Monday, April 20, 2009

Who's using Infrastructure Orchestration in Finance?

With all the talk lately of Egenera's unified infrastructure orchestration I thought it would be useful to shed some light on who's *really* using this technology, and how.

Indeed, there are a number of similar technologies out there (Cisco with its UCS, and HP with its own offerings). But sharing actual users/uses, I believe, takes the conversation from "hey, cool stuff here" to "gee, it really is useful in the real world."

The beauty of infrastructure orchestration is that it abstracts-away all of the "plumbing" of the Server such as I/O, networking and storage connectivity -- which makes it an absolutely *ideal* complement to virtualization.

The results of this approach is that physical servers can be repurposed easily, regardless of whether they're running physical or virtual software. And fast repurposing means you can deliver instant High Availability (HA), entire environment disaster recovery (DR), and near-instant scaling (capacity-on-demand). In fact, even without VMs, some consolidation is possible by being able to use the same box for different uses at different times.

Within the past few years, a number of financial-services firms have adopted this approach using Egenera's PAN Manager software:

Commerzbank NA:
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Commerzbank NA launched an initiative to enhance its disaster-recovery strategy. The goal was to deploy a pool of virtualized servers that could run UNIX or Windows on demand, to complement the flexibility already achieved with virtualization on the storage and network sides.

Today their DR site not only ensures business continuity, it plays an active role in daily computing requirements—notably improving utilization. Plus, Commerzbank NA has consolidated 140 legacy servers into 48, slashed server-configuration time from two days to one hour, and reduced floor-space requirements by 60%. Niice..
Standard Chartered PLC:
IT architects at Standard Chartered PLC decided to centralize data center ops for core retail-banking application, available to customers at 1,200 locations worldwide. They selected Egenera's selected PAN Manager to do the job. As a result, Standard Chartered has cut total cost of ownership in half compared to their previous proprietary solution and can now bring a new country online in nine days rather than 45 days... as estimated for its legacy architecture.
Farm Bureau - Western Computer Services:
Western Computer Services, Inc. (WCS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Farm Bureau Financial Services, deployed Egenera's PAN Manager software the foundation for its new service-based architecture, serving multiple Farm Bureau Financial Services companies throughout the United States. The Farm Bureau chose Egenera to power the delivery and management of Web-based insurance services to thousands of personal and commercial insurance customers.
Investment Banks....
Egenera has a bunch of Investment Bank customers - in uses for HA, DR and repurposing, for applications from order management, order routing, and other client services. But these guys won't let me use their names :(

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