The British Transport Police (BTP) has completed the first phase of a server virtualisation project, aimed at saving £2.5 million in costs, with services provider Virtustream.

The railway police force has migrated 160 virtual servers to a virtual private cloud, as part of a bid to improve disaster recovery and business continuity in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics.

The next stage of the programme will see the BTP virtualise 2,000 desktops, a move with which it expects to save a further £1.5 million.

Following the server virtualisation, the BTP said it can now more efficiently manage space and power in its London-based data centre while also enabling quick failover for disaster recovery.

Setting disaster recovery at the desired level in a physical environment would have been "cost prohibitive", said Cliff Cunningham, chief technology officer at the BTP.

The BTP used Virtustream Advisor software to estimate the return on investment and develop a plan for the transformation.