“NorthC safeguards the quality of the hosting of the IT facilities”

They’re an integral part of the Amsterdam urban landscape: the metro, bus, and trams of the GVB. Every day thousands of tourists, day-travelers, and Amsterdam citizens travel to their destinations. Every day the GVB tries to have the busy and impatient traffic reach its destination in a fast and secure way. To be able to focus on that core task, the GVB was looking for a partner who would take care of the data center housing. They found this partner in NorthC.

The GVB was looking at a renovation and internal move. This also led them to look at their data center environment. Will we be centralizing all internal data centers? Or is outsourcing the way to go? “It took over a year before we’d worked out all the different scenarios”, says Bas van Kan of TiM Project Managers, who had the job as external project manager to streamline this operation. “Ultimately, outsourcing was the best choice.”


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Outsourcing the solution

During their year of migration GVB discovered that data center housing could be done easier and more reliable. The business therefore chose for complete outsourcing. Data center housing is no core task for the GVB. Due to the high figure that was calculated for the total costs, the GVB had to do a European public procurement procedure. A list of demands was prepared including all standards a data center had to comply with. Some of the demands included that there had to be 24/7/365 support and security, the necessary ISO certifications, and the data center had to be at least a Tier 3 data center. Being carrier neutral was also one of the demands. NorthC was one of the tenderers that complied with all demands and won the procurement.

Partner on all fronts

The GVB is very pleased with the partnership they developed with NorthC. Van Kan: “During the entire migration process NorthC was proactive and very professional. The specialists thought along with us about the setup of the servers, cabling, and the options to add extra security to our servers.” An interesting detail is that NorthC was way ahead of the rest when it comes to sustainability. “Sustainability is also a GVB top priority, so we have found a great partner in NorthC.”

Flexibility and scalability

As a result of the outsourcing to NorthC, the flexibility and scalability of the GVB grew. Van Kan: “Everything is scalable: the number of servers, the power supply, the rack space. With this move we can now focus on our core task: transporting tens of thousands of travelers in and around Amsterdam every day. NorthC safeguards the quality of the hosting of the IT facilities.”

“During the migration process, NorthC was both proactive and professional. And even now NorthC remains a sparring partner who thinks along with us about the future.”

Bas van Kan from TiM-projectmanagers

Good service and availability

The short communication lines, the flexible attitude and the strict ISO standards maintained by NorthC are a plus to Van Kan, although the remote management took some getting used to. “Essentially it’s not much different than at our old location. We only have to go to the data center for placing extra servers or doing an update, and the location is well-accessible for us. In addition, NorthC is a sparring partner that thinks along with us about the future.”


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