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Banif Investment Bank generates vast amounts of business critical data on a daily basis, all of which must be replicated quickly and efficiently. The bank's main data center is based in Lisbon and its disaster recovery (DR) site is in Oporto, with a 10Mbps link connecting both locations. The bank's main applications include file sharing, Exchange and in-house developed applications based on Windows 2008, SQL and IIS. All these applications are supported by a VMware Sphere 4 infrastructure that replicates to a disaster recovery site. Two EMC CLARiiON storage systems are used, a CX4-120 on the primary site and a CX3-10 on the remote site.


IN BRIEF

Industry

  • Banking

Challenge

  • Needed to reduce replication times
  • Wanted to achieve new and improved targets for RPO and RTO

Solution

  • Riverbed Steelhead appliances

Benefits

  • Replication time reduced from 48 hours to seven hours
  • RPO and RTO are now around four hours
  • 84% reduction in data traffic
  • 6.5 times increase in bandwidth capacity
  • Additional bandwidth costs avoided

Banif Investment Bank

Challenge: Needed to reduce data replication time and achieve improved targets for lowering recovery point objective and recovery time objective

Banif Investment Bank generates vast amounts of business critical data on a daily basis, all of which must be replicated quickly and efficiently. The bank’s main data center is based in Lisbon and its disaster recovery (DR) site is in Oporto, with a 10Mbps link connecting both locations. The bank’s main applications include file sharing, Exchange and in-house developed applications based on Windows 2008, SQL and IIS. All these applications are supported by a VMware Sphere 4 infrastructure that replicates to a disaster recovery site. Two EMC CLARiiON storage systems are used, a CX4-120 on the primary site and a CX3-10 on the remote site.

As the bank’s client base grew, and new applications were added, the data traversing the wide area network (WAN) multiplied almost exponentially. As a result it was taking much longer to replicate data between the two sites. “The high amount of data that needed to be transferred on a daily basis was resulting in a replication time of almost 48 hours,” explains Filipe Paula Cardoso, head of IT at Banif Investment Bank.

Banif Investment Bank also wanted to achieve new targets for reducing the recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). The RPO is the maximum acceptable time period that data can be lost prior to a disaster, while the RTO is the maximum acceptable time period required to bring data, processes, applications and systems back into full use after a disaster. “In the fast-moving world of finance, it’s critical that you minimize the amount of downtime as much as possible, so it was vital that we improved our performance in these areas,” says Cardoso.

Banif Investment Bank explored a number of options for achieving its objectives and settled on two possible solutions: upgrading the network bandwidth or deploying a WAN optimization solution. “We calculated that we would need to increase bandwidth by a factor of ten in order to get the results that we wanted,” says Cardoso, “but this option was clearly very expensive. Instead we decided to investigate a WAN optimization solution.”

Solution: Riverbed Steelhead appliances offer easy deployment and quick results

Following a presentation by Riverbed Technology, Banif Investment Bank conducted an intensive proof of concept exercise and installed Riverbed® Steelhead® appliances at the Lisbon data center and Oporto disaster recovery site over a 45-day period. “The Riverbed solution was very easy to install and integrate with our existing IT infrastructure,” explains Cardoso.

“During the test we saw an 84 percent reduction in the amount of traffic traversing the WAN and  bandwidth capacity increased by more than 6.5 times. That was enough to convince us that the Steelhead appliances were the right solution for our business,” says Cardoso.

Benefits: Replication time reduced, disaster recovery targets achieved and additional bandwidth costs avoided

The impact of deploying Riverbed’s technology has been dramatic, notes Cardoso. “Replication time has been reduced to around seven hours. That’s almost a seven times improvement and we’ve achieved our goal of reducing RPO and RTO to around four hours.”

“In the fast-moving world of finance, it’s critical that you minimize the amount of downtime as much as possible.” “Replication time has been reduced to around seven hours. That’s almost a seven times improvement.”

Banif Investment Bank has also made considerable cost savings by avoiding a substantial bandwidth upgrade and with Riverbed installed, now has improved remote access management between the two sites.

“Riverbed has helped to make us even more efficient and resilient and saved us money. What more could you ask for?” says Cardoso.

Future plans

Following the successful deployment of Riverbed Steelhead appliances, Banif Investment Bank is now planning a Steelhead Mobile® proof of concept with its 200 employees based in three branch offices in Portugal. Many of these employees also work out in the field, and it’s vital that they can access business critical files and data easily. Steelhead Mobile client software can give mobile workers LANlike access to corporate files and applications, wherever they are in the world.

Background

Banif Investment Bank (www.banifib.com) is part of the Banif Financial Group, and operates on a global scale, with offices in Europe and the Americas. It banking operations encompass many financial areas including, Advisory Services, Capital Markets and Investment Management.

SUMMARY

Banif Investment Bank wanted to greatly reduce replication time and improve other aspects of its  disaster recovery program. By deploying Steelhead appliances, Banif Investment Bank achieved a seven times reduction in replication time with the replication process reduced from 48 hours to four hours. Bandwidth capacity has been increased by 6.5 times, and the bank has avoided an expensive bandwidth upgrade.

“Riverbed has helped to make us even more efficient and resilient and saved us money. What more could you ask for?”

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