MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V. implements future proof high available ICT environment.
The relationship between MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V., Tectrade NL and IBM has started already more than a decade ago. In the past few years Tectrade NL and IBM have changed and modernized the total IT environment of MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V.
MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V. (hereinafter ‘the Bank’) is the fully-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (hereinafter ‘MUFG’), one of the world’s largest banks in terms of assets with more than a century of experience in both Japan and in the international financial markets. For the support of its clients the Bank has also branches in Austria and Czech Republic and a fully-owned subsidiary in Warsaw. To Dutch-based Japanese holding and finance companies the Bank off ers trust services through its fully-owned subsidiary, MUFG Trust (Holland) BV. As a result of changing market circumstances and (new) regulatory requirements the management board regularly assesses whether changes to the MUFG organization are required. This is determined by the Bank’s Risk Management and Compliance Divisions.
Jan-Martin Parent joined the Bank in 2013 as Senior Manager & Division Head Systems Division. In close collaboration, Tectrade and Jan-Martins team upgraded the entire production environment, from power supply to operating systems.
The Bank needed to upgrade the operating and software environment of IBM’s AS/400. The first step in this upgrade project was the AS/400 replacement for new IBM PowerSystems in order to gain a future proof environment. The automated validation of the migration project was the most challenging process. This complex and very intensive process took a lot of effort from both the application staff of the Bank as well as the experts from Tectrade supporting the implementation of the latest operating system. In the old situation the Bank had internal storage for AS400 and Direct Attached Storage for Intel servers without the use of virtualization software. In the new environment all storage is consolidated in an IBM Storage Area Network serving both IBM PowerSystems with PowerVM and IBM System X with VMware. This consolidation offers more scalability and flexibility. The SAN manages the virtualization of the storage. The VMWare layer virtualizes the IBM x86 hardware and increases the flexibility, scalability and deploys workloads faster. PowerVM was implemented to virtualize the IBM i partitions that facilitates the core business based critical applications of the bank.
Another major step was to upgrade the disaster recovery environment to prepare for future business continuity requirements. The Bank used a cold backup solution. However, the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) requirement would be decreased and during extensive inventory by Tectrade and IBM, all the different solutions passed by. It was key to find a scalable and flexible solution with low RTO and excellence performance even if the business would grow.
Specific for the Power environment The Full System Copy Services Manager (FSCSM) for IBM i was used to automate high performance backups with minimal impact to the production LPARs Logical Partitions (LPARs). This is achieved by using the FlashCopy (snapshot) function of the SAN to create a copy of the production LPAR, from which the backups are taken.
For the VMware environment the full functionality of VMware’s vSphere Site Recovery Manager (SRM) was used. With SRM, a fully scripted automated disaster recovery solution for the most critical workloads is supplied. Site Recovery Manager enables Bank of Tokyo to test their disaster recovery workflow on an on-demand basis. Testing procedures are done within protected environment, without impacting running production workloads. Back-up of the virtualized VMware environment is done on the infrastructure level. In this manner, a fast recovery time is guaranteed in case of any disruption, specifically by instant virtual machine recovery and application-level restores.
A twin datacenter implementation of IBM PowerSystems with IBM i operating system, IBM System X servers with VMware, two SAN systems in ‘hot standby’ was selected as the preferred option. The identical hardware and data replication supports an RPO of 0. This is very important for the Bank as they offer a premium service level to their clients.
The specialists of the Bank, Tectrade and IBM meet on a regular basis to discuss and monitor the current and future needs and processes. Jan-Martin Parent: ‘Without mutual respect and trust in this ongoing project this wouldn’t all be possible’.
The Bank recently announced that Brussels will become a new branch office to the Netherlands. Thanks to the new IT infrastructure, this will be relatively simple. The next step on the IT agenda is already known, the date for the meeting is set, and Tectrade NL and the Bank will work with a future proof IT environment in Amsterdam.