Red Hat Provides Spanish Financial Services Association, ATCA, With a Stable and Scalable Solution for its Electronic Banking System

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January 6, 2010

Customer: Asociación Técnica Cajas de Ahorros (ATCA)

Geography: EMEA
Country: Spain


Business Challenge:

Developing and maintaining an efficient, secure, and scalable e-banking system for its associates

Migration Path:

Sun Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Solution:

Migrated from Sun Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on IBM blade servers to reduce costs, increase scalability, and increase the IT department’s ability to focus on business objectives

Software:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Red Hat Cluster Suite, Apache, Tomcat, and customer development tools and applications, DB2 Databases

Hardware:

IBM blade servers with Xeon processors, boot from SAN (Hitachi cabins), with dualpath and asynchronic replica at 400 km

Benefits:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides ATCA with reliability, scalability, and flexibility at a low cost, enabling ATCA to adapt the infrastructure to its business needs

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Background:

Asociaciandoacute;n Tandeacute;cnica Cajas de Ahorros (ATCA) was founded in 1990 by several savings banks (Caja Inmaculada, Caja Sabadell, Caja Rioja and La Caja de Canarias) with the purpose of establishing a collaboration framework to help improve customer service and obtain costs savings and economies of scale. This is achieved through the shared performance of auxiliary services, mainly within Information Technology. ATCA provides various IT services to its associated savings banks, such as the development of applications, systemsand#x2019; operation, and operational assistance. As part of these services, ATCA has developed and maintained the e-banking systems for all four associated savings banks.

Business Challenge:

The e-banking system developed by ATCA, used by all four of its associated savings banks, is a critical platform for business and customers. At times of maximum activity, the system must give service simultaneously to more than 1,500 connected customers. Furthermore, the platform demands high availability, as it deals with the customers of all four entities 24 hours per day.

Originally, the platform ran on a Sun Solaris infrastructure, which was a stable but also expensive solution that offered limited possibilities of further development. It was replaced in 2003 by a platform based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux to achieve greater reliability and stability. At that time, ATCA was running on a tight budget, so it desired a solution that could provide high performance at a low cost. ATCA was looking for the best price-quality ratio, as well as greater transparency, and therefore opted for an open source solution.

ATCA technicians ran several tests and comparisons and chose Red Hat. ATCA understood that it was not only supported by a wide and vibrant open source community, but it was also supported by a company with a good technical reputation working to maintain a reliable alternative solution.

Solution:

ATCA’s current IT architecture is based on three Intel servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3. The databases are placed in a second level, on DB2.

ATCA first utilised Red Hat solutions on an x86 machine in a testing environment, and experienced very good performance results. From the start, ATCA’s engineers were very comfortable working with Red Hat. The ability to access the platform’s source code made the solution more accessible and provided greater infrastructure security and stability.

Throughout recent years, ATCA’s e-banking system has evolved, developing as the needs of the service increased. With heightened demand, Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM x Series servers, has scaled with ATCA’s business needs. The organization has updated its Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform with each new release, and has enjoyed its reliability and scalability.

ATCA also recently implemented Red Hat clustering to enable high-availability for its systems, ensuring business continuity in case of server downtime. As some of ATCA services are highly critical, including its ATM services, POS terminals, and the e-banking platform, it cannot afford any service downtime, planned or unplanned. Red Hat clustering provides a complete ready-to-use failover solution for ATCA’s critical services such as DNS, LDAP, NFS, and SAMBA.

Benefits:

By choosing Red Hat solutions, ATCA has achieved a flexible and scalable platform for a fraction of the cost of a proprietary platform. ATCA’s level of satisfaction with Red Hat Enterprise Linux is very high, especially regarding the platform’s reliability and stability.

With regards to the opacity of the proprietary code solutions, ATCA’s IT engineers feel more comfortable and secure when they can access, view, and understand the code of the software they are working with.

ATCA is also considering the implementation of further Red Hat solutions in the near future.

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