Intelligent CIO North America Issue 27 | Page 73



Demand for digital banking services has skyrocketed in recent years , dramatically increasing the volume of data that banks must manage and protect to deliver competitive services .

To provide customers with a convenient , secure and reliable banking experience , SmartBank works around the clock to ensure that the IT infrastructure and applications powering its services are always available .
Daniel Hereford , CIO at the Tennessee-based SmartBank , said : “ Today , customers expect immediate access to their bank accounts and services across multiple digital channels – and any unplanned downtime would have a significant impact on our reputation . As a result , preventing disruption to our services is one of our top priorities .”
For many years , SmartBank relied on a Managed Services Provider ( MSP ) to run , monitor and maintain its backup and recovery systems . While this approach enabled the bank to deliver always-on services to customers , it was also a big cost driver for the bank that offered limited visibility into the integrity and recoverability of system backups .
“ Everything that we do , including our backup and recovery processes , is governed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ( FDIC ),” said Hereford . “ To maintain compliance with our regulatory obligations and keep our operating license , we must prove that we have backed up and retained operational and customer data for the time periods stipulated by the FDIC .
“ Our MSP couldn ’ t provide granular reports on our backup environment , which potentially exposed us to regulatory compliance risks .”
The Veeam solution
To reduce operational costs and enhance regulatory reporting , SmartBank selected an in-house approach to data protection based on the Veeam Availability Suite and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 .
“ We have a lean IT team , so we wanted a backup and recovery solution that was intuitive and easy to operate ,” said Hereford . “ We are very impressed by how userfriendly the Veeam solutions are . The fact that Veeam runs on almost any hardware and is compatible with VMware was also a huge plus – helping us to avoid vendor lock-in and simplify system management .”
To strengthen Business Continuity , SmartBank decided to establish primary and secondary onpremises backup environments for long-term data retention , running on HPE StoreOnce servers . For added protection , SmartBank deployed a third recovery environment using Microsoft Azure Blob Storage and deployed the Veeam solutions to orchestrate all backup activities from end to end .
Hereford said : “ We decided to use HPE StoreOnce for our Veeam environment because of the excellent compatibility between the two solutions . We ’ ve specially configured the global deduplication feature in Veeam for our HPE solutions , ensuring we only send new data blocks to our backup systems – boosting the efficiency of our backup environment .”
SmartBank now backs up its mission-critical data – including transactional information , SQL databases and file servers – on-premises , and uses its cloud environment to back up Microsoft 365 applications .
“ Maintaining complete control over all our data is essential ,” said Hereford . “ To augment the native backup capabilities in Microsoft 365 , we decided to back up these applications using Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 , too . If Microsoft ’ s backup services fail to preserve our data for any reason , we will always be able to recover our files , emails and application data using Veeam .”
SmartBank had a limited window to migrate from its MSP services before its existing support contract expired . To accelerate the implementation , the bank worked closely with Veeam and a Veeam Platinum partner , SHI , to set up its new backup and recovery operations .
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