Best of VMworld Europe 2010 winner adopts Cisco UCS

An Italian bank expands its virtual infrastructure to meet growing needs after winning the “Best virtualisation and server consolidation project” award at VMworld Europe 2010.

An Italian financial services firm which won the “best virtualisation and server consolidation project” award last year has further upgraded its VMware virtual infrastructure with Cisco UCS to better manage its growing business needs.

With VMworld Europe 2011 and the Best of VMworld Europe 2011 user awards around the corner, caught up with last year’s winner - Bankadati-Credito Valtellinese Group.

At VMworld Europe 2010, Bankadati’s project shone among other entries because it was more than just traditional virtualisation and consolidation of physical servers, the judges said.

The server consolidation project enabled the bank to improve application performance, simplify management and introduce business process efficiencies.

The project started after the bank’s IT team found that its server hardware was hogging physical space, and because staff was spending too much time configuring and managing the infrastructure.

As part of a data centre redesign, Bankadati consolidated its 350 physical servers into just 16, running about 800 virtual machines (VMs) on its VMware virtual infrastructure. 

The bank also upgraded its SAN storage environment, moving from an EMC Clariion SAN to a 40TB Dell Compellent Storage Center and its Data Progression automated tiered storage feature. The team began the migration by moving 6,000 users on an Exchange 2007 platform to the new SAN, leveraging automated tiered storage to ease the migration, save on expensive disk, and reduce power consumption.

"Bankadati created more room for applications and data that really need the performance," judges said.

Moving on from the consolidation phase

But one year on, the IT team continues to look for ways to meet its growing business needs.

“During current year, we have expanded our virtual infrastructure by introducing Cisco UCS solution (18 Cisco C250 M2 servers) with Cisco Nexus 5548UP, and Nexus 1000v,” said Christian Manzia, Bankadati departmental systems manager.

The servers are now connected through 10Gbit Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocol. The Dell Compellent storage system is also connected through FCoE protocol to Cisco Nexus 5548. “This upgrade has given us more power, a simplified cabling and, most of all, a faster and better way of managing the growing business needs,” said Manzia. “Our next year goal is to test VMware ESXi 5 and implement VMware Site Recovery Manager to manage disaster recovery and planned outages for our virtual infrastructure.”

Bankadati-Credito Valtellinese Group’s
IT spec snapshot:

The IT spec in 2010 The IT spec in 2011

- Microsoft Exchange 2007

- Windows Server 2008 Active Directory

- VMware Virtual Infrastructure
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008
- Microsoft Data Protection Manager
- Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
- IBM WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment 6.2


- Microsoft Exchange 2010
- Windows Active Directory 2008
- VMware ESXi 4.1
- VMware View 4.5
- Microsoft SQL Server 2008
- Microsoft Sharepoint 2010
- Microsoft Forefront TMG 2010
- IBM WebSphere Application Server Nerwork Deployment 7.1
- IBM WebSphere Lombardi BPM


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