Mainzer Volksbank eG Logo
Industry: Banking & Financial Services
Location: Germany
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Mainzer Volksbank eG migrates its business applications to IBM Power Systems servers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server


  • Saves 100,000 euros a year in software licensing and maintenance costs.
  • Ensures 99.999% system availability, supporting smooth operations.
  • Provides a super-stable, cost-efficient alternative to the mainframe.


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.

The Challenge

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.”

SUSE Solution

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.”

The Results

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.”