OpenStack > Case Studies > China Railway Corporation's OpenStack-based Industrial Cloud for Modern Logistics Business Development

China Railway Corporation's OpenStack-based Industrial Cloud for Modern Logistics Business Development

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 China Railway Corporation's OpenStack-based Industrial Cloud for Modern Logistics Business Development - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Cloud Computing
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Private Cloud
Applicable Industries
  • Railway & Metro
  • Transportation
Applicable Functions
  • Logistics & Transportation
  • Maintenance
Use Cases
  • Inventory Management
  • Transportation Simulation
  • Cloud Planning, Design & Implementation Services
  • System Integration
The Customer
About The Customer
China Railway Corporation is a large-scale and wide-reaching backbone enterprise for the national economy, targeted to transform into a first-class modern logistics company. The company's railway mileage in service has reached 124,000 km, of which 22,000 km is high-speed railway as of the end of 2016. This is higher than the total amount of other countries’ high-speed railway mileage combined, ranking China Railway first in the world. The company has completed the construction of a “four vertical (north-south corridors) and four horizontal (east-west corridors)” high-speed railway network, making China the only country in the world to run a high-speed railway network. The company's passenger volume was 2.814 billion people, passenger turnover was 1.25793 trillion passenger-kilometers, freight volume was 3.332 billion tons, and freight turnover was 2.37923 trillion ton-kilometers in 2016.
The Challenge
China Railway Corporation, the world's leading railway network, faced significant challenges due to its large business scale. The company's IT infrastructure was under pressure to deliver higher performance, stability, safety, usability, and extensibility. The company's IT development journey moved from mainframe computers to minicomputers, and then to the x86-based OpenStack platform. However, this transition presented several challenges. The traditional project-driven IT infrastructure construction mode was resource-intensive and complex. The migration of a large amount of data and applications from the minicomputer system to an open source environment with x86 servers was problematic. The OpenStack modules were loosely coupled and unstable, and there were bottlenecks in large-scale cluster deployment. Additionally, there was a shortage of OpenStack technical experts and talent, which limited early operation and management and slowed the development of tools for daily automatic operation.
The Solution
China Railway decided to use OpenStack, an open source platform based on x86, to build its own industrial cloud platform—the China Railway Cloud. The company partnered with Beijing SinoRail Information Technology Co., Ltd. and Beijing T2Cloud Information Technology Co., Ltd. to lead a joint development effort. The China Railway Cloud was designed to strongly support applications that were migrated and deployed on the cloud platform, like passenger transport management, the website of, logistics and delivery, traffic volume prediction, and train tracking. The company conducted 40-day black-box testing in the China Railway data center with about 800 nodes to research the normalized performance boundary. Problems in the system architecture, operation mechanism, system parameters, database configuration, OpenStack component configuration parameters, and others were discovered and were resolved through analysis, architecture adjustment, component replacement, parameter optimization, etc. Intel also participated in the deployment and optimization of the China Railway Cloud to help enterprise users build a cloud computing platform with flexibility, efficiency, load balancing, usability, agile operations and lower cost.
Operational Impact
  • The application of China Railway Cloud has transformed the construction model of China railway information system from the traditional project-driven to platform-driven. It has better supported business transformation, booming development, and the extended business with the railway information infrastructure based on the cloud platform. The passenger services of China Railway have extended to train catering, hotel bookings, tourist supermarkets, vehicle reservations, concierge service, and other related services. Freight transportation services have extended to electronic tickets, block trades, logistics services, warehousing services, multi-modal transportation, etc. The diverse business services also cover on-board commercial services, land development, insurance, financial planning, material procurement, and other areas. The successful deployment of China Railway Cloud has not only provided a more efficient, more convenient, and environmentally friendly IT infrastructure for China Railway but also provided useful references for other enterprises and industries.
Quantitative Benefit
  • China Railway Cloud has been deployed on about 5000 physical server nodes, including about 800 KVM nodes and about 730 VMware nodes.
  • 20PB SAN storage and 3PB distributed storage (Ceph) have been deployed.
  • An additional 2000 physical server nodes are to be deployed toward the end of 2017.

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