Banking regulations require that Citizens Business Bank see no more than three days of downtime. Meeting that objective was easy until the business expanded to nearly 50 locations throughout California with more than 400 virtual machines. The bank needed to accelerate application performance and data mobility to all branch offices and a disaster recovery site, and do it without adding more hardware to the infrastructure or adding more bandwidth.
The bank had already virtualized its data center, reducing the number of physical servers from 250 to 30 to reduce costs, but 500 gigabyte (GB) replication workloads were overwhelming a 45 megabit-per-second (Mbps) connection. Daily backups were requiring up to 27 hours to complete, full replication was taking 95 percent of the week to complete, and application performance was slow. The IT team attempted to fix the problem by doubling bandwidth, but that was only a temporary solution as replication still ended up taking more than a full business day to complete.
Citizens Business Bank evaluated WAN optimization offerings from Riverbed and Silver Peak, but quickly rejected Riverbed hardware due to the initial high cost and long-term costs of forced hardware refresh cycles. With existing familiarity with virtualization, virtual WAN optimization became the obvious choice and Citizens Business Bank deployed Silver Peak VX virtual WAN optimization software.
“We had already seen how VMware virtual machines could compete with physical servers, so we wanted to see how virtual data acceleration software stacked up against proprietary appliances,” said Steve Borba, IT administrator at Citizens Business Bank. “We considered Riverbed appliances, but the price was so much higher than virtual software and Silver Peak could deliver equal if not better performance in a virtual machine.”
Silver Peak software deployed with Dell Compellent SAN-to-SAN replication is now enabling Citizens Business Bank to replicate up to 2 terabytes (TB) of data per day. iSCSI traffic dropped by 90 percent, CIFS by 74 percent, Microsoft Exchange by 59 percent and Microsoft SQL by 66 percent. The Silver Peak software improved usable session bandwidth by more than 22x and improved branch office T1 connectivity from 1.54 Mbps to as much as 7 Mbps of optimized throughput.
“Not only did Silver Peak’s software accelerate data replication, but it improved all of the applications sharing the line,” added Borba. “We sped-up our transactional data, improved file sharing and bulk TCP performance, secured traffic with encrypted tunnels, and even improved the quality of our voice calls.”