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Case Study:

Rail Delivery Group (RDG)

An AWS solution that improves connectivity and enhances the customer experience

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) brings together the companies that run Britain’s railway into a single team to deliver a better railway for the community. All passenger and freight rail companies are members of the RDG, as well as Network Rail and High Speed 2.

RDG provides services and support to enable its members to succeed in transforming and delivering a successful railway, benefiting customers, taxpayers, and the economy. They also provide support and give voice to freight and passenger operators, as well as the delivery of important national ticketing, information and reservation services for passengers and staff on behalf of member companies.

Services

Cloud Modernisation

AWS

The Brief

RDG’s customers were experiencing challenges using the NRS service, due to the legacy Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network connection causing latency issues. This had the potential to adversely impact their future revenue streams through a loss of ticket sales brought about by poor customer experience.

The Benefits

RDG have realised the following benefits as a direct result of implementing the solution in AWS:

  • Performance. The solution has reduced the response time with up to a 70% improvement being observed.

  • Reliability. The solution has improved the reliability of the connection when compared to the MPLS connection.

  • Reduced complexity. The solution simplifies the management of the intricate architecture.

  • Security. The solution enables connection in a secure and scalable manner; network traffic does not traverse the internet, reducing exposure to brute force and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, along with other cyber threats. Using private IP connectivity allows services to function as if they are hosted directly on private networks. Using AWS native controls means Nasstar can closely manage who has access to specified services.

  • Observability. Using AWS-native services unlocks a high level of end-to-end infrastructure observability from a single solution.

Nasstar’s AWS solution has enabled the connectivity issues with the previous MPLS to be completely removed, enabling a smoother experience for customers so they can purchase train tickets and use other valuable RDG services without issue.

The Solution

The Nasstar* team successfully implemented an innovative networking solution that allows train operators with existing AWS infrastructure to migrate away from the legacy MPLS to utilise AWS native connectivity instead.

Now, each consumer uses a unique weighted Amazon Route 53 DNS record to route traffic to their dedicated AWS PrivateLink endpoint. Innovative cloud-native AWS connections and services replaced legacy MPLS network solutions and were deployed as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using AWS CloudFormation. The legacy MPLS network is now only used as a secondary route should the primary route fail.

Nasstar can diagnose complex networking issues through Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) flow logs, in conjunction with Amazon CloudWatch Contributor Insights. This includes data logging, telemetry, and dashboarding to rapidly assist with any operational matters.

To continuously optimise the cost and performance of the RDG’s environment, Nasstar utilises native AWS cost analysis tools to understand resource utilisation and provide cost-saving recommendations based on over-performing resources.

*Previously KCOM Business

“Nasstar has proven to be a knowledgeable and dedicated supplier during the implementation of the AWS solution and Broker Migration for RARS. The ability to work collaboratively as well as the support and flexibility shown throughout the process have been critical in its success” - Nadine Rajkumar, Senior Service Manager, Rail Delivery Group. “Nasstar's role was critical in the success of Broker Migration. They were very professional and knowledgeable. It was a very successful engagement & RDG team looks forward to working with them in future”

Paroma Choudhury
Project Manager, Rail Delivery Group