Train operator Eurostar has completed a major IT overhaul, standardising hardware and software infrastructure and culling more than 170 applications.
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The IT project involved the replacement of Hewlett-Packard/Compaq PCs and servers with 60 Dell Poweredge servers and 1,200 Dell desktops, and the migration from Netware servers to a Windows Server 2003 environment. "We did a complete IT upgrade," said Tony Longhurst, general manager of IS technical architecture at Eurostar.
He said Eurostar had deployed Windows XP SP2 to standardise the version of Windows across its desktop infrastructure and installed a Dell/Clariion storage area network.
Longhurst used Altiris software to improve visibility and control of Eurostar's IT and used Wise Package Studio package management software to simplify the installation of applications.
With the new infrastructure, Longhurst said the average turnaround time to fix PCs has been reduced from one hour to between 10 and 15 minutes. The IT infrastructure can be managed remotely, enabling desktops to be built from any of Eurostar's offices, he added.
Later this year the company is planning to deploy patch management technology from Altiris to manage the process of installing security patches, firmware updates and device drivers on its servers. Altiris is already deployed for desktop patch management.
Although it is rare for a hardware manufacturer to issue a critical patch, Longhurst has had to deal with patching in the past and wanted an automated system. "By using Altiris on the servers, we will be able to keep all our hardware infrastructure up to date," he said.
The company is also providing 400 staff with full remote access to the company network, using RSA tokens to enable two-factor authentication. The user authentication system is based on technology from Juniper Networks and is controlled through Microsoft Active Directory.
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