4-page Case Study
Posted: 4/2/2012
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Bank of Nagoya Bank of Nagoya Dramatically Accelerates Database Queries and Increases Availability

The Bank of Nagoya, Ltd., is a community-based bank with headquarters in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. To better meet the needs of its customers and also to support expansion inside and outside Japan, the Bank of Nagoya needed to make better use of its customer data and also ensure nonstop operation of bank systems. It upgraded to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data management software to test the SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn high-availability feature and the xVelocity feature, which improves database query speeds. Even in its early stage of deployment, the Bank of Nagoya has seen dramatic improvements in query speeds—from 30 minutes to 3 seconds. The bank has also improved the availability of its core bank systems and the productivity of its IT staff.

Situation

The Bank of Nagoya, Ltd., is a regional bank in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, that has 202 locations in Japan and two overseas. Since its founding in 1949, the bank has provided community-based financial services, and it prides itself on exceptional customer service.

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* By using SQL Server 2012 xVelocity, we were able to extract about 100 million records in 2 or 3 seconds versus the 30 minutes required previously. *

Mr. Atsuo Nakajima
Assistant Director
Systems Development Group

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The Bank of Nagoya has always used technology to enhance bank operations and customer service. In 2005, the bank created a customer relationship management (CRM) system using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 data management software. Although the application was quite successful, its query speeds were sometimes slow, which frustrated users and slowed productivity and response to customers. The bank also wanted to improve the availability of this and other business-critical systems.

Over the years, the bank had collected growing amounts of data in its CRM system and wanted to take advantage of that data to identify opportunities in its current customer base and steer future growth. It also wanted to find new ways to give branches access to rich corporate data so that they could make better daily decisions and make the most of customer interactions.

Solution

In 2012, the Bank of Nagoya planned to upgrade its data-center servers, with the goal of boosting CRM query performance. IT management thought that this would be the perfect time to also upgrade the company’s database software. The bank’s satisfaction with SQL Server led it to participate in the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Early Adopter Program.

“SQL Server is the database engine used for many of our internal systems, not just the CRM system,” says Mr. Satoru Hattori, General Manager, Work Systems Department, Bank of Nagoya. “For that reason, we were very interested in the new functions of SQL Server 2012.”

Specifically, the bank wanted to see how SQL Server 2012 could improve reliability and performance. To that end, it wanted to evaluate SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn, an enhancement of database mirroring that supports as many as four secondary databases, including two synchronous secondaries.

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* SQL Server is the database engine used for many of our internal systems, not just the CRM. For that reason, we were very interested in the new functions of SQL Server 2012. *

Mr. Satoru Hattori
General Manager
Work Systems Department

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The Bank of Nagoya also valued Microsoft as a partner. “Our CRM system has received good evaluations within the bank, and as the officer in charge of information systems, I feel that Microsoft technology is outstanding,” says Mr. Ichirō Fujiwara, Executive Director, Bank of Nagoya. “We do not outsource system adoption or operations but handle nearly everything internally. So we naturally wanted to get an early look at SQL Server 2012.”

The IT team was extremely impressed with SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn availability groups. An AlwaysOn availability group is a logical collection of databases that automatically fail over as one unit. With this function, the Bank of Nagoya is able to back up a primary database by installing up to four secondary databases. This makes it possible to achieve faster failover and disaster recovery in case of a hardware failure. The AlwaysOn availability group also automatically controls load distribution during backup operations.

“The concept of carrying out data backup and placement distribution together was brand new to us,” Mr. Hattori says. “We currently perform placement distribution manually, but if SQL Server can take care of this automatically with no human intervention, we will eliminate a great deal of database management time. In addition, distributing the database also mitigates the risk from breakdown or disaster.”

In October 2011, the Bank of Nagoya began its evaluation of SQL Server 2012 running on the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. It soon confirmed that migrating from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2012 could be performed smoothly, including resolving compatibility problems. The bank was able to obtain favorable results for database placement distribution and for increasing query processing speeds by using xVelocity memory-optimized columnstore index. This SQL Server 2012 feature greatly accelerates query performance by storing index data in columns rather than rows.

Even though the Bank of Nagoya upgraded across two generations of SQL Server, moving from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2012, the process went smoothly. “Microsoft provided us with all the migration tools that we needed, so we were able to overcome any problems we encountered,” Mr. Hattori says. “Additionally, consultants from Microsoft Japan helped with our testing, and because of their excellent technical abilities and communication skills, we were able to learn a great deal.”

