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As the largest bank in Latin America, Itaú Unibanco operates in over 20 countries. "We used to have 3000 people working from home daily," Fábio Napoli, Chief Technology Officer of Itaú Bank, explained.
"In response to the pandemic, this number jumped to 22,000 in the span of a week," adding a drastic sense of urgency to making remote working a reality — fast.
Indeed, as isolation measures were implemented globally, early 2020, every banking Information Technology (IT) department had to prioritize Work From Home (WFH) infrastructure.
Yet, those same under pressure departments also had to ensure systems were robust enough to cope with surging demand and spikes in online banking and mobile app use, with physical bank branches shut and the public locked-down at home.
Itaú Bank's two data centers, first built in 2014, were beginning to show their age. A total of 154 sets of network storage devices took up significant space, represented a sizeable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), yet only provided 36.9 PB of available capacity.
Overcoming storage bottlenecks was a key imperative. System efficiency had suffered from performance allocation that didn't match the service system, with the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) in particular, restricting the core service system for personal bank cards.
Itaú Bank carried out Proof of Concept (PoC) tests for different products from different vendors, ultimately uncovering that Huawei's solution offered stable storage performance, with its Redundant Array of Independent Disks Triple-Parity (RAID-TP) technology tolerating concurrent failures of three disks with zero service interruptions.
Huawei's OceanStor All-Flash Arrays (AFAs) significantly reduced power consumption for devices and cooling systems — by 45% — also slashing maintenance costs by 65%.
We can already observe improved performance, and that all attests to the investment that was made.