Innovation and changeDigital TransformationDfT moves LENNON application to Google Cloud Platform

DfT moves LENNON application to Google Cloud Platform

DfT has migrated LENNON, its first on-primise application, to GCP and plans to migrating the other projects within six months

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed the migration of its LENNON application from on-premise into the Google Cloud Platform within the next six months.

Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Overnight (LENNON) is an application that provides data that is helpful in getting insights into the operations of rail networks. It is used by the rail industry for getting details like ticket sales and franchise earnings.

The application is hosted externally, but DfT maintains an in-house version containing a subset of the data for their own analysis. This system is huge with more than 100 terabytes.

Writing in a blog post, Luke Radford, Head of CIO Advisory, said the DfT went about exploring options with Google. This move is integral to a larger transformation of digital technology envisioned by the department.

DfT’s digital team has been working with Google, its rail technical and data management team, and its partner, the Manchester-based IT firm Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS) on migrating the LENNON system.

It was suggested that their services had to be moved to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and transform existing products onto GCP. The exercise provided them with a definite direction to pull the plug on LENNON.

Benefits with GCP

Using GCP has demonstrated some tangible benefits for the department. Even though the project is still in progress, DfT will witness benefits in terms of speed and dependencies with this move.

Currently, with the on-premise arrangement, it takes several hours to execute a query. Queries would be executed now in less than 20 seconds.

They had to depend on the Rail Delivery Group’s version of LENNON to run some queries. They will be able to use DfT’s instance of LENNON for all queries. Removing this dependency will save time and effort for DfT and RDG.

Mark Lyons, Chief Architect at DfT said: “The transformation of LENNON within GCP is a really exciting first step towards moving and transforming our on-premise services into Google Cloud Platform within the next six months.

“This has been a fantastic example of collaboration between ourselves, Google, their partners CTS and our Rail colleagues, and it has given us a design pattern that can be re-used for other data processing and analysis requirements across the wider department.”

Radford added: “Backups and maintenance on GCP should be frictionless.

“By comparison, the current application requires frequent manual intervention from the colleagues using it. Moving it to GCP will free up time and resources that could be better used elsewhere.”

LENNON is the first DfT service to be moved into a Google environment. The team is in process of utilising the design pattern for the migration for other projects that are at their early stage.

Last year, the Government had introduced digital taskforce to boost British infrastructure. New mobile functionality within Collision Reporting and Sharing System (CRaSH) was brought in this February.

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