The Business Challenge
Alpha Bank has always been a pioneer in introducing modern and innovative
practices in the Greek banking system. It was the first bank to offer mobile
banking branches, ATMs, transaction cards and digital wallets for contactless
payments. It also developed an integrated digital ecosystem for web banking.
Alpha Bank’s focus on providing an exceptional customer experience has
been acknowledged by the market with several prestigious awards over the
years, including Best Bank in Greece for 2020 by the international financial
publication Euromoney and Best Private Bank in Greece from two publications:
Professional Wealth Management and The Banker (part of the Financial Times
Group). Alpha Bank has also been recognized for its digital transformation
strategy, which has benefited retail and business on-boarding.
A robust, state-of-the-art IT infrastructure supports banking products and
services, so when a legacy backup solution exhibited performance issues
in the bank’s infrastructure, the IT team sought a replacement.
The team faced two performance issues. The legacy solution didn’t integrate
with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Storage, so backup, replication and
recovery speeds were decreasing, putting a strain on the bank’s business
continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy. The IT team knew storagebased
snapshot integration was key to protecting critical IT systems,
including newly installed Microsoft Exchange Servers.
The second performance issue was inadequate visibility into the VMware
vSphere environment. Monitoring and reporting were limited, making
it difficult for the IT team to meet service level agreements (SLAs) with
affiliate banking partners and demonstrate compliance with the General
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“These performance issues, as well as technical issues, were putting the
bank’s business services and daily operations at risk,” says Efthymios Bekas,
Assistant Manager, Alpha Bank, IT Systems Division. “There is no tolerance
on that, either from an IT perspective or a business perspective.”
Bekas said data protection and data management had become slow and
complicated, putting critical IT systems at risk.
“Our systems must be available all the time so we can meet customers’
banking needs,” he said. “If they’re not available, we risk customer
satisfaction that might damage the bank’s reputation, cause regulatory
penalties and even revenue loss.”
The Veeam Solution
Alpha Bank replaced the legacy solution with Veeam® Availability Suite™
to support daily banking operations and the customer experience.
By integrating with HPE Storage and VMware vSphere, Veeam increases
backup, replication and recovery speeds by 99% to underpin the
bank’s BCDR strategy. Advanced monitoring and reporting with Veeam
provide visibility into the virtual environment to meet SLAs with affiliate
banking partners and demonstrate compliance with the GDPR. Veeam also
aligns with the Bank’s goal of low total cost of ownership (TCO) by saving
30% on storage costs and 20% on software costs. Veeam improves the data
duplication ratio up to 22:1 and offers affordable licensing options.
“Veeam supports our top business priorities — data protection, BC and DR,
regulatory compliance and TCO — at the highest level with minimal effort,”
Bekas said. “Exhaustive quality and performance testing were carried out
before we introduced Veeam into our IT infrastructure, proving why Veeam
is considered one of the best solutions on the market and the optimal
solution for Alpha Bank.”
Veeam backs up and replicates 9.2 PB of data on-premises from HPE 3PAR
StoreServ snapshots across more than 7,500 VMware vSphere virtual
machines to HPE StoreOnce. Veeam also integrates with HPE Nimble and
HPE Primera (storage solutions Alpha Bank will deploy next).
“Veeam delivers the performance integration that was missing from our
legacy solution,” Bekas said. “In addition to storage-based snapshot
integration, Veeam provides revolutionary features that support digital
operations including Instant VM Recovery®, catalyst protocol, replication,
BC and DR. Veeam protects data now and in the future.”
When the COVID-19 outbreak emerged, Alpha Bank had already
fully deployed Veeam and responded quickly to the crisis based
on to its BC planning. Within the first five days of lockdown, 75% of the
bank’s employees were working remotely via a Citrix infrastructure. Veeam
safeguarded the Citrix infrastructure and supported the onboarding
of a record number of new e-banking customers.
“Veeam played an important role supporting banking services, employees
and customers,” Bekas said. “We had no idea the solution we picked
to replace legacy backup would not only support our top business priorities
but also support us through the pandemic. Veeam provides performance,
security and peace of mind.”
- Integrates with HPE Storage and VMware vSphere to protect and support
“There’s a reason Veeam is #1 in customer satisfaction,” Bekas said.
“By listening carefully to customers, Veeam delivers exactly what
they need, including integration. If customers experience issues,
Veeam’s technical support team, along with the Online Knowledge Base,
help fix everything fast. It’s a truly remarkable product.”
- Increases backup, replication and recovery speeds by 99% to underpin the
bank’s BCDR strategy
“Veeam simplifies data protection,” Bekas stated. “Recovery speeds decreased
from hours to seconds because Veeam is intuitive and recovery is fast.”
- Provides advanced monitoring and reporting to meet SLAs with affiliate
banking partners and comply with the GDPR
“Veeam provides a level of visibility that makes data management and
compliance much easier,” Bekas said.