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Issue of August 2002 
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Cover Story: BCP Strategies
Banking on business continuance

IDBI 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

IDBI 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:

  • ATM Switches
  • Core banking applications
  • Net Banking infrastructure
  • WAN links
  • Network architecture
  • Power solutions

It has taken initiatives at different levels to address these concerns.

ATM switches
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.

Net Banking
The Net Banking application and Web servers at the data center are in a cluster. This offers very high availability and performance levels.

WAN links
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 connectivity.

Network architecture
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.

Power solutions
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 at soutimand@networkmagazineindia.com

 
     
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Copyright 2001: Indian Express Group (Mumbai, India). All rights reserved throughout the world. This entire site is compiled in Mumbai by The Business Publications Division of the Indian Express Group of Newspapers. Site managed by BPD