Making recommendations and decisions for the future:
Recommendations and decisions for the bank???s best use of money and resources that I have made are based on some of the following criteria:
??? Does the technology interface with our core application provider and does it make sense with the current environment?
??? Does the technology eliminate or add a single point of failure that would affect users on a global scale?
??? Does the technology strengthen or weaken our overall protection and disaster recovery plan?
??? What is the risk and business impact of the technology?
??? Does it make financial and technical sense now and in the long term when taking all factors into account? Factors would include security, network integration, licensing, training and hardware costs and maintenance.
??? Has all due diligence and research been completed to implement the technology?
??? Does the technology align with the bank???s business strategy and what are the future expectations of the technology?
In our environment virtualization would add the benefit of some consolidation but I do not believe the advantage would be a good resource of the bank???s money and time at this moment. The reason for this is:
??? If we were able to virtualize all of our servers into a single server we would create a single point of failure for the bank. That failure, or disaster, would be in terms of a data circuit or server malfunction that would lead to a disruption of all services to bank employees. If the data circuit failed where the physical virtual server existed the bank???s users outside that office would not be able to access anything in the form of email, word/excel documents, shared folders, network printers, and any other network resource that may be available on that server. If the virtualized server itself experienced a critical disaster it would completely disrupt all access to the server. A critical disaster could be a hardware failure, a security event or damaged files on the server.
??? Our core application system, along with pther main core products are already serviced and accessible in a dedicated cloud. Virtualization would not add any benefit to these main products of the bank. Even if we still had these core products in house, virtualization was not supported by our core vendor when I checked then and still is not to this date.
??? We have some application servers that are not supported using virtualization. These servers would still exist in the environment greatly minimizing the advantage of consolidation.
??? New servers, hardware and licensing would have to be purchased once a virtualization platform was decided on. There are a few different virtualization platforms to choose from and all would cost the bank a substantial amount of money and time up front to implement.
??? Having our core application and other main applications in the dedicated cloud combined with other applications on servers being incompatible with virtualization would lead to a small footprint to actually virtualize.
??? We could virtualize our few file servers and Active Directory servers but it would not be worth the costs and would create a single point of failure in the event of a disaster.
??? Virtual servers are a huge benefit when there is only one physical location of business. Having multiple locations raises the risk of down time due to data circuit failures.
??? We have two sites that currently have the bulk of the servers. If we went with a virtual server system at each location it would have little advantage to the other three sites that have only one server to begin with that could be moved to a virtualized environment.
??? We are already on the path of server consolidation. By moving our Core Application to the service bureau, along with our main applications, we have eliminated around 6 to 8 servers combined with the addition of backup servers at an alternate branch location. I expect that number to grow with expanded dedicated cloud offerings by the core vendor. We are also in the process of finally shrinking our legacy image platform by decommissioning them.
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