IT spruce-up augurs 20 per cent savings for MTR

Hong Kong’s MTR Corp. has embarked on a server and storage consolidation program that is expected to cut IT operational costs by up to 20 per cent.

The rapid mass transportation company has also established a new data centre at Tsuen Wan in the New Territories that is expected to be up and running by April 15.

In addition to reduced box numbers, the consolidation effort would result in a 20 per cent saving on the cost of IT operations, said Steve Fink, director of IT consolidation solutions, enterprise system group at Hewlett-Packard Inc.

A standardized platform would also mean enhanced operational and cost efficiencies, Fink said.

According to Daniel Lai, head of IT at MTR, the consolidation is expected to support the company’s heterogeneous legacy systems, and cut the number of server down to 190.

There are hundreds of servers deployed across the organization working on Windows, Unix and NetWare, Lai said.

MTR has also upgraded its storage infrastructure — through the deployment of Veritas Software Inc.’s cluster back-up tools — to ensure high availability to about 3,000 users of the business IT infrastructure.

The upgrade allows the system to perform real-time back-up and automated recovery on a baseline of 8TB of data, Lai said.

MTR was able to directly plug in the platform independent Veritas tools into its legacy system. This hastened time to market and allowed full and uninterrupted utilization of existing storage infrastructure and investment.

“Compatibility was a key criterion in our selection process,” Lai said.

The consolidation project commenced in the middle of 2003.