Consolidating and Simplifying IT Management at Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank
Managing an IT environment built with various vendors is often inevitable, but it can lead to problems. Overseeing multiple systems is time-consuming and cumbersome, pulling your IT team away from more valuable work. This was our reality at Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank.
Thane Bharat is a 40 years old cooperative bank in Maharashtra, India. With 30 branches spread across four major areas, we have been one of the bigger co-operative banks in the Thane district since 1979. Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank provides essential banking and financial products and services to our customers, including mutual funds, and insurance. Today, we’re also recognized as digitally advanced financial institutions in the western region of Maharashtra.
Re-Evaluating Our Three-Tier Architecture
A few years ago, our infrastructure was reaching its end of life. Our aging three-tier architecture was difficult to manage, and while our number of physical servers had grown to nearly 20, we were quickly running out of speed, memory, and disk space. Some tasks, like interest posting, would take nearly 19 hours to complete.
As the bank continued to scale in terms of size and customers and started creating digital channel footprints, we added more servers to accommodate growth. These, unfortunately, took up an enormous amount of space and seemed far less efficient than other solutions available in market.
Using various systems meant we had to log into different consoles to manage just about anything. From storage to status checks, nearly every process needed to be managed from a separate console. This significantly reduced both work speed and efficiency. It was high time to integrate new infrastructure, building a solution that could last for many years to come.
Hunting for a Consolidated, Simpler Infrastructure
Our first objective for our upgraded infrastructure was space to grow. As Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank continued to open new branches and grow business with more digital integration, we needed an IT foundation that could scale with us. We knew hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) could simplify management by bringing multiple consoles into the same view. It was also important that our new infrastructure could integrate with our backup software. If our solution could meet these parameters successfully, we'd be more than willing to quickly make a switch.
We set to work comparing various HCI vendors that could meet our growing needs, and finally our teams were most interested in Nutanix. Apart from being easy to use and seamless to implement as seen in our POC, Nutanix had been used by some of our peer banks with great success. It didn't take us long to recognize that HCI was fast becoming the industry standard of our area.
After much deliberation, we agreed that Nutanix would be the best value for our money.
Migrating to a Hyperconverged Infrastructure
We didn’t take the move to Nutanix lightly. We would be moving mission-critical applications to a brand-new environment, and as one of the growing financial institutions in Maharashtra, downtime and data loss weren't options. Thankfully, none of these fears ever materialized. Not only was the migration process extremely fast, but we experienced zero data loss, no downtime, and any issues were resolved with fine-tuning over the following two quarters.
We ordered Nutanix in February 2021 and were up and running just a few weeks later in March 2021. TechFlex assisted us with basic-level installation and implementation, with the Nutanix team stepping in to provide fine-tuning, suggestions, and additional tweaks to the environment. After the fine-tuning period, the deployment was an overwhelming success, with basic implementation completed in four weeks.
Now, restarting a virtual server on Nutanix hardly takes one to two minutes, as compared to the previous infrastructure where it took a minimum of four or five minutes just to restart.
All our major digital channels now are moved to the new HCI, including IMPS, SMS banking, and mobile banking. We moved 60–70% of our old servers to Nutanix and were amazed at its speed and consolidation.
Faster Processes and Less Space
We started seeing some major benefits almost right away. The first was that installing the operating system on a new server took a fraction of the time compared to our previous infrastructure. With help from the Nutanix team, the process that once took about half an hour now only took about four or five minutes. Not only would this make spinning up new servers a lot easier, but it would dramatically reduce the number of our IT team’s bloated, time-consuming tasks.
Another helpful benefit was server consolidation. Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank quickly went from managing around 10 servers to just three, and ultimately reduced our server footprint down to 20% of its original size. Further due to integration of a smart rack system, we saved an enormous amount of space, and dramatically reduced the amount of overhead spent on electricity.
Our monthly interest posting process quickly went from 18 hours down to around 15. But during our proof of concept, we had seen it reduce even more drastically, so we reached out to Nutanix. Their team helped perform a few reconfigurations. While the reconfiguration process required a few quarters of testing, that process now takes around four-and-a-half hours.
The Future of Nutanix at Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank
Integrating Nutanix at Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank changed the entire IT process for the better, making IT management simpler, faster, and far less problematic for our team.
With , we have just one system that allows us to see, monitor, and manage nearly everything about the virtual servers on a singular view. We can see hardware utilization, system performance, and so much more. This holistic perspective was a huge boon to our infrastructure and has saved our team countless hours of precious time. We can visualize if there's any over-provisioning, which helps us allocate the exact required resources.
We’ve also shored up our disaster recovery (DR). Nutanix allows us to automatically replicate our most critical servers to our DR site every four hours, meaning data loss would be minimal in the event of an outage.
Now, our team can better control the infrastructure, perform regular maintenance, and complete tasks without dealing with massive waiting periods. The data deduplication will allow us to grow a lot more in the future, without needing more servers. There’s plenty of room to grow, allowing us to scale efficiently over the years.
Managing different IT systems in a single setting will always lead to hiccups. By transitioning Thane Bharat Sahakari Bank to a cloud platform built on HCI, our business is more equipped than ever to serve our customers well.