Case Study: Bank Migrates 60 TB to Consolidated Storage

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Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Montepaschi used MDS 9000 Data Mobility Manager to consolidate storage subsystems to IBM storage array.

Business Challenge

Founded in 1472, Italy's Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena is the oldest bank in the world. Its parent company, the Montepaschi Group, employs 33,000 people and offers services through more than 3000 branches. All divisions receive IT services from the Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Montepaschi, which itself has 2200 employees.
Over time, Banca Monte Dei Paschi had acquired different storage subsystems. The storage team decided to consolidate nine of the older subsystems onto a more efficient storage platform, to free up data center space and reduce power and cooling costs. "We needed a new storage array, and we also needed a migration solution that would minimize application downtime for employees and customers," says Roberto Pianigiani, manager of HW Infrastructure for the Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Montepaschi. To avoid renewing maintenance contracts at a higher rate, the bank had to complete the migration within two months of the starting date.

Solution and Results

After evaluating storage and migration solutions from multiple vendors, the IT team selected an IBM DS8100 Storage Array and Cisco ® MDS 9000 Data Mobility Manager (DMM) software. A storage area network (SAN) service for Cisco MDS 9000 Director Switches, Cisco DMM moves data between heterogeneous storage devices with minimal disruption and without the need to rewire or configure existing networks. "Cisco DMM met all of our requirements, because it works with storage arrays from any vendor, can migrate data without disrupting application services, and is easy to use," says Pianigiani.
As the first step, the storage team used Cisco DMM to move the data to the new IBM storage while applications continued to operate. Then, the team migrated one or more servers a day to the new storage subsystem, over two months. "We could have migrated all servers at once and completed the migration in less than two weeks," says Alessandro Vitale, SAN manager, Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Montepaschi. "Instead, we migrated gradually, during scheduled server maintenance windows."
Main benefits of the Cisco DMM for Banca Monte Dei Paschi include:

Business continuity: Using Cisco DMM, the storage team migrated the data to the new IBM storage during business hours, without interrupting ongoing services. Cutting over individual servers took no more than one hour and often less than 20 minutes. "The Cisco DMM makes it easy to revert to the previous state, ensuring that an error does not result in the loss of source data," says David Sennati, SAN manager, Consorzio Operativo Gruppo Montepaschi.

Rapid migration: After a short planning, the storage team used Cisco DMM to move 60 TB to the new IBM storage array in less than two months. The storage team did not have to coordinate with the server team during migration, accelerating completion.

Savings on maintenance contracts: By completing the migration on time, Monte Dei Paschi avoided having to renew an expensive maintenance contract for the nine older subsystems.

Ease of use: The storage team needed less than one day to learn to use Cisco DMM, which uses the same interface as the bank's existing Cisco MDS 9000 SAN switches.

Rapid return on investment: "The Cisco DMM paid for itself in one year by helping us reduce data center space, power, and cooling requirements and avoid yearly support costs on end-of-life storage arrays," says Pianigiani. "Monte dei Paschi is committed to environmental sustainability, and replacing equipment with high electrical consumption is also part of our green IT strategy."

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