EMC strikes major storage deal with Arab Bank

EMC has signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement with Arab Bank, one of the principal financial institutions in the Arab world, to establish a consolidated storage network at its sites in Amman, Dubai and London.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  July 24, 2004

EMC has signed a two-year strategic partnership agreement with Arab Bank to establish a consolidated storage network at its sites in Amman, Dubai and London. Under the two-year agreement, EMC becomes the storage infrastructure supplier for Arab Bank, providing the data management systems and technical support. A large chunk of the deal involves EMC working with the bank to consolidate its storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS) environments. The 74-year old group, has a global network of more than 400 branches on five continents wanted better optimisation of its resources, central management and administration of its technology, and a reduction in the operating costs associated with the bank’s IT department. With total assets of more than US$22.8 billion, Arab Bank is one of the principal financial institutions in the Middle East and ranks among the leading international banks in terms of equity, earnings and assets. In the first phase of the project, Arab Bank is consolidating up to 40 servers at its Jordan headquarters, which will initially run exchange and legacy applications, and will eventually run the core banking system. It also stores all of the information generated by this environment to a centralised EMC storage area network (SAN). Later phases of the project will include similar consolidation initiatives at Arab Bank’s offices in Dubai and London. As part of the deal, Arab Bank is investing in an EMC Symmetrix DMX1000 system, optimised for server consolidation and heavy transaction-processing loads, as the central element of its new storage infrastructure. EMC partner Intracom Jordan, will provide this initial implementation, and support at the Jordan site. “Given Arab Bank’s rapid growth and development, we’ve ended up with islands of information across our different business units, all of which needed to be integrated and managed centrally for maximum business benefit. It is part of our overall strategy to consolidate and protect all of our key data in a cost-effective manner,” explains Majed Rahim, head of IT, Arab Bank. A crucial element of the agreement between Arab Bank and EMC is the focus on storage software within the bank’s new infrastructure. By deploying EMC TimeFinder, Arab Bank will be able to create mirror images of active production data that will boost the organisation’s productivity and enhance online business continuity. Further, with Symmetrix Optimiser – software that automates Symmetrix performance tuning – Arab Bank hopes to lower its IT costs. Additionally, the bank has also chosen to implement software from EMC’s Control Centre family to simplify and automate management of its networked storage environment. “It is encouraging to see a Middle East-based organisation such as Arab Bank take the first step to establish an optimised Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) environment. Arab Bank, specifically, has recognised that the value of its data rises and falls while it’s retained, and is taking steps to manage that changing value,” adds Mohammed Amin, regional general manager, EMC Middle East.

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