Improving Network Connectivity for Arriva

Improving Network Connectivity for Arriva
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Improving Network Connectivity for Arriva

  • This article first appeared in the Bus-News magazine Issue 1 2022.

From local buses and coaches to national trains, trams, light rail and water buses, Arriva is one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe, employing over 53,000 people and delivering 2 billion passenger journeys a year across 14 European countries. The company is also one of the largest transport operators in the UK with over 5,000 buses serving passengers across England and Wales.

The Challenge

The majority of Arriva’s UK business locations are connected by an expansive network based on MPLS technology, comprised of thousands of devices. This resulted in insufficient internet bandwidth for the wide range of applications being deployed across Arriva sites.

Paul Sangha, Head of Infrastructure Delivery, who is responsible for defining infrastructure standards, managing deployment and working with third party suppliers, says: “The problems became clear when I visited our Brixton bus depot. It took up to five minutes for employee computers to boot up and ten minutes to send a document to the printer. Sites were still using Windows 7, so teams were resorting to workarounds.

Connectivity was via an MPLS network with access to the internet routed through our Doxford site in the North East of England. Our network suffered from internet bandwidth limitations and Doxford was feeling the strain. Our ongoing evolution from onsite to third-party hosted applications exacerbated the problem.

Paul and his team wanted to take a fresh approach to network design. They knew that SD-WAN would reduce connectivity costs, and at the same time enable encrypted cross-site connectivity for accessing applications and information contained in Arriva’s data centres.

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