Reduce complex, time-consuming storage management tasks to allow Garanti’s IT team to focus on more strategic work.
Adopt a new storage management platform that empowers the IT team to automate its provisioning, replication, and monitoring processes.
Cut daily replication tasks from three hours to just 15 minutes — 92% time savings.
Improved reliability by replacing hand-coded scripts with GUI-based automation.
Maximized uptime while minimizing human intervention with real-time monitoring.
Faced zero outages in five years with a highly performant, resilient storage architecture.
Part of the BBVA financial services group, Garanti BBVA is Turkey’s second-largest private bank, with consolidated assets of nearly US$64.9 billion. It has a 19.2% share of the Turkish lending market and a 17.5% share of the corporate banking market, while also serving nearly 20 million retail customers.
Operating in a highly regulated market, Garanti BBVA puts huge emphasis on the reliability and availability of its services. From an IT perspective, this means that outages are not an option. Over several years, the bank has built an IT architecture designed to maximize availability and provide extremely high levels of resilience against disaster.
In its distributed systems environment, this resilience is built on a three-data-center storage strategy. The bank uses active-active replication to synchronize data between storage arrays in its two primary centers, and asynchronous replication to a remote disaster recovery site.
This architecture has been highly successful in protecting data and maintaining continuous uptime but was not always easy to manage. Storage administrators had to maintain and execute complex scripts to perform routine tasks, such as provisioning new storage volumes and updating replication configurations. The storage team spent considerable time on replication management, diverting their attention from more valuable and strategic projects.
Hitachi Vantara has been a trusted partner for Garanti BBVA for more than a decade. The bank has used Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) systems to support its distributed systems storage environment for many years, and recently upgraded to an all-flash infrastructure to maximize performance.
As a result, when Hitachi Vantara launched its next-generation storage management solution, Hitachi Ops Center, the bank was immediately interested. After running several successful proof-of-concept projects, the storage team decided to move forward with full-scale adoption of the software. Hitachi Vantara’s professional services team worked closely with the Garanti BBVA team to migrate existing scripts where possible and recreate workflows from scratch where necessary.
Today, the bank uses Hitachi Ops Center Administrator to unify the management of all its Virtual Storage Platform systems, including both its current generation VSP 5500, VSP 5100 and VSP E590 systems, and its older VSP G1500 arrays. From the Administrator interface, the storage team can easily provision new storage volumes with just a few simple steps.
Meanwhile, Hitachi Ops Center Protector dramatically streamlines the team’s replication management workflows. Configuring both synchronous replication with Hitachi Global Active Device and asynchronous replication with Hitachi Universal Replicator is now much quicker and more straightforward.
The team is also using Hitachi Ops Center Analyzer to monitor vital storage key performance indicators, such as recovery time objective, and provide real-time alerts when potential problems are detected. Previously, the team had to calculate these metrics manually, and root cause analysis involved emails and phone calls. Today, any bottlenecks are clearly visible and can be traced back to individual virtual machines immediately.
The adoption of Hitachi Ops Center has enabled Garanti BBVA’s storage team to make major improvements in their storage management processes. “Using Hitachi Ops Center to automate our day-to-day tasks has been key to streamlining our operations,” explains Deniz Armen, the bank’s Cloud Data Storage Technologies Manager.
By empowering the team to manage automated processes via a user-friendly GUI, the solution has eliminated the use of hand-coded scripts for many day-to-day tasks, boosting reliability. In many cases, the benefits can be measured in hard numbers. “Hitachi Ops Center Protector has cut replication configuration from 3 hours to 15 minutes,” says Armen. This makes a huge difference to productivity, because the storage team often needs to complete this process up to three times a day.
The solution also contributes to Garanti BBVA’s admirable record on systems reliability and availability, as Armen notes: “With Ops Center Analyzer, we can set custom alerts to monitor KPIs and maximize uptime with minimal human intervention.” These improved monitoring capabilities add an extra layer of resilience on top of the highly reliable Hitachi VSP arrays and the ultra-resilient active-active data center architecture. This has been a major factor in one of the team’s key achievements: zero unplanned downtime in the distributed systems landscape over the past five years.
Based on its success with using Ops Center Administrator and Ops Center Protector to accelerate its routine provisioning and configuration processes, the Garanti BBVA team is now looking to expand its use of automation. For example, the team is currently exploring the use of Ops Center Automator to develop a new automated provisioning capability for one of its in-house applications, which would allow the system to grow its storage on demand, without any need for human intervention.
“Thanks to Hitachi Ops Center, our storage landscape has become one of the easiest parts of our infrastructure to manage,” says Armen. “We’re excited to continue our trusted partnership with Hitachi Vantara and drive automation to unlock even more efficiencies in the future,” she concludes.
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