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Bank Dramatically Accelerates DR Operations by Reducing Backup From Overnight to 15 Minutes; Ensures More Reliable Business Continuity
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Nov 02, 2011 –/BackupReview.info/– Riverbed Technology (RVBD), the IT performance company, today announced that Minnwest Bank has deployed Riverbed(R) Steelhead(R) appliances at each of its two data centers. With Riverbed wide area network (WAN) optimization, Minnwest Bank has successfully executed a disaster recovery (DR) strategy that protects more than eight terabytes (TB) of company data every day. Minnwest Bank has improved business continuity and now meets a recovery point objective of one hour or less, and in most cases approximately 15 minutes. With accelerated DR processes, Minnwest is able to reduce bandwidth utilization, decrease bandwidth costs and reduce IT management costs. More important, Minnwest is able to process transactions faster, thus ensuring better customer service.
Minnwest Bank, founded in 1987, is a financial institution focused on local retail customers and small businesses, including many families and family-owned businesses such as farms, retailers, residential construction, small manufacturing, distributors and commercial builders. With more than 9,000 Internet banking customers and 300 businesses online, Minnwest Bank has become a trusted partner with 25 locations in 19 communities throughout Minnesota and South Dakota. With more than 15,000 debit and ATM card users and 35,000 telephone banking transactions per month, any unplanned downtime could cause difficulties for its customers and have an adverse effect on its reputation as a trusted partner in the community.
“We realized that our nightly cobbling of tape backup and sending them off-site was a time-intensive process that was not reliable and not viable long-term,” said Jonathan Schiller, chief executive officer, MinnData, the IT operations group within Minnwest Bank. “If we were to have a disaster, then possibly thousands of customer transactions could be lost, with the most recent data available from 4:00 p.m. the previous day. We needed a solution that would simplify the administration, and improve data protection operations and effectiveness.”
As a first step, Minnwest Bank started using Dell EqualLogic for replication of VMware on its HP servers to replace its legacy method of nightly tape-based backups. However, Minnwest needed a process to increase the throughput to accommodate the replication and the 13 gigabytes (GB) of data across the WAN, which on occasion peaked at 200 GB. Additionally, to support future data growth requirements, Schiller wanted the new solution to accommodate 22 GB-per hour sustained load transfers. After carefully examining its options, Minnwest determined that WAN optimization was the best solution for its needs. Minnwest Bank tested and evaluated alternatives, including Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), but ultimately deployed Riverbed Steelhead appliances to optimize its data backups across the WAN to its data centers.
With the Steelhead appliances, the financial institution was able to increase its replication and backup throughput while decreasing bandwidth utilization. As a result, Minnwest Bank has an enhanced DR strategy, which enables the company to protect more data faster, minimizing the possibility of losing significant amounts of financial data. Now Minnwest Bank is replicating more than eight TB of data in as little as 15 minutes, in place of the labor-intensive tape backup process that was done manually and had to be sent off-site.
The Riverbed WAN optimization solution has also enabled Minnwest Bank to provide its employees LAN (local area network)-like performance for its critical applications, including Fiserv, a set of core financial services applications, and Microsoft Exchange. Overall, the financial institution has decreased bandwidth utilization 55 percent. With the quality of service (QoS) features in Steelhead appliances, Minnwest Bank was able to prioritize between its critical applications and replication traffic to ensure sufficient bandwidth where necessary during peak business hours. Now, the company is able to better service its customers, collaboration is more effective and employees are happier and more productive.
“We cut our hardware costs by virtualizing. We automated our replication across the WAN, and we have more reliable DR operations with Riverbed that enables us to protect more data, more frequently and recover faster,” says Schiller. “On top of it all, Steelhead appliances enable us to accelerate the speed of inter-office data transfers and collaboration. That not only makes our employees happier, as they are able to work faster, but it enables us to provide better customer service, which means customers are spending less time waiting in line, on the phone and banking online.”
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SOURCE: Riverbed Technology
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