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Russia Commissions New Credit Card Payment System

Established and controlled by the Central Bank of Russia, a new National System of Payment Cards (NSPC) has been installed. Signed into law in May 2014, the goal of the NSPC is to handle credit card and ATM transactions throughout the country and serve as a processing center for international payment systems. The Central Bank of Russia chose Huawei to implement the NSPC infrastructure.

NSPC: A Solid Foundation

Huawei leveraged its experience with financial institutions worldwide, including China’s UnionPay payment system, to model and build the appropriate levels of processing, security, and scalability for the NSPC data centers. Huawei worked with local partners to deliver a custom solution that included two active-active

data centers with high-performance computing platforms, cloud networks, and deeply integrated service systems. The result is a robust, agile, and future-proof national payment system.

Because the NSPC processes transactions from all Russian payment terminals and ATMs, the system is built to handle enormous amounts of service traffic, concurrent processing, and throughput with an average processing time per transaction of 10 ms. To meet the requirement of 10 million settlement and clearing transactions per day, the two data centers have been provisioned with more than 100 sets of x86 server clusters and a 2.8 petabyte storage capacity.

The data centers are 70 km apart. Remote replication is a crucial requirement and, for maximum availability, the two NSPC data centers back each other up. Huawei’s Cloud Fabric Data Center Network solution creates an Active-Active network that employs Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) and the Ethernet Virtual Network (EVN).

EVN is a Layer 2 VPN technology that is based on the Virtual eXtensible LAN (VXLAN) tunnel. This technology uses the Multiprotocol Extensions for Border Gateway Protocol (MP-BGP) to transmit MAC addresses between Layer 2 networks and forward Layer 2 packets using the generated MAC address entries.

To the benefit of improved financial data availability and to ensure continuity, when the transaction rate reaches 3,000 Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS), the payment system is built to respond within 10 ms after remote replication is activated.

To facilitate long-term upgrades, Huawei has used an elastic architecture with Layer 2, TRILL-based networks at the core layer that enables 100 percent access to all network resources. Further, the use of Huawei’s Data Center Interconnect (DCI) streamlines the collaboration of resources between the data centers.

System Launches

On April 1, 2015, the official launch of the NSPC was announced by the Central Bank of Russia. Over the first three months of operation, the NSPC processed the projected average of 10 million transactions per day and has remained stable as expected in the months following.

“The NSPC shoulders responsibility for maintaining a stable financial system in Russia,” observed Sergey Bochkarev, Deputy CEO of the NSPC, “so the reliability and stability of the national payment system are crucially important. Huawei successfully deployed the data centers within a short delivery period and has effectively supported the rollout of the payment system as scheduled.”

By Shuai Junchao

Industry Marketing Execution Department, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.