Case Study: Austin Bank Expands, Leverages New Virtual Environment - Page 2
Operationally, the virtual load balancers enable Austin Bank to consolidate applications into a single device meaning one system to configure and manage for its customers. The bank also gains stronger security protection for Internet, intranet, and extranet environments with most common attacks being blocked before they reach servers. Load balancers also provide security by offloading the CPU-intensive SSL operations from servers. SSL protects confidentiality of the data being transferred through site authentication, data confidentiality and message integrity to ensure the identity of the site accessed. SSL can also eliminate eavesdropping and ensure that the message has not been altered. Austin Bank also was able to make changes to its website more quickly and eliminating the need for DNS changes.
With the LoadMaster DR, the second product purchased, bank clients are ensured to connect to the fastest performing datacenter or server for reliable and continuous connectivity and when the primary site is down, traffic is still diverted to the disaster recovery site. Both modelsenable multi-datacenter high availability at an affordable cost.
Currently, the bank has two physical data centers, one in Whitehouse and one in Longview, TX, which are about 40 miles apart. By using the redundant geographic load balancers, Austin is able to have a hot standby that can handle daily traffic and also be available in case of failure at the second data center location. The bank did experience one failure on a busy Friday with its Exchange server and there was no problem handling the additional traffic all directed to one server.
New IT Products Support Online Growth
The bank also found initial installation of the load balancers to be quite simple. They were up and running in less than two days without having to take the network out of service. All that was required for installation was a port assignment and setting up the VMware. The IT staff was able to do the set-up on their own without help from KEMP Technologies. The quick set-up without service disruption was important to the bank as the installation occurred in December, a busy online shopping time when retailers and individuals are using the banking network in high volume.
According to Jeff Sowell, Austin Bank Vice President in Charge of Network Support, “there is never a good time to do backbone work, but with the virtual machines the work is seamless and non-intrusive.” The bank felt secure in knowing that the load balancers would work immediately without risk to everyday traffic.
The bank has 22,000 online banking customers and has recently implemented mobile banking. All mobile traffic goes to the LoadMaster DR, which is able to handle up to 249 SSL TPS, with less cost for the virtual environment. The bank is also better able to manage all the traffic for its consumer and corporate applications, while previously certain business customer traffic could not be load balanced. Bank management is also pleased with the newfound ability to use their smartphones for remote access to Outlook Web Access, to use their email at any time without worry about inaccessibility.