SOURCE: Stratus Technologies

Stratus Technologies

February 02, 2010 09:00 ET

Stratus ftServers With VMware Answer Need for Resiliency in Critical Banking Services

Westpac Institutional Bank Consolidates 20 Production Servers Onto Three Fault-Tolerant Servers in New Virtual Infrastructure

MAYNARD, MA--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - One of Australia's leading financial institutions has chosen Stratus Technologies' hardware for a new virtual infrastructure that hosts a file transfer application directly accessed by clients who use the service to exchange critical financial data representing more than AUS$1.25 million in transactions per minute.

Westpac Institutional Bank selected VMware vSphere 4 and Stratus® ftServer® systems to meet its need for availability, dependability, speed and consolidation. A division of Australia's Westpac Group, one of Australia's top-five largest corporations, Westpac Institutional Bank manages the financial needs of corporate, institutional and government clients based in, or with interests in, Australia and New Zealand. Using the Westpac Integrated Banking Service (WIBS) application, customers send and receive payments, receivables and other critical financial data valued at AUS$40 billion (US$35.9 billion) per month between their systems and Westpac's via straight-through processing. In mid 2009, Westpac moved WIBS and related applications to a new virtualized front-end processing system integrated with its backend banking systems.

"Our service level agreement with clients commits us to 99.99 percent availability. In reality, the only performance metric that matters is that our clients' transactions execute the first time, every time," said Leigh Mahoney, executive director, core banking and transactional services, Westpac Institutional Bank. "We take comfort in the hardware resiliency Stratus provides, and the software resiliency of VMware."

The WIBS application is one of seven virtual machines running on two ftServer servers configured as a VMware cluster. A third ftServer system supports six more virtual machines. Combined, the three dual quad-core servers represent most of the production server infrastructure for the Web and application layers of the architecture. The database layer is separated out for security reasons and runs on an alternative backend. Additional applications include help desk, security, proxy servers to integrate front- and back-end processing, and other proprietary applications. The ftServer systems connect via fibre to a Stratus ftScalable storage-based high availability storage area network (SAN). The new virtual infrastructure eliminates 20 individual servers and several storage devices.

Mahoney dismissed server clustering for the front-end processing system because of operational complexity, power and cooling costs, and rack space requirements. "It is not very efficient and it's hard to manage," he said. "Simplicity and resiliency is pre-engineered into the Stratus server. During evaluation testing, I pulled components out of a running system and it just kept going. I knew I had found a real value-added solution, especially in combination with VMware."

About Stratus Technologies

Stratus Technologies focuses exclusively on helping its customers keep critical business operations online without interruption. Business continuity requires resiliency and superior availability throughout the IT infrastructure, including virtual environments. Stratus delivers a range of solutions that includes software-based high availability, fault-tolerant servers, availability consulting and assessment, and remote systems management services. Based on its 30 years of expertise in product and services technology for total availability, Stratus is a trusted solutions provider to customers in manufacturing, health care, financial services, public safety, transportation & logistics, and other industries. For more information, visit

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