Founded in 1871, Banca Popolare di Sondrio employs approximately 2,700 people with around 500 branches across Italy. Although one of the oldest financial institutions in the country, the bank has embraced and pioneered new technologies to provide innovative online services for key public and private institutions including GesTes (Computer management of Treasury services) and digital signature for authorisation during sensitive information exchange.
However, as the bank has continued to enhance its digital capabilities, managing WAN-dependent application and service performance had become a challenge. The network operations team struggled with multiple network flow, diagnostic and troubleshooting tools – alongside special tools used by development and help desk teams to remediate network-related performance issues.
“The performance of the WAN – and of the user quality of experience for our applications – is critical to our business activities. Our goal was to address three key areas of concern around visibility, control and application performance,” says Claudio Libera, Network Engineer for Banca Popolare di Sondrio.
Following a detailed evaluation of multiple vendors and several Proof-of-Concept demonstrations, the bank selected Infovista’s Ipanema SD-WAN solution. “After our evaluation process, it was clear that only Infovista allowed us to meet all of our requirements while offering the simplest implementation process,” says Mr. Libera.
This simplicity was delivered through Infovista’s unique Transparent Hybrid SD-WAN architecture that allowed the bank to gain end-to-end application visibility and control without having to re-engineer their network at each branch or office site.
Infovista uses software agents located at each of the 6 data centres maintained by the bank to turn branch locations and remote offices into “software defined sites.” The agents dynamically manage the complex application traffic flows across the MPLS network and other connectivity sources such as leased lines and ADSL, based on the bank’s defined routing policies. This includes some-to-any situations when flows from and to a branch terminate and originate in multiple data centres, including the Internet. The built-in WAN Optimisation accelerates application response time by optimising protocols and increasing available bandwidth by substantially reducing the volume of unnecessary data transmitted across the network.
The Infovista solution is deployed across the majority of the bank’s sites and has been running without interruption for 24+ months, which has allowed Mr. Libera to evaluate the extensive benefits. “The improvements to our network visibility and control have been significant” he says, “We have implemented management policies that allow us to see instantly how applications and services are performing at every site connected to our WAN. If we see any issues developing, we are able to take proactive steps to dynamically manage our quality of service controls and improve application performance before it impacts our services, or negatively affects client relationships.”
Another major benefit is the flexibility of the solution that allows the Bank to configure network and application performance alarms in a granular and highly targeted way. “We are now alerted at any point in the day if there is a significant application or network event,” he adds.
“Infovista’s Ipanema SD-WAN has given us confidence that we are in control of our network performance,” says Mr. Libera, “As we evolve our digital services, it offers us a solid foundation to better plan our future network requirements and the flexibly to add capacity in a seamless way to meet our business goals.”