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Network Rail cuts deal for mainframe savings

Will Hadfield

Network Rail will save £500,000 a year on mainframe costs after it renewed a managed services contract with technology integrator Atos Origin.

The organisation, formerly known as Railtrack, currently uses an IBM zSeries mainframe running a legacy MVS/JES operating system and Cics databases and SNA connectivity software.

The mainframe management contract will last for five years, until Network Rail finishes work on its long-term hardware replacement. The mainframe support accounts for £35m of a £48m deal with Atos Origin.

Joe van Valkenburgh, Network Rail's director of information management, said, "We were looking for £500,000 savings. If we did not get that, I would have taken [the mainframe] out."

Atos Origin also has a two-year contract to run Network Rail's mid-range server estate, which includes 23 servers running Linux, 316 Compaq blade servers and 60 other servers, including three HP Superdomes.

In addition, Atos Origin will manage payroll applications for 17,000 staff who carried out maintenance work on behalf of Network Rail and who have now been transferred back to the company.

Van Valkenburgh said a separate payroll system was necessary for maintenance employees to ensure information on staff terms and conditions was not accidentally changed during a speedy data migration.


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