Transport company gets data


Transport company gets data
• Introduction of
new bandwidthhungry
Rheinbahn AG
Transport company gets data
communications moving
• Deliver even more
reliable network
Value Created
• New services are
now implemented
considerably faster
• Updated
architecture forms
the basis for endto-end
As the largest service provider of local public transport in the
Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr transport association, Rheinbahn
AG carries more than 710,000 passengers every day in
Düsseldorf and in the Mettmann and Neuss districts of Germany.
To ensure the ongoing support of this service, continual process
improvements are a must. A reliable and powerful network is
an essential part to ensuring continuous service delivery. With
the Virtual Service Platform 9000 (VSP 9000) from Avaya,
Rheinbahn’s data traffic can now flow more freely.
Whereas many municipalities in North
Rhine-Westphalia are faced with falling
population numbers, it is a completely
different story in Düsseldorf. The state
capital is constantly growing and
attracts people from all different
backgrounds and ages. Its current
population stands at around 600,000
people. Whether they are students,
politicians, business people, media
experts, young families or pensioners,
the residents of Düsseldorf rate the
quality of life in their city as above
average. And Rheinbahn, the region’s
largest provider of public transport, is
one of the big factors in the citizens’
feeling of well-being.
“We have a huge responsibility for
maintaining the quality public life,”
explains Johannes Huestege, IT
Director at Rheinbahn AG.
A quick look at the figures confirms this
responsibility: 716 Rheinbahn buses
and trains carry up to around 720,000
passengers a day and serve a
catchment area of 570 square
kilometres. “Our vehicles cover more
than 48 million kilometres every year.
That’s 130 times the distance between
the Earth and the moon,” explains
Johannes Huestege. Overall, this
volume of traffic puts Rheinbahn fifth
in Germany’s nationwide rankings. |
“We’ve not experienced
unplanned network
downtime in over 10
years. That’s just one
of the reasons why we
would recommend
—Johannes Huestege,
IT Director, Rheinbahn AG
Stable network
for 14 years
Maintaining an overview of the
company’s operations requires
reliable technology - and, above all, a
powerful network enabling a constant
flow of information. At Rheinbahn,
this network integrates the company
headquarters as well as six depots,
five customer centres, the control
centre and 330 ticket machines.
Network components from Avaya
have formed the basis of the
company’s metro campus network
for over a decade. In particular the
Avaya Virtual Enterprise Network
Architecture Switch Cluster
technology has provided high levels
of reliability and optimum load
distribution. This is one of the key
reasons why Johannes Huestege
ranks Avaya among the top providers
of network technology. “We would
certainly recommend Avaya,” he says
in praise of the company.
The transport company has only
experienced two episodes of
unplanned downtime since 2000.
However, these episodes were
caused by external factors rather
than technological issues, where
diggers accidently cut through
network cables during construction
work in the city.
Meeting rapidly
growing bandwidth
Following large-scale changes in the
corporate environment, Rheinbahn
decided in 2012 to modernise its
metro campus network from the
ground up. Even though the stability
and availability of the network were
strong, the switches used were
increasingly reaching their limits.
“The demands placed on our network
have changed considerably in recent
years,” explains Marcel Lellau, Data
Centre Director at Rheinbahn.
In particular, demand has come from a
need to automate processes and
improve in all areas from ticket sales
and managing subscriptions to
customer experience. For example,
Rheinbahn passengers are now
informed – in real-time – about delays,
cancellations and current promotions
by information displays at over 3,000
bus and train stops. Rheinbahn also
makes this data available to internet
and mobile phone users, providing
more than 16,000 daily visitors to the
company’s website with the
information they need.
In the medium term, Rheinbahn is
planning to display this type of
information on monitors in its buses
and trains. Under these plans,
passengers will always be able to see
the journey time until the next stop,
which connections are available, and
whether their connecting train is on
time. Such services are well received
by customers but require resources
to support them.
“Around six years ago, we operated
something like 90 virtual servers in
our data centre; now we have almost
twice as many,” reports Marcel
Lellau. Ten Gigabit Ethernet
connectivity is already virtually
mandatory; upgrading to 40 and
100 Gigabit Ethernet is only a matter
of time for Rheinbahn.
