Türkiye Finans Participation Bank wanted to increase its business continuity rate by replacing its traditional server cluster infrastructure with a geographically dispersed cluster (geocluster) architecture. The bank combined the replication technology provided by EMC products it used on the storage side and IBM scalability products it used on the server side with an infrastructure built on Windows Server 2008 Datacenter and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. By taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Microsoft technologies, Türkiye Finans was able to achieve higher business continuity, increase the accessibility of its main banking systems, and decrease management costs by ensuring ease of management.Business Needs
||The Türkiye Finans Participation Bank team not only marked a first by using Microsoft technologies for cluster architecture, but also became one of the leaders in technology by implementing geocluster architecture.
IT Operations Management - Systems Manager
Türkiye Finans Participation Bank operated at a 99.95 percent business continuity rate using a traditional server cluster infrastructure. However, because near-continuous system availability is mission-critical for financial institutions, Türkiye Finans wanted a solution that would transform its system cluster architecture to improve system availability. The solution would also need to make system management easier and support compliance with Turkish banking regulations and auditing requirements.Solution
Türkiye Finans developed a solution that included replication technology in EMC storage-side products and IBM server-side scalability products with the geocluster technology supported by Windows Server 2008 Datacenter operating system and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise data management software.
Hakan Yüksel, System Supervisor of IT Operations at Türkiye Finans Participation Bank, points out the four aspects of this successful business continuity project. “We combined the IBM at hardware side, the EMC at storage side, and the Microsoft technologies at the system and database server sides in harmony. The solution takes advantage of the scalability, reliability, and performance features of IBM hardware and EMC storage units, and it capitalizes on the Microsoft technologies that we use to manage the database systems supporting our banking practices.”
The project began with the bank renewing its hardware and storage infrastructure in order to deliver better performance and compatibility. Then, it deployed Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, which is composed of three nodes, and upgraded from Microsoft SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise. By bringing these components together, Türkiye Finans was able to establish a geocluster server environment. This infrastructure is supported by Microsoft System Center products. Currently at Türkiye Finans, the servers and applications are monitored in real time by Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, and patch management is performed actively by Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2.
Yüksel says that because there was no previous similar project in Turkey, detailed tests were performed at every phase of the study. “The structure we planned to establish had never been tried, neither in terms of a server park or storage architecture, nor in an agent software enabling a multi-site cluster. We did not have enough knowledge and experience of the product and there was no model example. We used Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) technology with a cascade architecture. We also used different server sources to overcome a bottleneck on the memory path and made sure that it acts as a single server. We performed these tasks together with Microsoft, EMC, and IBM.”Benefits
By taking advantage of the technologies in Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 to develop a geocluster solution, Türkiye Finans Participation Bank has realized several benefits.Increased Business Continuity
The geocluster scenario has significantly improved system business continuity and has a 99.99 percent rate. The solution promotes high availability with cluster continuous replication (CCR) included in the server along with standby continuous replication (SCR), ensuring that the system will work in extraordinary situations. The improvement in performance provided by Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 has led to an increase in user satisfaction.Decreased Risk of Errors
The new solution helps against possible errors at nodes, applications, or disks, and a backup has been provided at storage level through geoclustering. Also, because there are fewer manual transactions, the risk of making a mistake has decreased and human mistakes have been prevented.Supports Easier Management and Compliance
The environments that in the past were managed on a standby basis and tasks that were performed manually have been automated with the new geocluster solution. In addition, the bank has created an environment that meets the compatibility requirements of the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and other auditing authorities.This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.