See also: CIO Profile: Andrew Watson at BTP

The British Transport Police (BTP) is migrating to Dell data storage systems and related server virtualisation.

The force, which serves railway passengers, will use Dell Compellent Storage with VMware virtualisation.

The aim is to provide quick data access, with the Dell software automatically sorting and filing information. Data from 148 sites has so far been consolidated into one storage area network (SAN), and replicated remotely for disaster recovery.

Data has been sourced from the BTP’s specialist applications, including its command and control, crime reporting, intelligence and case management systems.

Using storage automation, the BTP has also migrated 95 percent of its least-used data to SATA drives.

The BTP expects a return on investment within nine months, as a result of improved storage efficiency.

Philip Clifton, assistant technology manager of infrastructure at the BTP, said: “Our IT infrastructure is going through a huge transformation, and we cannot afford missteps in protecting passenger safety. We need to access the right data, right at the moment we need it, right at the location we need it.”