What drove one bus company to change its IT infrastructure?

Data Centre

by | 13 February 2014

Private cloud provides highly available and resilient ecommerce site for Arriva Bus.

Arriva Bus provides transportation services across the UK and has an estimated 770 million passengers on board per year. Their website serves not only as a reference point for customer information including timetables and service updates but also as a transactional site for ticket purchasing and order transaction. With a growing number of passengers and an increasing demand for real-time access to Bus information from mobile devices, updating its online ticketing facility was mission critical for Arriva Bus's operations. The company therefore recruited digital marketing specialist Freestyle Interactive to create its new ecommerce platform and Six Degrees Group's (6DG) high quality, resilient, secure hosting infrastructure to underpin the environment.

The challenge

To deal with the increasing demands, Arriva Bus approached Freestyle Interactive to design a new ecommerce platform on its website that allows passengers to access ticket purchasing facilities, up-to-the-minute service information and route details on the go. The explosion of smartphone devices meant that the company needed a mobile-friendly site with significantly more capacity.

The original Arriva Bus infrastructure was hosted on dedicated servers, with an over-engineered set up that struggled to handle traffic spikes, typical of a transport company. With a website receiving traffic 24/7 and with vulnerability to the seasonality and peak hours, Arriva Bus needed a solution that was highly available, resilient and scalable.

6DG deployed a highly available, elastic and scalable web hosting platform with a fully managed backup and disaster recovery solution in a geographically diverse location. The primary environment is set up on a single-tenant private cloud hosted in a dedicated rack in the 6DG Tier 4 datacentre. The private cloud consists of 3 HP blade servers with 3Par SAN for live storage. The virtualisation deployment consists of 12 VMs spread across the 5 physicals in high availability mode with VMware as the hypervisor. The VMs consist of a mix of production web servers, development web servers, back-end databases and caching servers. Being fully scalable, a private cloud configuration allows for additional resources (physical and/or virtual) to be added, facilitating either short-term bursting or long-term growth.

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