P&O Ferries: Server Consolidation adn Application Migration

Essay by zairiUniversity, Master'sB, April 2004

download word file, 26 pages 5.0


Pacific and Orient (P&O) Ferries is one of the market leaders in cross channel travel in Europe. With more than hundred years of establishment it provides a very high standard of service to travellers from England and Europe. Headquartered in Kent, England, the company employs 4000 people with four regional offices in Belgium, France and Holland. Among P&O Ferries well known competitors are Brittany Ferries, Irish Ferries, Stena Line, Sea France, Hoverspeed Ferry, Northlin, Ferries, Eurotunnel, Condor Ferries, Red Funnel Smyril Line and ANEK Line. Though, the company has reported a loss of £17.5 million in the weaker half of the year, it is expected to sustain in the next half due to a more promising business actions.

For years, P&O Ferries had been running different proprietary and warehousing applications in mixed operating systems and with eighty legacy servers to support such operations such as invoicing, payroll, fleet management, tracking system for trailer, containers and consignments and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for customers [19].

This approach ran contrary to what the company needed to operate and compete as effective as possible in the cross channel travel industry. In the past, such systems are workhorses that have provided excellent return on investment, but have become difficult to change, increasingly expensive to maintain, or are surpassed by more modern computing technology.

To improve this mission-critical operation, the company decided to sign a £300,000 deal with Unisys, a worldwide IT services and technology company, for their software, hardware and services. This include replacement of its 45 legacy servers with a 24 processor ES7000 and Sybase server, and migration from mixed platforms -Windows NT, Unix, AS400 and Linux- to a single Windows 2000 Advanced Server. P&O Ferries anticipates the new IS will rip off between £25,000 to £35,000 IT maintenance...