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Better Network: Value Creation through 10G Campus LAN for UBL, Pakistan

25/05/2015 12:00:00 AM

Abstract

UBL, one of the largest financial organizations in Pakistan, intended to revamp its campus area network infrastructure in Head Office and associated buildings with speed up to 10G on backbone. Huawei provided a state-of-the-art campus network solution for UBL, which helped UBL reconstruct a perfect network with better robustness, stability, scalability and easy management and maintenance, thus improving its service quality and satisfaction of consumers.

Background

Online banking started out in UBL in the year 1971 thus hitting the dawn on information in terms of technology from the very start. Throughout its history, UBL has kept pace with- and often exceeded the changing needs of 31 changing times. Today UBL is one of the largest private banking organization of Pakistan with around 1,200+ branches spread all over in Pakistan.

UBL current LAN infrastructure was obsolete and based on Nortel switches providing 10/100 user access since its last upgrade 9 years back.

Key Challenges

With the constantly increasing competition in the banking industry in Pakistan, it is imperative for a financial organization’s survival that it meets the increasing customer demands for reliable banking services with the technology of new era and underlying network infrastructure. Consequently, in such environments, the importance of the network as a service delivery platform cannot be over emphasized.

UBL intended to build a state-of-the-art Campus area Network infrastructure that not only offers high availability, but also a capable architecture that will support UBL’s ambitious growth plans well into the future.

Applying international standards to the design of the network, where applicable, would have further underpin the flexibility and viability in the network. Robustness, stability, scalability and ease of management and maintenance were key considerations of the UBL. As the operational hours are 24 x 7 x 365, the hardware, tools and backup management also needed be correctly planned and provided.

The network had to be designed so as to provide all users at the UBL access to their own applications and to central information systems depending on access levels granted. Implementation of special fitted networks serving specific, individual and uncoordinated purposes was thus avoided. The key requirements were as follows:

  • Network with high reliability, high availability, high scalability and high security. 
  • 10G backbone architecture in Head Office and other buildings where Fiber is available. 
  • LAN Switches must be stacked to form one logical unit using dedicated stack cables. 
  • Network supports Multi-services (Voice, Video, Data etc). 
  • Easy Maintenance and Operation of Network.

Solution

Keeping in view the requirements from UBL, Huawei provided a solution that is based on S5300, S9300, S6700 (Layer 3 Switches) and eSight (NMS)

In this first phase of deployment, we deployed S5300 PoE enabled switches at the access layer for providing 1000Base-T access to users of the bank in different buildings including HQ. Each switch was equipped with a 2-port 10G card which provided uplink to the aggregation switch. Furthermore, the switches were stacked together with a high bandwidth stacking card to provide consolidated bandwidth and easy manageability. The deployed switches will be also be providing 15.4W PoE power to IP Phones / IP Cameras / Wireless AP’s where required.

S9300 switches were also deployed in first phase at one of the bank’s building. S9300 were also deployed to function as a stacked layer – 3 switch providing access to various terminals and uplink to distribution switches at Head office.

In the second phase, S6700 switches were deployed which were used as the main aggregation / distribution switch in H.O to connect different buildings and head office access switches over 10G backbone. The switches were also integrated with existing Core switch from other vendor

In the third and last phase, Huawei eSight, Enterprise Network Management System was deployed for device and centralized data management.

Customer Benefits

Huawei LAN upgrade solution had been deployed successfully in UBL’s network. After project deployment, UBL has made progress compared to the previous network. Here are several highlights:

  • Open standard & cost effective solution which is easier to expand 
  • High speed gigabit network to the end users 
  • Scalable architecture in deployed switching platform giving option to upgrade to support more technology in future 
  • Network ready for future technologies like video calling and IPT. 
  • Highly reliable network infrastructure, simple to overcome nodes failure 
  • Centralized management of network nodes giving easy management to UBL staff.

Appendix: About Customer

UBL inaugurated its first branch in Karachi, Pakistan on November 7th 1959. It was an not just an event that would change the way we banked forever but it was also the birth of the culture of service, a culture of innovation and a culture of financial excellence! By June 1960, shortly after six months of opening its doors to the public, UBL had branches in six major cities of Pakistan

In 1963, UBL became the first bank in Pakistan to have a branch overseas- on William Street in London, United Kingdom. In 1967, UBL had hit the dawn on information in terms of technology, by introducing computer banking to Pakistan and in 1971, UBL once again paved the way by launching 3 online branches in Karachi.

In the 1990’s the government of Pakistan decided to change the face of banking by creating a blueprint to privatize UBL. At this point, financial experts were called on board to set the bank back on course, and with implementation of relevant changes, the government privatized the bank in the year 2002. Today, UBL opens its eyes to a new vision every day, a vision of resurgent excellence and renewed commitment to our customers. 52 years into our glorious history – UBL is now part of one of the world’s largest financial services groups.

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