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Case Study:

Rail Delivery Group - Live Sales Management (LSM)

Nasstar guarantees secure customer access to essential ticketing platform

The Live Sales Management (LSM) service is a crucial component supporting the Ticket on Departure feature provided by National Rail (part of the Rail Delivery Group). It allows customers to buy tickets online or through a third party before their travel date and retrieve them at their convenience.

LSM, which is managed by Nasstar, represents a significant advancement in enhancing customer convenience and operational efficiency. To ensure ongoing security, high availability, and cost-effectiveness in line with cloud best practices, Nasstar recently proposed a system-wide network modernisation project.


Amazon Web Services

Network Load Balancers (NLB)

Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)

User Experience

Next Generation Managed Service

The Brief

LSM has directly addressed consumer demands for flexibility, convenience, and efficiency. As a service that customers have come to rely on, RDG wanted to ensure they always have secure and stable access to the platform. 

The project aimed to improve LSM’s resilience by enhancing network routing, ensuring it remains operational even under adverse conditions and during high-demand periods. The initiative would also update security measures and align them with RDG’s security guidelines and recommendations. This crucial and continuous task protects customer data and prevents unauthorised access to high-value systems.

Alongside the modernisation of LSM's infrastructure, Nasstar aimed to improve access for RDG's third-party clients. Simplified access would also include enhancements to availability and fault tolerance, and reduce the need for repeated service requests and support.

The Benefits

Enhanced customer experience: By ensuring the LSM service's availability and security, the project directly contributes to a better customer experience, encouraging more people to use rail services and, by extension, generating more revenue through increased ticket sales.

Cost-effectiveness: Optimising the network infrastructure, particularly through cloud services and automation, will lead to significant cost savings over time by reducing the need for manual interventions and leveraging the scalability of cloud resources.

Compliance and security: Alignment with the latest security standards will protect RDG from potential cyber threats and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Solution

In response to the challenges, Nasstar embarked on a comprehensive modernisation strategy. The Solution Architects at Nasstar conducted a thorough analysis and identified key areas for improvement. The proposed solution was multifaceted, focusing on upgrading the network infrastructure, enhancing security measures, and optimising system availability.

The LSM service operates primarily on Amazon Web Services (AWS) taking advantage of cloud scale to provide both resilience and availability. Alongside general modernisation and the introduction of more cloud managed services, the project included the use of dynamically scaling Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) services and Network Load Balancers (NLBs) to pin IP addresses to exposed services. These services increase availability by using multiple resources that can be scaled horizontally without compromising availability by exposing the resources over a static IP (which is required for customers who utilise IP-allow listing as part of their security posture).

Network modernisation

Network Load Balancers (NLBs): Where proprietary virtual machines running software were used to provide ‘static’ IP address endpoints for third parties to access backend resources, these were replaced with Network Load Balancers utilising Elastic IP addresses. This introduces a whole host of new features, including dynamic scaling of the load balancing tier, along with control over the Transport Layer Security (TLS) settings providing encryption in transit.

System optimisation

Futureproofing IT systems: In an ever-evolving technological landscape it’s essential to continually review and adapt technology solutions. As part of the modernisation, Nasstar ensured the LSM service continues to use best-of-breed cloud technologies enabling RDG to stay secure, resilient, and adaptable as it continues to provide a strong service to end users.

Reducing complexity: Nasstar removed self-managed virtual machines and underutilised resources to streamline network architecture. This crucial step simplified the overall system and reduced potential points of failure.

Rightsizing: The project involved adjusting the scale of the infrastructure to match demand, ensuring that resources are neither underutilised nor overprovisioned, while still taking full advantage of the auto-scaling capabilities offered by the AWS cloud.

Enhanced security: The transition to a managed service for access point load balancing included the elimination of manual configuration and virtual management. This has significantly reduced vulnerabilities and the risk of human error.

User experience and availability: The rollout of Nasstar's Next Generation Managed Services has reduced patching downtime and provided assurances of availability.

RDG and Nasstar have engaged regularly for several years now. This time around, Nasstar’s continued focus on helping us achieve customer satisfaction with the latest technology has resulted in a futureproof and resilient platform for RDG and the wider transportation community. This is exactly why Nasstar is our preferred AWS partner.

Senior Service Manager
Rail Delivery Group