IBM Cloud Pak Compatibility for a Commercial Bank
A large Eastern European commercial bank, part of an international financial consortium, faced the complexity and cost of scaling and the impossibility of introducing new functions caused by the current organization of data storage and infrastructure.
The bank owned and expanded its on-premise infrastructure, using customized solutions of its own design to provide services to clients and to maintain data when loading and processing internal data.
The biggest challenge was using on-premises infrastructure, which brought with it the constant need to support the hardware in the face of increasing data volumes. The bank required new approaches to working with data that the current infrastructure could not support. In light of this, it turned to IBA Group in search of a solution to the several competing challenges it faced.
THE FIRST CHALLENGE
The client was actively developing a mobile application for Internet banking and the introduction of new features, such as online card processing from a website or application and the ability to make online payments. Existing solutions didn’t satisfy the client due to severe user interface issues and the inability to use them on some smartphone models. Moreover, it wasn’t possible to add planned features, such as new types of cost estimates with the existing software.
Since the bank was in a phase of active growth and acquisition of new customers, the user experience was of paramount importance, and the elimination of defects had to occur as quickly as possible. As a result, the delay in the introduction of new features and the inconvenience of the user interface meant a loss of profit and customers.
Key issues were the addition of new features during a period of rapid growth and the difficulty of quickly fixing defects in the user environment.
THE SECOND CHALLENGE
Equipment was purchased and installed in advance to perform the task of scaling the bank’s servers. When optimizing consumption, part of the capacity was idle waiting for loading, requiring maintenance, and taking up space. At the same time, the total cost of maintaining server rooms, cooling, repairs, maintenance personnel, and data backup increased significantly.
The key task with server capacities was to create an efficient system for organizing and storing data, taking into account potential growth for the next 2-5 years.
THE THIRD CHALLENGE
Constant state audits required employees of different departments to generate comprehensive reports for each auditor’s request. Despite the fact that the requests were repeated, the actual data from the databases had to be collected manually. In the last audit, the organization was unable to provide two reports because they didn’t have a sufficient technical base to collect information about transactions, which caused serious problems with passing the audit.
The key challenge in submitting audit reports was the labor intensity and lack of technical ability to collect this information.
Data Management Solutions to Cloud Migration Service
Having identified the challenges and goals, the IBA architects set about developing a solution. Representatives of the bank focused on fault-tolerant and easily scalable systems that have proven themselves reliable and could be easily maintained by the bank’s IT specialists.
The following solutions were identified:
- Migrate the client to cloud infrastructure;
- Install OpenShift from RedHat;
- Adapt client services to IBM Cloud Pak.
The most suitable analogs of the client’s existing services were selected from the Cloud Pak; new ones were added that best suited the task with growth potential. A separate item was the visualization and reporting system implemented by Cognos Analytics.
Benefits Our Customer Received by Moving Data Management to a Cloud Service:
- The customer got the opportunity to use the new functionality immediately upon completion of the development and testing stages.
- No problems were noticed in the event of a failure of the main system, with the client receiving a backup system with a previous working version. This acted as an immediate replacement while the problem was fixed.
- Adding hardware capacity was no longer the customer’s main concern, as now monitoring systems automatically suggest necessary changes. Scaling is implemented as needed in a few clicks by the bank’s engineers.
- Increased customer business growth.
- Increased customer satisfaction due to the high speed new functionality and the quality of services provided.
The bank was able to abandon 80% of their server space and equipment in favor of a cloud service provider.
No infrastructure failures were recorded within two months after the improvements were made by the IBA Group team, compared to 13 failures previously.
Cloud-native architecture approach based on RedHat, OpenShift, and appropriate cloud alternatives for existing services.
Cloud Pak for data as ETL/ELT. Cognos service for data audit features.
Multi-cluster data aggregation using DataStage. Fault-tolerant data storage in two data centers for the required 99.99% uptime.