SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company, is a massive organization with a long history of both reliability and innovation. The stats that they track on sncf.com speak to the railway’s pursuit of excellence. Their on-time performance and customer satisfaction are impressive, and speak to the solid reputation that SNCF has built over time—and their efforts to remain at the forefront of excellence.
The SNCF Réseau (Network) EPIC of SNCF keeps it all working – and plans for the future at the same time. Managing traffic that amounts to 15,000 trains each day carrying 25,000 tons of merchandise and 10 million passengers is no small feat in itself, but planning for the future is what keeps it all going.
In a world where change is constant, transportation is no exception: it’s changing at an accelerating pace. With ride-sharing apps, autonomous automobiles and even space travel for the masses becoming a reality, the old reliable train has had to keep pace SNCF has made massive investments in innovation to maintain their edge, including a € 5.1 billion investment in the network for traffic optimization and asset management and maintenance.
It takes a lot of data to predict and plan for the future. SNCF Réseau’s LiDAR project uses cutting edge data collection technology and techniques, including video capture from train-attached cameras and drones, 3-D images of railways and terrain and data collection from IoT-connected switches and signals. It uses that data to develop simulations and make predictions that keep SNCF’s grid and equipment working for passengers and freight. SNCF is building value with data.
All of that LiDAR data that SNCF Réseau collects has to go somewhere, and choosing that “somewhere” was a serious endeavor. Their stated requirements at the outset included:
- quick access for data users scalability without limits (because forecasting growth is difficult)
- accommodate budgetary limits
- manageable by just one half-time
- responsive support
SNCF ultimately chose Scality RING for the LiDAR project’s storage, based upon its maturity, hardware-independence, scalability without limits, ability to accommodate both file and object-based data and low TCO. They started out at multi-petabyte scale with their first installation in 2016 and have expanded even more since then. Today, SNCF Réseau remains happy with their choice of Scality RING, and continues to add valuable data and manage that data easily as it grows with Scality RING.
Check out the video interview with Bruno Landes, Head of Earthworks and Topography Division of SNCF. He explains that he remains happy with the cost, the scalability, the stability, the security and Scality’s continuing innovation.
Part 1: SNCF in a Nutshell and the Digital Transformation:
Part 2: Digital Transformation and the Impact on SNCF:
Part 3: Multi-Cloud at SNCF:
Part 4: Why Scality and the RING: