Riverbed Technology (NasdaqGS:RVBD), the technology and market leader in wide-area data services (WDS), today announced that Raiffeisen Banks, part of the Raiffeisen Organization, has installed 150 Riverbed Steelhead appliances and the Riverbed Central Management Console (CMC) as part of its ongoing strategy to improve access to real-time data and increase worker productivity, while controlling IT costs.
The speed provided by Riverbed has allowed Raiffeisen Banks to centralize its IT infrastructure and remove 150 servers from its local branches. In addition, Raiffeisen Banks' bandwidth utilization has dropped by over 87 percent.
The Federation of Raiffeisen Cooperatives is a group of cooperative entities based in Italy, incorporating banking, agriculture, energy and social services. The banking and insurance services are managed by Raiffeisen Banks with a total of 190 offices throughout the Alto Adige province in Northern Italy, employing 1,750 people and with a turnover of EUR 9.15bn. Raiffeisen Banks outsources its IT services to Raising Unified Network S.p.A (RUN).
Raiffeisen Banks had previously pursued a strategy to install servers in each branch location. However, for 190 offices throughout the Northern Italian region, this strategy had become unmanageable. Data between sites was not always consistent and on occasion was not updated. Backups were performed locally, resulting in high costs; maintaining the servers was also time-consuming and costly. For mobile employees the problem was even more widespread, with users losing valuable time trying to download emails and files.
To manage this dispersed architecture, Raiffeisen has outsourced its IT services to RUN. "The main challenge was to consolidate data from 190 local offices to just 40 head offices and a centralized data center. This would provide a more robust architecture, and would allow users to have constant and up-to-date access to files," explained Dr. Peter Werth, director of RUN. "However, we wanted to find a solution that would not involve an increase in bandwidth costs."
Working with Zycko UK, Werth investigated the WAN optimization solutions available from Riverbed and Cisco. "Riverbed was way ahead of the competition and the clear leader," said Werth. "The Riverbed Steelhead appliances were just easier to implement and deploy. They're more transparent and technologically advanced."
Following the installation of the 150 Steelhead appliances, Raiffeisen has successfully removed 150 servers from local branches and centralized the IT infrastructure to its data center. The bank has experienced other benefits, including simpler software upgrades and reallocating IT staff from backing up data to other IT projects.
"The results have been great. Bandwidth utilization has been reduced by over 87 percent, CIFS traffic has been reduced by 90 percent and HTTP traffic reduced by over 75 percent," said Werth. "With the Riverbed CMC we also have a real-time view of our data and global visibility of Raiffeisen operations."
The bank intends to remove servers from all 190 locations and plans to install the remaining 40 Steelhead appliances in the following months. It is also testing Steelhead Mobile for its consultants and mobile employees.