Bank Hapoalim rolls out StoreAge data protection software across call centres

Source: StoreAge Networking Technologies

StoreAge Networking Technologies, an innovator in enterprise SAN storage management and advanced multi-tiered, data protection solutions, today announced that Bank Hapoalim, Israel's largest and leading bank, is using the StoreAge SVM and data protection applications throughout its multi-site call centers.

The deployment was led by Harel Computers and Communication Ltd., StoreAge's partner in Israel.

After examining various solutions, Bank Hapoalim selected StoreAge SVM to manage its SAN, consisting of two identical call center sites - a main site and a DR site; both are production sites, with an additional site for development and testing purposes. Each serves about 150 call-center operators working concurrently in a 24x7 production environment. The two call centers are comprised of IBM Blade Servers and IBM FAStT 700 storage systems in a dual fabric configuration, based on Brocade switches. The IBM Blade Servers run Windows 2000 and 2003, booting from SAN. Applications include CTI system by Genesys, and MS-SQL and DB2 used as applications' databases. Microsoft Cluster Server is deployed for high availability.

Michael Shamis, infrastructure manager at Bank Hapoalim, explained: "After completing the installation of hardware at both sides, we needed a solution that would answer the following requirements:
  • Ensure High Availability at all sites
  • Enable booting the IBM Blade Servers from the SAN
  • Support heterogeneous storage systems
  • Provide automatic backup of database, without disrupting the production applications, and enable using scripts for integrating with 3rd party backup applications
  • High degree of flexibility in storage provisioning
  • Enable replicating system volumes between and within sites

    Bringing It All Together for Enhanced Business Continuity

    The Bank uses StoreAge's multiMirror for mirroring data over the IP network between its remote sites at a distance of 100 km., thereby enabling disaster recovery capabilities and ensuring business continuity. Volumes of the SQL Server are grouped using multiMirror's Consistency Group feature, thus enabling simultaneous mirroring to the distant DR site and preserving data consistency.

    In order to improve its backup capabilities, Bank Hapoalim uses multiView, StoreAge's snapshot copy application to instantly create low capacity snapshots of SAN data, enabling LAN-free, server-less backup, and leaving production servers uninvolved in the data replication process. Using multiView has significantly reduced the Bank's backup time.

    In addition, multiCopy, StoreAge's physical copy application, is used for two main purposes: 1) System volume cloning for quick installation of servers and their implementation in the SAN, reducing the time required for installation from several hours to less than 10 minutes, and 2) Facilitating policy based replication of volumes via the use of StoreAge's SVM App-Pack for Windows.

    "We looked for a business continuity solution which would provide us with site recovery capabilities in case of disaster, which are at least an order of magnitude better than what we could achieve with traditional tape backup. Once introduced to the StoreAge SVM and application suite, we realized that not only can we improve our backup/restore capabilities by hundreds of percentage, but we can also realize a significant cost saving," said Mr. Shamis. "In addition, we were surprised to discover that using the same applications, we can now get more functionality, which we were not aware of originally. We can now easily add new servers to our SAN, locally or across our production sites. This has resulted in enormous savings in terms of administration time and labor. We are very satisfied with this comprehensive solution, which allows us to restore data in minutes, if needed."

    Dani Naor, vice president of business development at StoreAge, noted: "We are very pleased to have successfully responded to Bank Hapoalim's requirements. Our solutions prove to be a perfect match for the critical demands of Israel's largest bank, and we are committed to continued customer satisfaction."

    "The customer approached us looking for a DRP solution for its Call Center sites. While Introducing the SVM as a platform for DRP services, we understood that the value for the customer is much greater," said Shai Priva, manager of projects department at Harel. "By deploying StoreAge products over the cost-effective Blade Center platform, we have cut costs and improved data protection performance."
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