acquiring new resources was time-consuming and reliant on agreed service level agreements (SLAs), hampering SilverRail's ability to quickly scale to meet fluctuating demands.
  3. IT Labor Cost: SilverRail's annual IT labor costs were substantial, covering application operations, contractor expenses, consultancy resources, and service desk costs. This emphasized the need for more efficient and cost-effective IT management solutions.
  4. Feature Release Cycle: The rollout of new features and integrations was dependent on service providers' timelines, limiting SilverRail's ability to respond promptly to market demands.
  5. Service Management & Automation: The previous infrastructure lacked Command Line Interface (CLI) capabilities for service management and automation, increasing manual effort and reducing operational efficiency.
  6. Enhanced App Configuration: Parts of the previous architecture and configurations carried legacy structures not suitable to support security and performance in a cloud-native setup.
The Journey and Solution:

A) Assessment:

Opsio initiated the transformation journey by conducting a comprehensive assessment of SilverRail's infrastructure. This phase involved meticulous evaluation and analysis of existing systems, identifying key pain points, and setting the stage for a successful migration.

Infrastructure- & Needs Analysis: Opsio leaned on SilverRail capable architects and engineers to understand its infrastructure, examining existing systems to identify a path forward to adopting cloud-native services. Based on the analysis outcome and identified future needs, a target architecture in AWS was set.

Pain Point Identification: Opsio worked in close collaboration with the SilverRail team in addressing specific pain points that emerged, to ensure a solution could be built to mitigate them. Business Case: As part of the Assessment-phase, Opsio built and presented a Business Case to help support SilverRail’s business decision, outlining data such as: project costs, infrastructure costs, ROI-calculations, risk/feasibility report and other essential information.

Strategic Planning: Based on the assessment and SilverRail and Opsio’s mutual experience with large migration projects over the years, SilverRail and Opsio formulated a strategic plan that outlined the necessary steps and solutions required to address the identified challenges. This plan served as a roadmap for the subsequent phases of the project.

B) Mobilize:

With a clear understanding of the existing infrastructure and challenges, Opsio engaged its’ certified team of cloud engineers to work with SilverRail engineers and architects through the mobilization phase. This step focused on preparing SilverRail’s systems for the migration and setting the foundation for a smooth transition to AWS.

Pilot Phase Guidance: Opsio worked with SilverRail through a pilot phase, ensuring a seamless transition to the cloud by performing a test-migration of identified workloads. This involved optimizing the migration process to make it as efficient as possible, as well as making adjustments to initially planned out AWS services to ensure everything worked as intended in a safe testing scenario.

Scalability and Security Integration: Opsio leveraged AWS's scalability and security features to ensure SilverRail's infrastructure could handle increased demand and support global expansion. Performance Optimization: Opsio worked on enhancing performance, addressing latency issues, and streamlining batch processing to improve operational efficiency.

C) Migrate:

The migration phase was the heart of the transformation, where Opsio's expertise in AWS cloud-native infrastructure design combined with SilverRail’s strong application design and architecture team played a pivotal role in executing a successful transition to AWS.

Application Readiness: Based on findings from the previously performed Mobilize-phase and pilot-testing, Opsio and SilverRail revamped the application configuration for cloud readiness, aligning with contemporary standards and networking architecture to secure an efficient transition of mission-critical applications.

Batch Processing Efficiency: Opsio strategically positioned databases and batch job servers to reduce latency for improved operational performance. Opsio analyzed SilverRail’s latency requirements and decided to place batch servers and database servers in the same Availability Zone (AZ). This enhanced batch processing efficiency and resolved challenges with Automic Engine's floating IPs by migrating to EC2 instances.

Infrastructure Optimization: Opsio assessed the infrastructure for improved visibility and optimized firewall rules, ensuring a secure network environment. Opsio leveraged detailed packet information and size data to make accurate configurations.

Cost Optimization: Opsio utilized flexible AWS pricing to optimize costs for non-critical workloads. The automatic scheduling ofinstances ensured resource allocation efficiency.

Data Migration Excellence: Opsio and SilverRail ensured a smooth data migration with minimal downtime by conducting data drills during pre-production environment migrations. Native PostgreSQL backup and restore tools were utilized, and a meticulous data cutover plan for a seamless data migration experience was set. This comprehensive strategy facilitated a streamlined transition to the new cloud environment.

Enhanced Security and Automation: Implemented a robust security and provisioning framework by leveraging AWS native services for security and compliance, governed by AWS Control Tower. Opsio further introduced measures for automation and secure parameter storage with services like AWS Systems Manager to optimize operations, strengthened security and compliance via AWS Patch Manager, while Operational Runbook documents streamlined day-to-day procedures.

Migration Cutover: The Migrate-phase secured efficient cutovers with tight service windows to ensure minimal impact on SilverRail’s customer and mission-critical services for the train traffic in Sweden.

When it comes to driving modernization through transitions of this type, continuity is key. As SilverRail shapes the future of rail and ground transportation, their commitment to adopting cutting-edge cloud technology remains unwavering. We’re proud of what our collaboration has achieved so far and feel very excited to see the limitless possibilities ahead for SilverRail.Quote from Andreas Johansson, CEO of Opsio
Our AWS migration has been a journey that started many years ago, resulting in the consolidation of all our products and services in the cloud. Opsio, our AWS Migration Competency Partner, have been instrumental in helping us assess, mobilize and migrate to the platform, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support at every step.Roxana Diaconescu, CTO of SilverRail Technologies
Conclusion

Throughout the journey, Opsio played a crucial role in driving SilverRail's migration to AWS, ensuring a seamless, secure, and efficient transition. This partnership resulted in a centralized, future-ready infrastructure designed to empower SilverRail's growth and innovation initiatives, acting as an important function and part in SilverRail’s positioning as an industry leader.

Opsio's cloud experts conducted a comprehensive analysis of SilverRail's requirements and collaborated closely with their engineers and architects to design, implement, and secure a scalable, cost-effective AWS cloud infrastructure. This successful AWS migration yielded improvements in agility, scalability, cost efficiency, and operational effeciency as well as enhancing business agility for quicker deployment of new features to meet market demands.

SilverRail's successful journey to the cloud with Opsio and AWS has enhanced their operations and put SilverRail in pole position on the continuous path towards innovation. The seamless migration, along with cloud-native practices, has unlocked great potential for scalability, agility, and modernization.

About SilverRail

SilverRail Technologies is building the digital infrastructure for global rail. Their platform helps rail operators and travel agencies transform how they serve customers and run their businesses. Every year, they handle more than 1 billion online rail searches, distribute tickets for more than 35 providers and carriers, process more than 30 million bookings and serve more than 1,500 corporate customers worldwide.

About Opsio

Opsio is a multi-certified cloud service company focusing on enabling great innovation and technology to help organizations meet their business goals on AWS. Opsio’s experience and knowledge are applied to help you benefit from the scale and pace of innovation of global infrastructure, advanced technologies, and modern services.

Relieve your organization and drive innovation by leveraging Opsio’s managed cloud services portfolio for Migration, Modernization, Security, CloudOps, DevOps and MLOps.

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