VALECARD

Reduces costs and improves reliability with IBM PureFlex System and KVM technology

Published on 30-Jan-2013

"VALECARD is virtualizing with KVM on IBM PureSystems because of the seamless scalability, always-on availability and cost advantages the solution offers. KVM and IBM PureSystems have minimized incidents related to business interruptions close to zero." - Edmo Lopes Filho, IT infrastructure manager, VALECARD

Customer:
VALECARD

Industry:
Financial Markets

Deployment country:
Brazil

Solution:
Flex System Manager, Flex System x240, PureFlex, PureFlex Enterprise, PureFlex System running hypervisor - KVM, PureSystems, Business Continuity, Business Resiliency, Cloud Computing, High Availability

Overview

VALECARD is a credit card, fleet, data services and consulting company that offers services for a wide range of industries, including finance, agriculture, real estate and healthcare. VALECARD partners with customers to find new solutions to minimize costs, automate processes and provide a better quality of life for consumers. Based in Uberlandia, Brazil, the company employs more than 400 people.

Business need:
VALECARD needed a robust IT infrastructure to support the rapid expansion of its business, improve its transaction-processing power and meet the growing demands for data availability.

Solution:
The company deployed an IBM® PureFlex™ System Enterprise solution with both IBM Intel and POWER compute nodes and Red Hat Enterprise Linux with KVM technology.

Benefits:
The PureFlex and KVM solution helped consolidate data-center space, reduce operating costs by 30 percent and improve reliability, reducing server-replication times from 15 days to less than one hour.

Case Study

VALECARD is a credit card, fleet, data services and consulting company that offers services for a wide range of industries, including finance, agriculture, real estate and healthcare. VALECARD partners with customers to find new solutions to minimize costs, automate processes and provide a better quality of life for consumers. Based in Uberlandia, Brazil, the company employs more than 400 people.

Business growth increases demands for security and availability

For its primary business, VALECARD provides corporate customers with a prepaid financial card that employers use to offer benefits to employees. Throughout Brazil, VALECARD has distributed three million financial cards, and 60,000 merchants accept these cards. Consumers prefer this trend toward “digital cash” and the replacement of physical money because financial cards are easier to control. VALECARD administers all aspects of the card for its corporate customers and its nationwide consumers.

VALECARD sees its business based on three pillars: the financial capacity to support operations, an extensive network of card acceptance, and a robust and flexible IT infrastructure. Each year since 2009, VALECARD has increased revenue by 40 percent, and the organization wanted to maintain this momentum by implementing high-performing technology that would differentiate it from competitors.

The company’s systems must execute speedy payment authorization. When customers use their financial cards, they wait at the supermarket or at a shop for VALECARD to authorize their transaction. With 200,000 transactions per day, VALECARD needs to be readily available and able to quickly authorize payments and record transactions internally.

Because financial cards are essentially cash and are so prevalent throughout Brazil, security and availability are most critical. VALECARD holds a tremendous responsibility to ensure consumers’ balances are updated and accurate at all times. Therefore, the company sought an IT infrastructure solution that could support higher demands for availability, meet its capacity-planning requirements and minimize the number of potential outages.

IBM PureSystems family delivers more than processing power

To meet its business needs, VALECARD engaged IBM Business Partner Core Technologies. Working together, the team chose a virtualization solution that included an IBM PureFlex System—Enterprise Edition, an IBM Flex System p260 POWER compute node and four IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes, running Red Hat Enterprise Linux with KVM technology. The PureFlex System is connected to two IBM Storwize® V7000 disk systems and an IBM System Storage® TS3200 Tape Library for backup and recovery. The company also uses IBM SmartCloud® Entry software in a robust private cloud that helps scale its processing capabilities to meet fluctuating demand.

When VALECARD saw that the PureFlex System could not only provide transaction-processing power but also much more, it began expanding its project scope. The organization was interested in deploying PureFlex System and KVM technology so it could consolidate its data-center resources, extend availability of critical business services and establish a robust infrastructure for future growth.

With these additional solution capabilities, VALECARD wants to make its processes more agile and bring more automation to its customers. In fact, the business already uses the PureFlex solution to authorize transactions and monitor commercial supply throughout its network of more than 60,000 merchants. The security and scalability of the PureFlex solution are critical for these operations, which must comply with the standards and technical certifications of various government agencies.

KVM-based solution cuts operational costs by 30 percent

As well as increasing security and scalability, VALECARD is experiencing numerous additional benefits since implementing the IBM solution.

The combination of PureFlex System and KVM technology optimized space in the data center by consolidating 2.5 times more virtual machines per physical machine. In addition, VALECARD decreased its software licensing costs, reduced business interruptions and optimized its server utilization—resulting in a 30 percent reduction in operating costs.

“Before implementing the IBM solution, it took our system two weeks to get a virtual machine up and running. Today, that process is completed in an hour and a half,” explains Edmo Lopes Filho, IT infrastructure manager for VALECARD. “VALECARD is virtualizing with KVM on PureSystems because of the seamless scalability, always-on availability and cost advantages the solution offers. KVM and PureSystems have minimized incidents related to business interruptions close to zero.”

With a KVM-based solution, the company has gained a high level of process flexibility and operational agility. According to Filho, “With KVM technology, we increased our time-to-market for new products and services, and accelerated the creation of new environments and the process of application compliance.” In fact, server-replication times have been reduced from 15 days to less than one hour.

Jose Geraldo Ortigosa, chief operations officer at VALECARD, says the results of the IBM solution were so good that the company has just expanded its PureSystems base to focus on a new business continuity environment. “We chose PureSystems with the confidence that the system would grow, and that was exactly what happened,” concludes Ortigosa. “We have grown, and have been fully supported by the technology.”

For more information

To learn more about IBM PureSystems offerings, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/puresystems

To learn more about VALECARD, visit: www.VALECARD.com.br

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Flex System, Flex System x240, PureFlex Enterprise, PureFlex System running hypervisor - KVM, Storage: Storwize V7000, Storage: TS3200 Tape Library, PureFlex

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Systems & Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America January 2014 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Flex System, PureFlex, PureSystems, Storwize, and System Storage 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 and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. 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. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.

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