VR Group is the state-owned company that runs Finnish Railways, and provides 82 million passenger train rides and transports 36 million tons of goods per year. The 150+ year old transportation business is broken into separate divisions, each with their own technology departments. Finnish Railways does not have an in-house development team, so each division consequently leverages external vendors and partners for their application development needs.
The VR Group team has given multiple presentations at DockerCon. At DockerCon Europe 2017, Markus Niskanen, Integration Manager at VR Group, and Oscar Renalias, Solutions Architect at Accenture presented their story on how they worked together to modernize critical business applications for Finnish Railways, including their mission-critical reservation and commuter applications.
Partnership Drives Faster Results
Finnish Railways began working with Accenture, a long-time partner, to design a new common application platform based on the Docker Enterprise platform. Leveraging Accenture’s Container Migration Factory, Finnish Railways had access to hundreds of Docker-trained Accenture architects which meant that this project could be delivered more efficiently. For example, Accenture has customized Terraform scripts that set up a Docker Enterprise environment in AWS in only about 25 minutes.
They started with the old reservation system which was running on mainframe and a legacy commuter service application. They rewrote these applications with microservices and also moved from proprietary software platforms to include more open source components.
Expanding App Modernization Across the Organization
When the implementation of Docker Enterprise began and the first applications were getting rewritten, the team also saw the opportunity to simply migrate some existing applications to the Docker Enterprise platform. Docker Enterprise has now become the single platform for all types of applications – from non-production development workloads to greenfield microservices apps to brownfield legacy applications.
The commuter services app went live in June 2018, and the new reservation system went live a few months later in August. Finnish Railways has already seen some impressive results:
Average cost savings of 50%
Better visibility into all of the apps with centralized logging and monitoring
Standardization on a common platform and architecture that can be leveraged across all applications and by all of Finnish Railways’ vendors
A consistent app delivery pipeline that works the same for everyone. This makes it easy to bring new contractors and vendors into the same environment and processes.
Finnish Railways has accomplished a lot in their first year with their Docker Enterprise platform. These early successes have made it possible for Markus to now bring the platform to even more teams within the company and they are actively expanding their footprint with the goal of getting everything over to Docker Enterprise.
To learn more about Finnish Railway’s Docker Enterprise deployment and how it’s progressed, watch their breakout session from DockerCon Europe 2018.
VR Cloud Saved 50% on IT by Modernizing Its Applications with Docker Enterprise
Disparate applications and vendors led to application sprawl with several different technology stacks and platforms to support, adding up to high operating costs, slow time-to-market and software quality issues.
Finnish Railways began working with Accenture, a long-time partner, to design a new common application platform based on Docker Enterprise running in AWS and modernize its traditional applications.
VR Group built a new commuter services application on Docker. They immediately saw a 50% overall IT cost savings and gained better visibility into all applications with centralized logging and monitoring.
VR Group by the Numbers
Passengers per Year
Tons of Freight per Year
Percent IT Cost Savings
1 App Delivery Pipeline
for 20+ Vendors
“What we’ve accomplished this year with Docker Enterprise is a lot in a really tight timeframe. Time to market is remarkably better now.”
— Markus Niskanen
Integration Manager, VR Group