Faster time to market for one of Europe’s largest financial service organizations

The organization operates one of the largest banking datacenters worldwide, distributed across multiple sites throughout Germany. More than 350 local banks, state banks and public insurance organizations rely on them to facilitate service for 100 million+ bank accounts with 120 billion+ annual transactions.

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“In all activities and developments, we have implemented a reliable and stable IT operation for our customers and the almost 50 million savings bank customers.” said the CEO.

Security, protection and integrity of the savings bank’s and their customer’s data remain the central task of the organization. For this purpose, the defensive measures are continuously adapted and further developed. But they didn’t stop there, over the last few decades, the savings banks have successfully digitally adapted and transformed their analogue business models and processes, linking stationary and digital business. Now they need to continuously improve their datacenter infrastructure to support not only the regular banking transactions, but also the digital product offerings.

“For such purely digital product offerings to quickly scale and gain a foothold, 25 million online-savvy customers and 7 million app users can only be a start. We have to broaden the digital customer base massively” explained the CEO.

So faster time to market while reducing overall operational cost was key for success of those bold plans.

the challenge

One of the core issues that needed to be optimized, was the legacy approach of deploying storage in their datacenters. This approach forced to separate compute and storage management. Due to augmentation and strict financial regulatory oversight, this double management was very cumbersome and time-consuming for the infrastructure administrators.

the solution

comdivision's chief architect, VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) Yves Sandfort knew that “the operation needed to provide better performance, fault tolerance and high availability options than the current environment could provide”, and suggested to utilize stretched, or so-called ‘Metro Clusters’: “A stretched cluster extends a storage cluster from a single site to two sites for a higher level of availability and load balancing” said Sandfort. “We evaluated options and vendors and employed a strict validation of all the special requirements of the banking industry.”

Sandfort described the manufacturer and solution independent approach: “at comdivision, we start out by strictly identifying the key business drivers first and match them up with the IT-requirements”, he explained and continued “then we validate the options that are available on the market”.

One of the key-deciding factors for the customer was the fact, that they had already chosen vSphere as their virtualization platform, so vSAN as the only vSphere-native storage, was naturally the first contender. With vSAN the customer could improve business agility while managing complexity, cost, and risks.

the results         

vSAN did not only enhance the performance in the datacenter, it also provided the best cost to function ratio. The implementation was painless, due to Sandfort’s well thought through architecture: “sometimes it is best to have somebody from the outside looking in” said the lead administrator, and continued to say: “comdivision led us through all the steps while implementing the vSAN solution, so for all day 2 operations we were ready to tackle the task head on”. Obviously, it helped that they can call and get support from the experts by using comdivision knowledge, a pre-payed plan to give customers a phone number to call, if they get stuck. “It’s great to have that piece of mind to be able to call someone that knows what he’s doing” concluded lead administrator.