As a result, Johannes Huestege’s
team were particularly delighted
that the Avaya VSP 9000 provides a
future-proof and scalable platform
that will enable gradual expansion of
the metro campus network. The
system is specifically designed for
large company networks, offers
industry-leading performance and
scalability, and, as well as 10 Gigabit
Ethernet ports, will also support the
new 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet
options in future. “This will enable
seamless introduction of
technologies such as network
virtualisation in our metro campus
network,” explains Hardy Klatt,
System Analyst, Rheinbahn.
The Avaya Virtual Provisioning
Service also offers tools for
managing, troubleshooting,
providing and securing the virtual
machines throughout the network.
This enables new applications to be
set up within a very short space of
time, benefiting not just customers
but also the company’s employees –
including around 1,400 drivers – who
can easily view their latest rota from
the comfort of their home.
IT Director Johannes Huestege
believes that the main factors in the
smooth-running of the project were
the careful planning as well as the high
levels of technical and professional
competence of the partner.
Security through
distributed routing
During the first quarter of this year,
four VSP 9000 systems have been
ensuring maximum redundancy and
reliability in Rheinbahn’s network core.
Thanks to scalable 10 Gigabit capacity
and the clear separation of the routing
and access area, Rheinbahn’s data
traffic will also flow freely in the future.
At the same time, the new network
architecture enables the total load to
be better distributed. Whereas routing
previously took place almost
exclusively via Rheinbahn’s central
data centre, today the routing
instances are distributed across two
redundant, geographically separate
core nodes. This also prevents
downtime. “If our data centre was
paralysed by a fire or a central power
failure, the data traffic would simply
be routed via the second node,”
explains Johannes Huestege.
A strong partnership
The new high-speed network was
implemented with support from the
Avaya partner. There were no
unforeseen issues during the upgrade,
a feat that was made even more
remarkable by the fact that Rheinbahn
had to replace its entire blade server
and storage network at the same time
due to delays in a different project.
In the final configuration, nine top-ofrack switches in the VSP 7000 series
provide a reliable supply to around
500 connections. Avaya’s Fabric
Connect network virtualisation
technology also provides Rheinbahn
with a comprehensive, end-to-end
framework that enables continuous
virtualisation from the data centre
and the campus network right
through to the distribution cabinet
and the branch locations. Fabric
Connect technology, based on the
Shortest Path Bridging standard,
effectively brings together all
network components into a
virtualised network. “This reduces
costs, shortens implementation times
and prevents human configuration
errors,” explains Michael Tenten.
In the medium term, Rheinbahn is also
planning to virtualise its entire network
to bring further increases in efficiency.
Thanks to Avaya’s next-generation,
future-ready platforms, the foundations for this have already been laid.
Learn More
For more information, contact your
Avaya Account Manager or a member
of the Avaya Connect channel partner
program, or access other collaterals
by clicking on Resource Library at
“The demands placed
on our network have
changed considerably
in recent years.
Upgrading to 40 and
100 Gigabit Ethernet is
only a matter of time.”
—Hardy Klatt,
Systems Analyst, Rheinbahn AG |
Solutions & products
Avaya VENA Fabric Connect technology
Avaya VENA Switch Cluster technology
Avaya VSP 9000
Avaya VSP 7000
About Rheinbahn:
Founded in 1896 as Rheinische Bahngesellschaft AG, today Rheinbahn AG
provides local public transport services for Düsseldorf, the district of Neuss and
most of the Mettmann district. The company’s rail network extends as far as
Neuss, Krefeld, Duisburg and Ratingen. Rheinbahn serves a catchment area
covering 570 square kilometres and home to over one million residents. In 2012,
216.9 million passengers travelled on the 135 city trains, 168 trams and 406
buses belonging to the Düsseldorf-based transport company. This makes
Rheinbahn the largest of the 20 transport companies in the Verkehrsverbund
Rhein-Ruhr transport association, Europe’s largest association covering a total
of 19 cities and 7 districts.
About Avaya
Avaya is a global
provider of business
collaboration and
solutions, providing
unified communications,
contact centers,
networking and related
services to companies
of all sizes around
the world. For more
information please visit
© 2013 Avaya Inc. All Rights Reserved .
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of Avaya Inc.
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