Published on 31-Oct-2012
"We consider our decision to upgrade DB2 and IMS to be an important part of our competitive strategy, and the results that we’ve seen have strongly supported that view." - A European bank
A European Bank
System z Software
Largely through acquisitions, this financial institution, which is based in Rome, has banking operations from Italy to Austria, Russia and Southern Germany.
In Europe’s challenging and highly competitive banking environment, this financial institution seeks lower costs and maximum flexibility to sustain profitable growth
The company upgraded its core banking systems to an IBM® DB2® 10 for z/OS® data server and IBM Information Management System (IMS) V12 software.
This financial institution expects to achieve as much as a 15 percent reduction in CPU consumption, along with comparable reductions in systems management costs.
Largely through acquisitions, this financial institution, which is based in Rome, has banking operations from Italy to Austria, Russia and Southern Germany. The bank also has operations in Central and Eastern Europe and investment banking divisions in London; Milan; Munich; Vienna; Moscow; Budapest, Hungary; and Warsaw, Poland. Overall, it serves approximately 40 million customers and has operations in 22 countries.
The company established an integrated solutions unit to provide operational services and support for the institution’s network.. Its activities include those outlined below.
Facing the challenge
Like the vast majority of European banks, this financial institution faces an extremely challenging market and competitive environment, with profitability under pressure and growth constrained by economic weakness. As such, the bank has numerous important strategic priorities. But few are more vital than the need to reduce costs. This is especially true in the realm of information and communications technology (ICT), where the bank continually focuses on delivering higher levels of performance and better quality service to its customers within tightening budgetary constraints. In addition, the institution has faced rising demands from its customers and partners for new levels of functionality, security and integration flexibility. The need to satisfy these requirements had an important bearing on the bank’s recent decisions regarding upgrading its core technology infrastructure.
The heart of that infrastructure is a pair of IBM System z® servers running a Parallel Sysplex® environment. Two of the most important software components of the bank’s infrastructure are IBM DB2 and IBM Information Management System (IMS™) software, which run its core banking systems. As part of its ongoing infrastructure planning efforts, the bank saw important reasons for upgrading to the latest versions of these two core servers. On the database side, the bank was attracted by the opportunity to further reduce its CPU consumption by taking advantage of the new capabilities of the IBM DB2 10 for z/OS data server, such as the optimization of processor times and memory access, the greater use of specialized processing engines and the more efficient use of the coupling facility, which governs resource sharing within the DB2 data server. All told, the institution expected an average reduction in CPU consumption of up to 15 percent for its core applications.
New security imperatives
Another key motivator for upgrading the DB2 data server was security. The bank is a complex enterprise, with semi-autonomous operations spread across several countries. As such, it routinely shares confidential information with member banks across national borders. To further strengthen data security, the bank sought to improve its ability to limit access to confidential transaction and financial information stored within the DB2 data server. It saw that opportunity in an advanced new function within the DB2 10 for z/OS data server known as security administration authority (SECADM), which delineates who can manage database security and who can maintain and access the data, thus reducing the risk of a security breach or data theft.
In upgrading to IMS V12 software, the institution saw the opportunity not only to reduce its CPU consumption but also to simplify managing its resources within the IMS repository. In turn, this promised to streamline the cost and time spent on systems administration tasks. Moreover, in the realm of application development, The bank also sought to capitalize on the new IMS software version’s improved capability to connect distributed applications with IMS systems running on the mainframe. This improvement is attributed largely to the simplification of application programming interfaces within IMS Connect (an integrated function of IMS) which help enable IMS Connect client applications to interact with the IMS solution.
The path to CPU efficiency
While the migration continues to unfold across its different banking units, the institution has already begun experiencing concrete benefits. Where the first (conversion mode) phase of the DB2 data server upgrade is complete, millions of instructions per second (MIPS) consumption dropped significantly for both online and batch workloads. That efficiency improvement, combined with expected reductions in systems management requirements going forward, is expected to reduce the bank’s overall IT costs over the coming years. For that reason, The bank believes that its decision to upgrade core elements of its software infrastructure lays the groundwork for more profitable future growth.
As the bank’s application development efforts shift toward web services, the still-in-progress IMS software upgrade also helps it prepare for the future’s competitive demands. For instance, by implementing IBM IMS Enterprise Suite SOAP Gateway software (a component of IMS), the bank has been able to deliver numerous IMS applications as web services. In the future, these improved web services capabilities will also help it establish critical business linkages with other banks and financial institutions, and do so with fewer resources and at lower cost. Finally, should the bank choose to grow through future acquisitions, its more flexible IT infrastructure will make the integration process faster, easier and ultimately more profitable.
For more information
To learn more about the IBM System z software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/systemz
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Products and services used
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America October 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, System z, DB2, z/OS, and IMS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.