Kölner Bank, one of Germany's largest cooperative banks, uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Sever 8 as the platform to enable such mission-critical departments -- such as Marketing and Controlling - to share data despite using different data bases. A gateway host -- configured by SUSE with software specially developed for Kölner Bank -- connects the largely independent departments and makes controlling data from Oracle and IBM available on a bank wide scale.
Kolner's Controlling department uses a Linux-based Oracle high-availability solution providing comprehensive data warehouse functionality. With this solution, the Kölner Bank meets all requirements of regulatory agencies and accords. The Oracle database collects controlling-specific account and customer data provided by the computing center and transforms them into a data basis for potential marketing strategies and other purposes. A DB2-based data warehouse solution in the Marketing department also runs under SUSE Linux - integrated in an OS/2 network. Using a number of additional sources, the data warehouse of Kölner Bank's Marketing department delivers the information Kölner Bank needs to set up a demand and target group-oriented service portfolio.
"A Superior Platform"
"Maximum availability, security, performance, and efficiency are top priorities for the administrative backbone of our bank. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has proved to be a superior platform for our Oracle high-availability solution in the Controlling department and our DB2 data warehouse in the Marketing department," says Ronald Bieber, Project Supervisor in the Controlling department of Kölner Bank.
Smart Connection of Two Networks
The networks of the Marketing and Controlling departments are largely independent from each other the gateway host configured by SUSE Linux enables the communication between the Oracle database and the DB2 database -- making data available to the sales staff at the branch offices. Software developed by SUSE ensures that specified tables are synchronized between the two database systems without requiring the two networks to access each other directly. "Solutions based on Oracle and DB2 which would implement direct communication between the two databases would deliver far less flexibility and cost many times more," said Bieber.
Unconventional Solutions Wanted
For the past three years, the Controlling department of Kölner Bank has been using SUSE Linux instead of Windows as the operating system for the Oracle solution -- which was introduced in 1996. The infrastructure servers and the central backup server of the department have also been operating with the Open Source system for a long time. "Currently we still use various distributions or SUSE Linux versions. However, our goal is the consistent deployment of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8."
About Kölner Bank
With a balance sheet total of EUR 2.2 billion in 2002 and upwards of 130,000 customers, Kölner Bank is one of the 15 largest of about 1,500 Volksbanks and Raiffeisenbanks in Germany. More than 650 employees work at the headquarters and about 25 branch offices in Cologne. The traditional focus of the cooperative comprising almost 40,000 members lies on the medium-scale enterprise customer business and the private customer business.
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