Challenge: Bank Vontobel’s separate environments limited flexibility to meet changing demands in a highly competitive market.
Solution: Standardize storage landscape to a single vendor to ensure complete flexibility.
Swiss global wealth and asset manager Bank Vontobel (Vontobel) specializes in investment solutions for private and institutional clients. Headquartered in Zurich, Vontobel operates branches in 20 countries, employs around 1,500 people worldwide, and manages CHF 187 billion (US$195 billion) of client assets.
Vontobel operates in a highly volatile industry where international financial markets are in constant flux.
Peter Wielath, head of Core Platforms at Bank Vontobel explains: “It is essential to respond quickly to changing market requirements and keep pace with demands from business users. In the IT division, this means ensuring highly flexible, adaptable solutions that enable the bank to respond as rapidly as possible.”
Previously, Vontobel ran separate environments for NAS and SAN. “Our existing NAS environment was an isolated solution,” explains Wielath. “We have been using Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G1000 arrays for block storage and Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) for object storage for many years, but the NAS solution was from a different vendor. There was no integration between storage environments, and this isolation limited our flexibility; and, we looked for ways to integrate the file, block and object solutions.”
File and Content, Enterprise Storage
Hitachi Command Suite
Managed services from Hitachi Vantara Global Services Solutions
When the maintenance contract for its existing NAS solution ended, Vontobel seized the opportunity to unify its storage landscape. Impressed with the Hitachi Vantara solutions already in place at the bank, Vontobel requested a technical proof of concept (PoC) for Hitachi NAS Platform (HNAS).
“We wanted to gain synergies by having a single-vendor solution, but not at any cost,” says Wielath. “We had to be sure that HNAS would also provide the high levels of stability, availability and performance required. The results of the PoC, combined with our positive experience of the VSP G1000 and HCP systems, gave us complete confidence in the solution.”
Vontobel worked closely with Hitachi Vantara Global Services Solutions (GSS). Together, they implemented HNAS and migrated over 40TB of data, comprising 80 million objects and more than 20 virtualized file systems, to the new HNAS environment.
Transitioning to the new solution without business disruption was critical, Wielath reports. “Support from Hitachi Vantara Switzerland was excellent,” he recalls. “We have a great relationship with the local team and they provided us with extra on-site support during the migration.
Together, we were able to complete the migration within eight months, an impressive timeline considering that we could only migrate data during short weekend maintenance windows.” Managed services from the GSS team provided in-depth expertise and experience, and ensured that we planned, executed and completed a complex, business-critical project on time and within budget.
With Hitachi NAS Platform, Vontobel transformed its IT infrastructure. “In the past, our separate NAS and SAN environments required different maintenance and support,” Wielath comments. “Now we can use HNAS and VSP G1000 interchangeably, as a single storage pool that can deliver extra capacity or performance to meet sudden increases in demand from the business.”
He adds: “Managing the storage landscape is now much easier. Using Hitachi management software across all the Hitachi systems makes the management much easier and more efficient.”
Cost savings were also a positive outcome. “An added bonus is that HNAS is less expensive than our previous NAS solution. Before, we used simple Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) to back up data. With HNAS’ built-in object and file replication functionality, we have eliminated the cost of NDMP licenses entirely. This cost saving delivered a return on investment for HNAS in just one year.”
Wielath concludes: “Moving to HNAS was the final step in standardizing our storage landscape. With integrated, highly flexible storage from Hitachi, we are able to meet whatever challenges come our way, and help ensure Vontobel has the flexibility to compete and win in a volatile industry."