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The Indian Railways will launch tomorrow RailCloud, a virtual server with an inbuilt security system that will enable faster connectivity at a reduced cost. Developed by rail PSU RailTel at an estimated cost of about Rs 53 crore, Railcloud is aimed at optimising server resources and its management. Cloud computing is an emerging technology for faster and on demand commensurate deployment of server resources which results in reduced cost. "RailCloud technology enables maximising the usage of available server and storage resulting in accommodation of bigger data and more applications within same server space. This makes the system suitable to meet higher demand," said a senior Railway Ministry official. Currently all IT applications have separate servers which increase the cost of operations and purchases. The state-run transporter will also launch tomorrow Nivaran-Grievance Portal, the first IT application on the RailCloud. Nivaran is a platform for resolution of service-related grievances of serving and former railway employees. RailCloud will cover all management related to various services like human resources, health and hospital, signal assets, freight and logistics and energy among others. Asked about the security aspect of the system, the official said, "It is a private cloud which has an inbuilt security system. In fact it will improve security and reduce the cost by 30 per cent." The cloud shall be equipped with security features as per latest government guidelines.
The security features can be updated in one go for all applications hosted on the cloud, resulting in enhanced security and stability with less expenditure and effort. RailCloud will pave the way for swifter deployment of application within 24 hours as compared to conventional time running into weeks and months. In Cloud, the server resources are constantly scaled up or down as per the number of users logged on to the system. This ensures a better user experience to the customer. Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home. Railways have started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations. To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first. Establishment of RailCloud is one such project.
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