Société Générale Bank & Trust Goes Live with Vblock

Société Générale Bank & Trust has updated its entire IT […]

June 26, 2013

Société Générale Bank & Trust has updated its entire IT infrastructure by implementing Vblock, an innovative solution by the VCE alliance.

In 2010 Société Générale Bank & Trust (SGBT) started considering how to evolve its infrastructure from dispersed technologies into a data centre.

‘We wanted to deploy virtualisation tools using a converged infrastructure to offer more services to our internal customers,’ says Eric Mély, Chief Technology Officer at Société Générale Bank & Trust. ‘About 80% of our IT was already virtualised, and we wanted to have a scalable endto-end infrastructure that would enable new services faster, with a proven quality and an improved financial transparency.’

SGBT had already been working with VMware, Cisco and EMC, the three service providers that became partners in the project throughthe VCE alliance. Dimension Data Luxembourg came on board to provide consulting expertise on the project as the bank decided to adopt a Vblock solution.

In 2011 a three-month proof of concept was implemented at SGBT so that the bank could experience working with the Vblock solution and validate this particularly innovative concept. ‘At the start of 2012, with the help of consultants from Dimension Data Luxembourg and VCE, we updated all our architecture with the latest versions of the solution,’ says Eric Mély. ‘We then migrated all our applications and about 650 virtual machines, both Windows and Linux.’ At the beginning of 2013 SGBT Luxembourg migrated the mainframe environment to the new Vblock platform. The move signalled the end of a major transformation project undertaken by the bank’s team of developers. ‘We had scaled Vblock so that it could support the migration of all applications and development frameworks coming from the mainframe. This led us to double the solution’s space and memory capacity,’ Eric Mély explains. SGBT was the first company in Belgium and Luxembourg to decide to implement Vblock.

‘We were aware that it was a first in Belux, but at the same time we were completely reassured because we knew that our partners in this project were highly competent: our teams at the bank, the members of the VCE alliance, and Dimension Data’s teams,’ says Eric Mély. ‘Throughout the whole project, everyone was focused on making the Vblock implementation a success. We were also able to count on the very strong commitment of the bank’s business department. There is a very high level of trust between us, the internal customerson the one side, and IT production on the other. These are the conditions that allowed us to be so successful.’

This innovative choice has already delivered benefits to the bank: ‘Vblock has become the focal element around which our infrastructure is organised,’ says Eric Mély. ‘It supports all technical servers (file/print, Active Directory, messaging, middleware, web application, databases), the majority of business application servers and hundreds of virtual desktop clients. Vblock is a wonderful all-round workload platform. After we doubled our Vblock capacity, we were able to deploy a state-of-the-art infrastructure through a very favourable opex structure. And if we factor in the costs of the project, we have a running cost that is 20% lower than our previous IT environment.’ The implementation of Vblock enabled the bank to reach all its goals: lower operational and maintenance costs, simplified global architecture and management tools, and improved performance and financial transparency allowing for a clearer chargeback according to the quality of services needed by the business.

Dimension Data, the only VCE-accredited serviced provider in Luxembourg, demonstrated a strong involvement throughout the whole project. ‘The Dimension Data engineers already had specific competencies for each of the elements composing Vblock,’ Eric Mély explains, ‘and that is what we signed up for: allowing each side to progress thanks to this project. Dimension Data shed a new light on our infrastructure, and they learned with us. In the end, we all gained from working on this project!’

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