Deutsche Postbank deploys Cisco MPLS core network to deliver secure, reliable, scalable service for global customers.
With 14 million domestic customers, 21,000 employees, and total assets of €242 billion, Deutsche Postbank Group is one of Germany's major financial services providers. Its focus is on retail business with private customers; however, Postbank is also active in the corporate banking sector. In its "Transaction Banking" division, it performs back-office services for other financial services providers. The bank offers deposits, loans and mortgages, asset management, insurance, and commercial finance, including factoring and leasing services, through more than 1100 branches; it also offers some services through post office locations. Postbank is considered to have the largest customer potential of any bank in Germany.
Postbank's business relationship with Cisco has been long and successful. For over 16 years, the bank had run its core backbone on Cisco® 7500 routers on ATM technology. Now, to provide the technological base in the network backbone that the bank needed to successfully position itself as Germany's largest retail bank, and to meet strict compliance requirements, Deutsche Postbank made the decision to migrate from ATM to the more flexible Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology. The bank turned to Cisco for a solution that would meet its needs for the future. Because Postbank also performs transaction services for other banks, it needed to split the network into logical parts while maintaining the highest security level. The bank also needed to implement a quality of service (QoS) policy to support its technology roadmap, for example, voice over IP (VOIP). Finally, Deutsche Postbank was looking for enhanced network performance and scalability in order to stay flexible and be able to move quickly in the marketplace.
Postbank's existing backbone lacked flexibility, did not allow for multiple, simultaneously secure sessions, and did not offer the ability to accommodate future QoS needs for VoIP. In addition, multiple virtual circuits made traffic engineering and operations cumbersome on an ATM-based network and too complex.
To achieve the reliability, performance, and security that Postbank needed, the bank adopted an MPLS core network utilizing the Cisco ASR1000 Aggregation Services Router Series. As part of the Cisco Borderless Network vision, the Cisco ASR 1000 transforms and extends the enterprise WAN edge, offering business-critical resiliency with intelligent services flexibility to allow enterprise businesses to accelerate their growth potential. The Cisco ASR 1000 also provides scalable, secure multiservice aggregation at the headquarters and high-end branch and managed customer premises equipment (CPE) services in remote offices. Postbank installed four ASR1006 routers with 20-Gbps engine, VPN, and firewall licenses at its two data centers. The bank also installed four ASR1004 with 10 Gbps engine, and 25 ASR1002 with 10 Gbps engine, all with VPN (IPSec) and firewall licenses throughout the 15 main branches. This configuration makes up Postbank's core backbone. "We are convinced by the Cisco architectural solutions, and based on our experience, we put our trust in the excellent product quality of Cisco products," says Michael Heinze, Postbank senior architect.
With the transition from ATM technology to MPLS technology utilizing Cisco's ASR1000 Series routers, Postbank has gained a more secure, flexible, and agile infrastructure that allows the bank to optimize the retail business as well as set up future business needs. Lifecycle management and roadmap planning are also high priorities for Postbank. By working with Cisco as a strategic partner, the bank developed a future roadmap of the MPLS core network that would give it plenty of capacity for expansion.
Postbank saw big cost savings on energy, as well. One of the most important ways that the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Router helps reduce energy consumption is its ability to consolidate the services of multiple single-function appliances into one device. By reducing rack space, power consumption, and cooling, Postbank.'s energy cost savings allowed it to re-finance more than 40 percent of its hardware investment costs. Heinze says, "To win in today's global financial services industry, it is essential that we have a dynamic, highly secure, and reliable network infrastructure. By partnering with Cisco, our new MPLS network with Cisco ASR 1000 routers gives us the advantage we need to stay ahead of our competitors."
Based on Postbank´s core network design, the bank will extend the network to 120 of its A&B Finance Consulting branches using the Cisco ASR1000 and Cisco ISR G2 with a zero touch deployment. The deployment will be fully automated with the Cisco Configuration Engine, where all future configuration and software updates are pushed out centrally. This capability makes the management processes in the operations department of Postbank much thinner and faster.
The following is a sample deployment and configuration guide for an MPLS virtual private network in IP tunnel environments.