In 2011 BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial and Kier formed a joint venture which was awarded a number of contracts to build infrastructure for Crossrail. Fordway set up a cloud based infrastructure and fully managed and hosted business continuity/disaster recovery solution for the project in just four weeks using its two UK data centres. As well as the platform as a service solution, Fordway provides an onsite IT presence and 24x7 helpdesk support for the tunnelling operation.
See what's been achieved - Crossrail tunnelling: Drone's eye view of Crossrail's completed rail tunnels
Using the platform as a service solution was a key factor in getting the new infrastructure up and running quickly, and ensured that Team BFK was provided with a tried and tested solution. Fordway can also manage data growth and capacity planning very easily. The project team has already grown from the original 150 users to 240 and will continue to change as the BFK project develops.
Fordway can add capacity as and when needed and then scale it back as the project draws to a close. Team BFK only pays for the capacity used, and can tailor it to suit their needs. The software is also provided using a scalable rental model. The project is scheduled to last four years, but there is a possibility to extend it and if this happens the IT service provided can simply be extended as needed.
“If the servers and storage were located in the main project centre, we could have seen a degradation in performance at the satellite sites, but this solution means that they all experience the same level of performance,” explained Steve Shepherd.
Fordway’s combination of onsite support and a 24 hour helpdesk ensure anyone working on the BFK contract can obtain IT support whenever they need it. Two members of staff are based at Westbourne Park. One starts early and one finishes late, thus ensuring both are available during peak working hours while providing extended onsite cover. Outside these hours Fordway’s 24 hour helpdesk handles any support requirements to ensure IT issues never delay the project.