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    Huawei All-Flash Storage Sharpens ICBC (Macau)’s Competitiveness with Next-Generation Performance and Reliability

As a group member of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited (ICBC [Macau]) was established in 2009 after the merger of the former Seng Heng Bank Limited and ICBC (Macau) Branch. A leading bank in Macau, the ICBC (Macau) leverages its parent company’s signature strength, extensive services network, cutting-edge technology and excellent products of its foreign institutions to offer wide-ranging financial services to its clients.

ICBC (Macau) currently has 20 branches and more than 1100 staff across its three wholly-owned subsidiaries, namely: ICBC (Macau) Capital Limited, ICBC (Macau) Pension Fund Management Company Limited and Seng Heng Development Company Limited.

Key Challenges

Like other financial institutions, ICBC (Macau) is constantly challenged to be agile, adaptive, and innovative while ensuring 24/7 business continuity. With business transformation as its core strategy, ICBC (Macau) is always looking at new ways to ensure innovative transformation across its business, with IT-based banking as one of its key focuses.

As its online banking business grew exponentially, ICBC (Macau) knew that the legacy storage system had limited scalability to support its growth trajectory. Daily reporting took up to six hours, as latency issues with the storage system caused bottlenecks. The existing storage system also had limited capabilities to handle more than 300 Virtual Machines (VMs), causing access delays of five to ten milliseconds. In the face of sustained data growth, ICBC (Macau) wanted to overcome data surges and reduce risks of performance delays with an All Flash storage system.

Reliability was another area that needed to be enhanced, as the bank’s current data redundancy was configured based on a local active/passive architecture with no geo-redundancy. Aiming for zero business disruption, ICBC (Macau) needed to revamp its storage architecture with one that offers the flexibility to scale to an active-active solution with Disaster Recovery (DR) in geo-redundant mode. In addition, the existing system’s over reliance on Command Line Interface (CLI) also made it difficult to operate, causing inefficiencies in deployment, day-to-day operations, and troubleshooting.

Huawei Solution

ICBC (Macau) deployed three sets of Huawei’s next generation OceanStor Dorado 5000 All-Flash storage to modernize its storage architecture across separate systems in one data center in Macau. Two sets supported its reporting platform featuring four sets of Oracle Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) data analytics systems. The remaining set powered other hybrid requirements, including the bank’s VM Farm with more than 300 VMs; five databases, a file server and its email system.

Huawei OceanStor Dorado proved to be ideal for ICBC (Macau)’s mission-critical business as it delivers the high performance, reliability, and business continuity the bank was looking for. ICBC (Macau) now enjoys ever fast performance with Huawei’s intelligent chips and Artificial-Intelligence (AI)-powered architectures. Single points of failure have been eliminated with the solution’s fully redundant architecture, support for dual-port Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe) and hot swappable discs . The bank now has a future-proof storage architecture with data redundancy assurance and scalability to an active-active solution with industry-leading reliability and, most importantly, assurance of 24/7 business continuity. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has also been reduced across the board with the Huawei solution’s small footprint, more efficient Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and other innovative capabilities.

Customer Benefits

Seamless Migration with Maximum Uptime

With meticulous planning, the Huawei team successfully migrated ICBC (Macau)’s mission-critical data from its legacy storage system to the OceanStor Dorado All-Flash storage. The seamless migration was carried out with zero downtime for 95% of the bank’s mission-critical systems and with less than an hour of planned downtime for the remaining systems. In an industry where speed is everything, ICBC (Macau) is pleased with the swift deployment which took less than a month across September and October 2020.

Cut Delays by 90% with Ten Times Faster Performance

To support the exponential growth of its omni-channel online transactions, application response time is top of mind for ICBC (Macau)’s management. With the OceanStor Dorado’s best-in-class performance of up to 20,000,000 IOPS at 0.1 ms latency, ICBC (Macau) now enjoys ten times faster performance, while cutting access delays by 90%. With daily reporting cut to three hours, reporting efficiency has improved by 100%, delivering quicker big data analytics for faster decision-making to increase customer satisfaction.

The OceanStor Dorado’s ever fast yet stable performance is made possible with its end-to-end NVMe architecture plus FlashLink® algorithms for a smoother service experience. Elsewhere, a Flash Translation Layer (FTL) algorithm accelerates read/write response times, and Huawei-developed intelligent chips, such as the Kunpeng 20, the intelligent AI chip, and the BMC management chip, offer end-to-end acceleration.

Equipped with Gateway-Free Active-Active Solution for 24/7 Business Continuity

If ICBC (Macau) continued relying on its existing data redundancy local active/passive architecture, there would be constant worry over the potentially devastating data loss in the event of a power outage or natural disaster. That could disrupt the business for hours — an unacceptable posture for a leading bank in today’s 24/7 marketplace.

With Huawei’s OceanStor Dorado All-Flash storage, ICBC (Macau) is now equipped to ensure zero data loss or application interruption with 24/7 business continuity. The scalability of Huawei’s industry-leading all-flash active-active architecture stands ready to help ICBC (Macau) enable DR in geo-redundant mode, for the highest levels of data protection.

Designed from the ground-up to support demanding scenarios such as database, virtualization and big data analytics, OceanStor Dorado prevents single points of failure, with a fully-redundant architecture which supports dual-port NVMe and hot swaps.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership

ICBC (Macau) also lowered overall TCO, thanks to the revolutionary design of the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage system. With its small footprint of 2U for 500 TB and the leveraging of inline deduplication and compression, storage utilization at the bank has been slashed by 80%, while efficiency improved by 50%. The solution’s 9.5 mm palm-sized SSDs and biplanar orthogonal backplane design also delivered further savings by cutting power consumption and cooling costs, while increasing capacity density and heat dissipation capacity.

Enhanced Operational Efficiencies

Overall, ICBC (Macau) has seen increased O&M efficiencies with the user-friendly Huawei Device Manager — a vital improvement from the previous CLI-reliant system. With no need to install client software, manageability is enhanced with intelligent AI lifecycle management capabilities ranging from resource planning and provisioning, to system tuning, risk prediction, and fault location.