Bank saves with network monitor

Standard Bank has improved the performance of its global network by measuring how applications consume bandwidth.

Standard Bank has improved the performance of its global network by measuring how applications consume bandwidth.

Using network monitoring tools from Compuware, Standard Bank changed its infrastructure and re-routed traffic. This avoided network upgrade costs which could have amounted to £20,000 a year.

The bank decided that network monitoring tools would be necessary following a move to a globalised infrastructure, based on servers in the UK, US and Hong Kong, which provide applications to 22 offices worldwide.

Standard Bank opted for Compuware's Network Vantage product, an appliance that can be sited on a section of the network to monitor traffic, and which provides reports at 24-hour intervals.

Mike Brunsdon, network communications analyst at Standard Bank, said, "Previously we were only able to see what percentage of our bandwidth was being used - but not by what.

"Now we can see which applications are using up bandwidth and route traffic differently. We saved money by not buying more bandwidth and we have scaled back to narrower connections."

Users at the bank's Jersey office found that web traffic was extremely slow. The company was prepared to buy more bandwidth but discovered that the network topology was at fault.

Users in Jersey were connecting to London via the high-speed Wan and from there accessing the internet. An upgrade allowed them to directly access the internet via a cheaper low-bandwidth local connection.

Brunsdon said the cost of Network Vantage would be fully recouped within two to three years.

The Cisco-based network connects Sun Solaris and Microsoft Windows NT on HP servers running banking applications and e-mail and web traffic.

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