Alstom, a manufacturer of high-speed trains and a provider of services including signaling management and digital mobility solutions, puts innovation at the top of its agenda. As a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, it focuses on developing and testing advanced energy-saving systems such as engines that use hydrogen as a fuel source.

To support its testing environment for state-of-the-art signaling solutions — which allow for lower energy costs and a reduction of consumption of up to 30% — Alstom required a modernized IT infrastructure that is agile, fast and scalable. It turned to DXC Technology and VMware, which collaborated to deliver one of the first deployments of Microsoft’s Azure VMware Solution (AVS) worldwide.

Speeding delivery, working from anywhere

More than 1,000 virtual machines and mission-critical business applications have been moved to the Azure public cloud. Two thousand engineers can now work from anywhere and implement state-of-the art systems, while clients can remotely connect to the platform and efficiently perform validation tests from their own environment.

Before this deployment, it was expensive and time consuming for Alstom to purchase, set up and scale its testing environment. Alstom clients had to connect in person to platforms at Alstom offices – often a lengthy and difficult operation, which only became worse during the COVID-19 lockdown.

DXC, a certified Microsoft migration partner, seamlessly migrated Alstom’s data to a hybrid world (Azure and VMware) using AVS, enabling Alstom clients to remotely connect to the platform and efficiently perform validation tests from their own environment. This eliminated the hassles of procuring, deploying and managing hardware infrastructure by running workloads on a fully managed, single tenant, bare-metal Azure infrastructure.

What used to take months to move from client orders to test to delivery, now takes just days, increasing time to value by hundreds or thousands of hours. Moreover, Alstom can test multiple customers at the same time because it is able to scale out instantly, as the Azure cloud has near limitless capacity.

“Nowadays, an organization must be ready to work from anywhere, securely and without limitation. For Alstom, this is possible thanks to our partner, Microsoft, who always supports Alstom’s implementation of innovative and scalable solutions,” says Stéphane Detruiseux, CISO & Technology vice president, Alstom. “Being able to count on your service integrator is also essential. In our case, DXC reacted fast and worked hard with our team to make it possible.”

Doing cloud, the right way

DXC has applied its Cloud Right™ approach in working with Alstom, focusing on helping the company make the right technology investments at the right time on the right platforms. In addition to operating its public cloud and legacy infrastructure, DXC has provided Alstom the burst capability to quickly migrate workloads from on-premises environments, deploy new virtual machines and consume Azure services from private clouds with a rapid deployment of 300 to 500 servers a week.

A few years ago, Alstom leveraged this capability to quickly create a digital clone (or digital mock-up) to show the viability of its proposed solution of tram and subway traffic management systems for its client, the city of Amsterdam. The project was successful.

DXC’s private cloud migration solution is delivered in three Azure regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa; Asia Pacific; and Americas. It runs on 1,500 servers, so scale and latency are not issues.

Today, Alstom’s cloud infrastructure is delivering multiple benefits. For example, the company is no longer hampered by lengthy implementation times and huge data center costs that would jeopardize its capacity to accelerate revenue and meet its sustainability commitments. Orders no longer stack up, waiting for test environments to be configured, so it’s easier for sales teams to close more business. Alstom can operate on the massive scale it needs to suit its large and global workforce, and the business has the flexibility it requires to move forward successfully.