12 Nov 2010:
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has been selected by National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (NC KTZ), the largest railway operator in Central Asia, to provide hardware and software to help Kazakh Railways to optimize its freight and passenger operations. The system includes an IBM z10 mainframe computer.
As part of a project with a total value of 1.2 billion tenghe (approximately $8 million), IBM will work with Kazakh Railways to establish a new system based on two disaster-proof data centers in the city of Astana. The new data centers will not only enable Kazakh Railways to consolidate core freight and passenger management applications but also increase the reliability of systems.
With advanced recovery capabilities, the new system will help Kazakh Railways safeguard and recover critical information and reduce possible downtime in the case of a systems failure. Downtime can cause costly delays for passenger and freight rail across the entire transportation system. According to Kazakh Railways’ own estimates, a day of downtime costs the company an estimated 940 million tenghe (approximately $6 million) per day as well as causing disruptions for passengers. To ensure uninterrupted transport operations, the new solution from IBM will help to reduce the potential downtime related to a systems failure from several hours to as little as 20 minutes.
Kazakh Railways manages more than 18,800 kilometers of rail network including some of the main international lines connecting Central Asian countries with China and Turkmenistan. More than 68 percent of freight and 57 percent of passenger traffic in Kazakhstan relies on the country’s railroads.
“Reliable and fault tolerant systems are crucial for our company’s operations. Even the smallest systems failure can lead to enormous financial losses,” said Ermek Keyzatov, Vice-President for Business Development, The National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. “IBM has proven experience in providing smart transportation systems to railway operators across Europe and worldwide and was chosen by Kazakh Railways to help ensure the uninterrupted operation of our passenger and freight operations.”
IBM is working to build smarter railways in some of the most complex transit systems in the world, partnering with Russian Railways, KiwiRail in New Zealand, the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation, Guangzhou Metro in China and other operators. By using a combination of IBM hardware, software and services, leading rail networks are able to improve the speed, safety, reliability and efficiency of both passenger and freight trains.
“The national railway of Kazakhstan is the backbone of the economy and IBM has been selected to help make it more efficient and reliable and lay the foundations for a smarter rail network in the country that can better predict demand and optimize capacity to handle the increasing volume of rail traffic in the country,” said Mikhail Seregin, Country General Manager of IBM in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The solution includes a new IBM z10 mainframe and the upgrade of Kazakh Railways’ existing z9 mainframe connected by a Parallel Sysplex. It also includes two high-end DS8700 disk storage subsystems, FICON/SAN directors and two TS3500 tape libraries. Software includes IBM DB2 and WebSphere technologies. Automatic application recovery is taken care of by IBM Tivoli NetView, System Automation and GDPS technologies.
The contract was signed in August 2010 and the project is planned for completion in the first half of 2011. IBM, Kazakh Railways and software developer IBA Group also signed today a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) agreement to look into areas of possible collaboration around Linux and Open Source software.