Bank has a very large clientele in the corporate and
retail banking segments. With a slew of ATMs and branches
spread across the country, its network is its lifeline
and a moment's downtime will surely result in freezing
of hundreds of transactions and possibly panic among
its account holders. Here's how the company has built
itself for continuity. by Soutiman Das Gupta
Bank is one of the largest financial institutions in
India and has a very large clientele in the corporate
and retail banking segments. It has created a modern
computerized banking environment which is the lifeline
of its business. And almost every financial transaction
of the bank takes place through it. A moment's downtime
in the network will surely result in freezing of hundreds
of transactions and possibly panic among shareholders
and account holders. This has prompted the CTO, Neeraj
B. Bhai, to look at BC as an integral part of the IT
Management strategy and has devised relevant solutions.
Areas of concern
IDBI Bank's main areas of concern are:
Core banking applications
Net Banking infrastructure
It has taken initiatives at different levels to address
The ATM switches are kept in stacks which are connected
in a redundant and fail-over architecture. The switches
are monitored for performance regularly and spares are
kept on the site.
Core banking applications
IDBI Bank uses Finnacle (an Infosys product) which runs
on a set of application servers at its data center in
Mumbai. Another set of servers in the data center runs
the database, and also performs as a fail-over solution
to each other. In the event of a disaster, one server
can handle the jobs of the other.
The Net Banking application and Web servers at the data
center are in a cluster. This offers very high availability
and performance levels.
The bank uses two broadband links from Hughes Telecom
and MTNL. Every location has ISDN backup. The ISDN lines
are supplied from two different exchanges. And all the
key locations use VSAT connectivity to supplement terrestrial
The bank's network architecture is a hub and spoke topology.
Typically in this architecture if the hub location goes
down, all the spoke locations automatically go down
too. To address this issue, the company has created
a second hub to supplement each primary hub location.
The second hub has redundant links between the primary
hub. This way the different cities are connected with
pairs of links.
The bank's data center at Mumbai has two separate power
sources from different grids. There are two sets of
UPSs and diesel generators stand by in case of prolonged
shortage of power.
Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached