Global Rail Company Selects Virtium eUSB SSDs for Long-Term Train Systems; Design Longevity and Data Protection Are Key

January 21, 2021


Rail passengers tend to focus their attention on the locations served, travel times between them, and on-board amenities. Overlooked, understandably, are the behind-the-scenes systems developed to make rail travel is safe, reliable and viable as a form of transportation. For the operators of those systems, no small part of their attention is on longevity – that is, “If it works well, let’s keep it working well.” 

One of Virtium’s longtime customers is a global, multi-billion-dollar developer of rail systems, equipment and services. The company is responsible for supporting municipal train systems in nearly 70 countries -- systems that need to be operational for up to 40 years. Why that long? After all, in most industries, four decades is practically eternity. Well, the reasons lay in economics and common sense. 

As with any large-scale industrial undertaking, redesigning rail equipment and systems are costly, multi-year propositions. Longevity like this isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a bottom-line imperative. And something works well, there’s little incentive to scrap its design and start over. 

While this major player in the transportation industry refines its core systems designs, its data-storage needs evolve, though with one constant: Industrial-grade solid-state storage that provides both data protection and an upgrade path for when those systems are updated. 

Multi-year rail projects like those require a sustainable form-fit-function equivalent component supply – a cornerstone of Virtium’s solid-state drives; we support SSDs for up to ten years. So, after extensive evaluation of solid-state storage solutions from Virtium as well as other vendors, the customer selected our TuffDrive eUSB drives. The SSDs’ small form factor and USB-IF-compliant interface ensured they could be easily integrated into various rail-systems. From the customer’s standpoint, the drives checked all of the boxes for quality and reliability. 

Equally important, that level of quality and reliability address passenger-safety requirements rail control systems. The TuffDrive SSDs were designed and rigorously tested to mitigate the negative effects of shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, power anomalies, and other environmental detriments that could compromise lesser storage solutions. And it didn’t hurt that Virtium’s 100 percent production-line testing prior to shipment gave the customer peace of mind; they could fully rely on Virtium SSDs working right out of the box.  

For several years since the initial designs, Virtium eUSB SSDs have been reliably storing and securing critical data for the various rail systems the customer operates. During that time, the customer has smoothly upgraded and modified the systems’ SSDs as needed, ensuring design efficiency and continuity.  

Virtium SSD quality and reliability, combined with ensured dependable continuity of supply, has enabled the customer to focus on what it does best -- provide world-class rail solutions that safely move passengers and goods between their destinations.