Data Centre Consolidation/Upgrade/Refresh Project of the Year
Data centre migration – the largest logistic project in mBank’s history
mBank has been a synonym for innovative banking solutions for years. We were the first fully Internet-based bank in Poland. We continue to set trends in the development of mobile and online banking by continuously expanding our product range addressed to various customer groups.
In 2013, we successfully merged our three former brands (mBank, BRE Bank and Multibank). Our bank gained not only a new image, but also new values. Our mission is to help, not to annoy, and delight clients – anywhere.
Another stage of consolidation took place two years later. This time we decided to consolidate our IT infrastructure. Our resources had been located in two cities – Warsaw and Łódź, situated 150 km from each other. The oldest of our servers was 21 years old. The bandwidth of the network connecting the locations was sometimes 100 mbps.
Back then we had:
• 5 data centres with a total area of 1,791 square metres and 479 19” rack cabinets.
• 2,073 physical servers,
• 2,310 ICT class devices,
• 923 applications and more than 9PB of raw data.
Within the next four years we wanted to have:
• at least TIER III class data centre on premise colocation,
• reduce our PUE from 2.7 to 1.4 and at least 40% of carbon footprint reduce
• more high availability, security and integrity of our data
• reduce huge amount of physical severs at least 500 less
• increase or network backbone speed to 40Gbps
We knew that the challenge we were facing was enormous. It was made additionally difficult by the fact that the migration was to be invisible – we wanted to maintain business continuity throughout the whole project. Stealth migration was planned not only towards customers, but also among the business units, board of directors and majority of workers.
We were motivated by the goals on every stage of the project. In particular, we wanted to:
• increase the IT security of our organisation,
• optimise and upgrade the infrastructure,
• effectively merge the hardware and teams from the three banks.
How we did it
1. After numerous tests of our critical systems we decided to use the dedicated colocation model.
2. We prepared tender documentation to select the suppliers.
3. We designed a new server room backbone network and LAN/DMZ network topology and many other devices necessary to launch a modern DC. It took us two years to select and equip two (TIER IV) server rooms.
4. We performed a due diligence analysis of our entire IT area in parallel. We documented each and every cable in the old centres. We assessed the business usefulness of every server and application. As a consequence, we virtualised more than 500 physical servers, scrapped many applications, and finally switched off 907 physical servers.
5. We developed detailed migration plans for all applications from every data centre. The migration was a hybrid process (physical and logical). We divided it into 29 migration rounds spread over a period of two years.
Result? Complete success!
We finished the project on time.
We achieved all goals.
We maintained continuity of mBank’s business.
Benefits of the project
We saved 3.077 tons of CO2 annually (in Poland we still make electricity form coal)
We reduced IT and operational risks.
The new infrastructure makes us one of the leading technology firms worldwide. We are cloud-ready.
We report less system failures and system unavailability cases (shorter maintenance windows).
We strengthened cooperation within the IT area and between the IT area and Business, which has both direct and indirect impact on the quality of our solutions and customer service.
We have a new governance system – the number of people who have access to server rooms was reduced from 90 to 9,
IT people in our organization have become incredibly brave and self-confident – they know that they are ready for new challenges and further seemingly impossible projects.