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Arab Bank bolsters back-up

Arab Bank, has announced it will implement a WAN-based disaster recovery solution based on Mimix technology and IBM servers. It will be implemented by Gulf Business Machines.

Arab Bank, has announced it will implement a disaster recovery solution based on Mimix technology. The solution is based on IBM servers and will be installed by United Computer and Management Consultancy (UCMC), the Dubai arm of Gulf Business Machines (GBM).

The business continuity and disaster recovery hardware solution will cover Arab bank’s core operations in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen. The system will be used for replication and disaster recovery of the bank’s Misys Equation core banking application and other AS/400 platform applications and services.

The GBM-provided solution is expected to go live in August this year and will consolidate the bank’s IBM eServer iSeries models in each country onto one IBM eServer iSeries i825 machine in the UAE. Each country will run its operations from independent logical partitions (LPARs) on the server. Another iSeries i825 will be located at the disaster recovery site at Datafort in Dubai Internet City.

“The solution is being implemented in two phases,” says Ghassan Nimer, IT regional manager for Gulf & Yemen, Arab Bank.

“The first phase consolidates the bank’s IT related business processes and its data centres in Qatar, Bahrain and Yemen with the one in the UAE using a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy. The second phase includes introducing the bank’s IT operations in other countries in the Middle East and the region,” he adds.

The bank has pulled out cost savings as the main driver for the new system.

“It has always been expensive to manage and maintain our many data centres in the Gulf & Yemen region,” says Majed A Rahim, IT global head, Arab Bank.

“This solution being implemented by GBM will address this issue. In addition, this consolidation will also have a positive impact on our customers and shareholders through improved IT services and higher availability of banking channels,” he adds.

Arab Bank has also highlighted central control as a boon for the new system, citing the benefits of rectifying problems and updating information from one location.

The two servers will be connected using the Mimix high availability solution. Mimix is a software solution that controls two systems simultaneously at different locations, with data written at one and replicated at the other. Mimix initially worked only with iSeries servers from IBM, but now works on a wider platform.

Mimix moves information over the WAN along a dedicated point-to-point lead line link. Arab bank has not yet decided what speed its link will run at.

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