Benefits

By upgrading to SQL Server 2012, the Bank of Nagoya was able to dramatically boost query performance, improve the availability of its core bank systems, and increase IT productivity. By taking advantage of the BI capabilities in SQL Server 2012, the bank plans to distribute live data to branches to improve customer service.

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* We have been able to confirm that by using AlwaysOn we will be able to build truly nonstop business systems. *

Mr. Ichirō Fujiwara
Executive Director
Bank of Nagoya

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Reduced Query Performance from 30 Minutes to 3 Seconds

To date, the Bank of Nagoya’s performance testing of SQL Server 2012 has exceeded expectations. With xVelocity, the bank dramatically increased processing speeds for vast quantities of data extending over multiple years.

“By using SQL Server 2012 xVelocity, we were able to extract about 100 million records in 2 or 3 seconds versus the 30 minutes required previously,” says Mr. Atsuo Nakajima, Assistant Director, Systems Development Group, Work Systems Department, Bank of Nagoya. “The results are especially impressive considering that we were running the software in a test rather than in a production environment and using a virtual machine with lower-than-normal specifications. We give SQL Server 2012 high marks based on these outstanding results.”

Achieved Higher Availability

By using SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn, the Bank of Nagoya can ensure extremely high usability of its CRM and other key bank systems and deliver on its commitment to provide stable operations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If, for some reason, a server or software failure occurs, the bank can instantly switch databases to a secondary server. “We have been able to confirm that by using AlwaysOn we will be able to build truly nonstop business systems,” Mr. Fujiwara says.

Enhanced IT Productivity

In addition to the high level of availability provided by SQL Server 2012, the Bank of Nagoya has found the setup process to be simple and intuitive. A manager with no special skills can guarantee continuous application operation. “SQL Server 2012 delivers new levels of automation and cost control,” Mr. Hattori says. “Also, in comparison with other database engines, performance tuning does not take much effort. I can also affirm that SQL Server 2012 makes it possible for us to handle development, management, and operations with just a few internal coordinators.”

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* With better data about their customers, our branches can provide better customer service and products that meet the needs of those communities. Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 is the first step in this direction. *

Mr. Ichirō Fujiwara
Executive Director
Bank of Nagoya

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Through the years, the number and size of workloads running on SQL Server has increased at the Bank of Nagoya. In many cases, different divisions had created similar databases that the IT staff ended up consolidating. This consolidation work is more efficient and automated by using AlwaysOn rather than performing this work on a batch basis.

Aims to Improve Customer Service

Down the road, the Bank of Nagoya would like to take advantage of the business intelligence (BI) enhancements in SQL Server 2012 to deliver up-to-date business data to each branch so that branch managers can make better daily decisions.

For example, the Bank of Nagoya established a branch in China in September 2011 and wants to continue expanding outside Japan. To be successful, it has to be able to give local offices access to data about their customers, speed their financing requests, and generally knit them to the parent organization.

“In community banking, it’s critical to have instant access to rich data when talking with customers,” Mr. Fujiwara says. “We would like to provide an environment in which the vast quantities of data we gather as a bank can eventually be delivered to all of our locations. We pride ourselves on our close contact with the communities we serve, and with better customer data our branches can provide better service and products that meet the needs of those communities. Upgrading to SQL Server 2012 is the first step in this direction.”

Microsoft Server Product Portfolio

For more information about the Microsoft server product portfolio, go to:
www.microsoft.com/servers

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at(800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Bank of Nagoya products and services, visit the website at:
www.meigin.com

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview




Organization Profile

The Bank of Nagoya is a community-based bank with 202 locations in Japan and two overseas. Founded in 1949, the bank has about 2,100 employees and U.S.$32.4 billion in assets.


Business Situation

The Bank of Nagoya wanted to improve the performance and reliability of critical business systems and also give branch offices access to data for better decision-making.


Solution

The bank upgraded to Microsoft SQL Server 2012 to take advantage of AlwaysOn and xVelocity.


Benefits

  • Reduced query performance from 30 minutes to 3 seconds
  • Achieved higher availability
  • Enhanced IT productivity
  • Aims to improve customer service


Software and Services
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Services

Vertical Industries
Banking

Country/Region
Japan

Business Need
Business Intelligence and Reporting

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microsoft Services

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