2 page Case Study - Posted 9/8/2008
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Hawaii Bank Saves Money and Time by Consolidating Server Environment
American Savings Bank is the third-largest financial institution in Hawaii based on 2007 year-end assets. As its server network grew, American Savings Bank faced increased costs for technology hardware, software licensing, power consumption, and server management. Using Hyper-V™ virtualization technology in the Windows Server® 2008 operating system, the bank is consolidating its server environment and reducing hardware, software, operations, and ownership costs in its data centers.
For more than 80 years, American Savings Bank has been serving communities in Hawaii. Based on 2007 year-end assets, American Savings Bank is Hawaii’s third-largest financial institution and has the second-largest branch network in the state. With 63 branches and more than 200 automated teller locations throughout the Hawaiian Islands, American Savings Bank provides a full range of banking, insurance, and investment services. A subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc., the Honolulu-based bank employs approximately 1,500 people and is a respected member of its community, committed to helping Hawaii’s businesses and communities grow and prosper.
To help meet the needs of its customers, American Savings Bank was running a network of 280 server computers at nine data center locations. As its server network grew, American Savings Bank faced increased costs for technology hardware, software licensing, and power consumption. Several of the bank’s data centers were actually running out of space to install new server hardware. American Savings Bank was spending increasing amounts of time and staff resources to manage its server network and to deploy and provision new servers or rebuild existing servers.
The company was preparing to implement a regularly scheduled server-refresh program. In the past, American Savings Bank would have simply replaced every four-year-old non-warranty server in each of its data centers. With focus on enhancing the bank’s efficiency ratio, the IT department now had to evaluate each of the 60 servers due to be refreshed, and then determine whether it needed to be updated, replaced, or consolidated.
American Savings Bank saw the planned refresh cycle as an opportunity to explore ways to consolidate its server network and reduce costs in its data centers. “We wanted to reevaluate our server environment before we simply just replaced the servers,” says Rick Shibata, Technology Infrastructure Services Manager at American Savings Bank. “We wanted to bring a smaller footprint into our data centers and reduce our management, hardware, and licensing costs.”
The American Savings Bank IT staff had experience with virtualization technology and knew it could meet some of the bank’s business challenges. The IT department evaluated virtualization solutions from Microsoft, VMware, and XenServer, and elected to implement the Hyper-VTM virtualization technology in the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.
||One of our goals was to reduce total cost of ownership. By consolidating the server network with Hyper-V, we did lower ownership costs, including hardware, software, and operational expenses.
Technology Infrastructure Services Manager, American Savings Bank
The bank selected Hyper-V based in part on its existing investment in Microsoft, running its server network with the Windows® 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 operating systems, and its successful deployment of Microsoft® Virtual Server 2005 in some test and development environments. “We didn’t want an unfamiliar system,” says Jerry Co, Network Support Analyst at American Savings Bank. “After working with Virtual Server 2005, we were confident of Microsoft’s grasp of virtualization.”
As the bank prepared to begin its server refresh, it was evaluating whether to purchase licenses for Microsoft System Center data center monitoring solutions. By using Hyper-VTM to install multiple virtual servers on a single physical server, American Savings Bank realized it could purchase one System Center license for each host server, and that single license would cover every virtual machine plus the virtualization platform on that physical machine.
American Savings Bank also will use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and Operations Manager 2007 to identify candidates for virtualization and help manage and monitor the virtual environments. It will use System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 to perform live backups on the virtual hosts.
American Savings Bank made a strategic decision to use Dell hardware for the Hyper-V deployment, initially deploying 20 virtual machines across two Dell 2950 servers and four Dell 1955 blade servers, primarily in test and development environments. “The Dell servers work really well with Hyper-V and were successful in clustering tests,” says Co.
Ultimately, the bank plans to virtualize up to 30 percent of its servers. “As servers come up for refresh or as new servers are required, we’ll identify candidates for virtualization,” says Shibata. “We’ll be looking at high-availability, disaster recovery, and progressively more complex environments.”
American Savings Bank used Hyper-V to help manage its server refresh program, reduce hardware costs and power consumption, save physical space, and save money on software licenses. “One of our goals was to reduce total cost of ownership,” says Shibata. “By consolidating the server network with Hyper-V, we did lower ownership costs, including hardware, software, and operational expenses.”
Consolidated network cuts costs. By eventually reducing the number of physical servers in its network by up to 30 percent, American Savings Bank is going to significantly reduce hardware costs and decrease the hardware footprint at its data centers. The bank estimates savings of more than U.S.$30,000 annually in server related maintenance, and will reap additional savings in data center costs such as space, power, and cooling. At the same time, by using Hyper-V to virtualize servers, the bank can take advantage of the System Center licensing structure.
Easier server provisioning saves time. Before using Hyper-V, the bank’s IT department could take up to four weeks to deploy a server, including the time to order and receive the hardware, build it, test it, and install the applications. By reducing provisioning time, American Savings Bank is now positioned to better meet business service levels at lower cost. “With Hyper-V, I’ve gotten a request for a server and had it up and running, loaded with utilities, and ready to go in less than an hour,” says Co.