Mainzer Volksbank eG, a cooperative bank headquartered in Mainz, Germany, operates 34 branches across the region, serving more than 260,000 customers. The bank offers a wide range of banking, credit and insurance services, employs around 1,000 people and reports total assets of 5.5 billion euros.
German cooperative bank Mainzer Volksbank eG wanted to reduce spending on its IT infrastructure without compromising on availability, stability or performance. To achieve this, the bank migrated its business applications to IBM Power Systems servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES). With the SUSE solution, Mainzer Volksbank saves 100,000 euros a year in IT costs while ensuring smooth operations with 99.999% system availability.
Technology plays a vital role in helping Mainzer Volksbank to deliver superior customer service and keep ahead of fierce competition. The bank operates a number of systems in-house, including IBM DB2 databases and business analytics and intelligence applications. Maintaining always-on availability and fast response times for these systems is a key priority for Mainzer Volksbank’s five-strong IT team.
Bernhard Hübner, system architect at Mainzer Volksbank eG, begins: “Although not mission-critical, our business analytics and intelligence are extremely valuable tools, helping us to ensure that we can react flexibly to changing market demands and stay ahead of competitors.
“In the past, we operated in-house IT applications on IBM z Systems servers running z/OS. With software licensing and server maintenance, the average cost of running the environment was over 160,000 euros a year.
“Like many IT departments, we are constantly under pressure to reduce costs, and could no longer justify running such an expensive hardware and operating system combination. We wanted to move to a more cost-efficient platform, but we were not prepared to sacrifice system availability or stability—something that IBM z Systems is renowned for.”
“There was really no alternative to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in our eyes—it offered exceptional stability, and we knew we would be able to rely on top-quality support from SUSE.”
To reduce the cost of its IT infrastructure, while maintaining high levels of availability, stability and performance, Mainzer Volksbank decided to deploy IBM Power Systems servers running SLES.
“After making the decision to move to IBM Power System servers, selecting SLES as our operating system was an easy choice,” recalls Hübner. “We chose SLES because it would help us lower costs while providing all the features we needed for reliable operations. There was really no alternative to SLES in our eyes—it offered exceptional stability, and we knew we would be able to rely on top-quality support from SUSE.”
Working closely with IT partner Computacenter, Mainzer Volksbank successfully migrated over 500 applications to two geographically remote IBM Power 740 servers. Hübner says: “The implementation went very smoothly, ensuring there was minimal impact on the business.
“With SLES on IBM Power Systems, it was possible to migrate workloads from IBM z Systems without compromising on availability or stability—something we had not previously thought possible. Thanks to the SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension, we achieve 99.999% system availability.”
Today, Mainzer Volksbank runs all of its business intelligence applications and IBM DB2 database server on SLES, and has completely retired its IBM z Systems environment.
The new platform is proving to be much more cost-efficient, as Hübner says: “Running our applications on IBM Power Systems servers with SLES saves us 100,000 euros a year in software licensing and maintenance costs.”
As well as providing a solid foundation for the bank’s business applications, SLES also offers easy management. By taking advantage of built-in configuration tool YaST®, Mainzer Volksbank is able to automatically configure its machines and install applications, cutting time spent on system administration and contributing to lower maintenance costs.
Hübner concludes: “With SLES, we have gained a super-stable operating system that plays a significant role in ensuring smooth operations, all while slashing operating costs. We are very happy with the SUSE solution, and are confident that it will remain at the heart of our IT strategy for years to come.”