Customers

Bank of The Ryukyus Selects Nutanix for Thin Client Platform

Nutanix Provides a Flexible Platform that Supports Work Style Changes and Enables Potential Expansion to Group Companies

COMPANY SPECIFICS

Bank of The Ryukyus Limited is a regional bank serving Okinawa Prefecture in Japan.

INDUSTRY

Financial

BUSINESS NEED

  • Upgrade from Windows XP environment
  • Promote work style changes that support flexible work styles
  • Reduce the bank’s PC operational burden
  • Create a highly scalable platform with the goal of applying it to group companies

SOLUTION

  • Nutanix Enterprise Cloud

BENEFITS

  • Provided support for thin client environment that performs well even at times of peak demand
  • Created a highly scalable platform that is also used for dispersed integrated servers, reducing IT complexity
  • Reduced man-hours spent on system platform design by about half
  • Provided easy to understand management console, reducing training costs to zero
  • Enabled high system availability
  • Obtained benefits from advanced power saving performance, and efficient use of installation space

CHALLENGE

In 2006, Bank of The Ryukyus migrated to a cooperative system provided by Juudankai, a bank system cooperative project that includes accounting and information systems, and created an environment that enables quick deployment of the latest technology. The bank outsources the development and operation of its accounting system, and the bank’s Administration Department System Planning Section, which serves as its information systems division, specializes in system planning and is involved in constructing the bank’s system environment.

In 2016, Bank of The Ryukyus embarked on a project to upgrade IT, which had continued to operate a large client with Windows XP, and migrate to the new environment. At the same time, the bank wanted to reduce the time and effort spent on PC operation, including kitting, while also building an environment to support changes in work styles. “Not only did we leave behind an environment where the operating system maintenance support had expired and migrate to a secure environment, we decided to build an environment that supports alternate work styles for a new generation,” said Yasunori Katsuda, Administration Department Deputy Manager and System Planning Section Manager.

SOLUTION

Bank of The Ryukyus had previously implemented measures to support work style changes in its mobile environment, when it deployed iPads for payment and settlement operations outside the company and for CRM use in 2014. At that time, the bank selected a thin client environment based on security considerations. “We wanted to further promote work style changes, including telecommuting and mobile work, by spreading this thin client environment to our PCs within the bank,” recalled Katsuda.

Enterprise Cloud OS software from Nutanix caught the attention of Bank of The Ryukyus during the deliberation process. “In an effort to increase the synergy of the entire group, we decided that we would apply this to other group companies as well. We needed an environment that was not only as flexible as possible, but also one that could be scaled without burden. Nutanix is based on the idea of ‘pay-as-you-grow,’ so you can flexibly expand as needed. It was ideal for what we were looking for,” said Kazuhiro Miyazato, also of the System Planning Section. The tablet thin client environment uses VMware for its hypervisor, and XenApp from Citrix. The goal was to have a similar infrastructure for the PCs inside the bank. “Nutanix supports multiple hypervisors, and given its track record and technical integration with Citrix, we felt at ease,” said Miyazato.

At that point, the bank conducted an assessment offered by Citrix, carefully verifying VDI performance. “We were concerned about whether we could build an environment where desktops could start up with good response, even if allbank employees started their PCs at once after arriving to work. It was significant that we were able to set up the required environment with the assessment beforehand,” said Katsuda.

“Nutanix engineers came to Okinawa to provide explanations, and I did my research by reading ‘The Nutanix Bible.’ During this process, I came to feel that it is an excellent architecture. System planning is at the heart of our work, and a time will come when we will need to choose the system that suits us best. In preparation for such a situation, we strongly felt that we wanted to deploy a system that fits us, regardless of the vendor. For this reason, we chose Nutanix,” emphasized Miyazato. He added that when considering the excellent architecture of Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, he feels that this technology will spread to other regional banks moving forward.

The result was that Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS was selected as the platform for a thin client environment, suited to the work style changes envisioned by the bank.

RESULTS

Bank of The Ryukyus had previously implemented measures to support work style changes in its mobile environment, when it deployed iPads for payment and settlement operations outside the company and for CRM use in 2014. At that time, the bank selected a thin client environment based on security considerations. “We wanted to further promote work style changes, including telecommuting and mobile work, by spreading this thin client environment to our PCs within the bank,” recalled Katsuda.

The Bank’s System Planning Section has now deployed 19 nodes of the Nutanix NX Series for its thin client environment, and manages the virtual desktop environment for 2,000 employees. Three environments are running on Nutanix— the main environment operating Windows 2012, a Windows 2003 environment for running legacy systems, and a Windows 7 environment for running special apps. “It was a great achievement to be able to stably run the thin client environment, which from the user’s perspective, would be the most troubling to have go down,” said Miyazato approvingly.

In comparison to the number of man-hours used for system platform design in a conventional 3-tier configuration for just the server storage design, Nutanix reduced that number by about half, and also contributed to shortening the time for system construction. Miyazato says he expects further benefits when the system is scaled. Actual operations are being outsourced to an affiliate company, but Miyazato speaks very highly of operations as well, saying, “Even for an employee who had never used an enterprise cloud platform for operation of a thin client environment before, operation management has proceeded without any particular problems. Because the graphical user interface is easy to understand and use, it appears that operation proceeds without any confusion when looking at the management screen. Training costs are equivalent to zero.”

“Right after the deployment we experienced a disk failure, but the disk was swapped out without shutting down the system and that made me realize its 06/18 Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform leverages web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge compute, virtualization and storage into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence. The result is predictable performance, cloud-like infrastructure consumption, robust security, and seamless application mobility for a broad range of enterprise applications,” said Miyazato. He added, “In addition to being able to recover without shutting down the system, an even quicker response to the disk failure was possible than under a typical on-premise environment because hardware and failure information are being sent to Nutanix. Given that it is a leading-edge framework, I can say that the approach toward how failure response should be is different than before. In the end, we were very grateful that recovery was accomplished so quickly.”

Miyazato is also satisfied with Nutanix support, and says that he understands why Nutanix’s NPS (Net Promoter Score), an index for measuring customer loyalty, is high within the industry. He also senses the benefits of advanced power saving performance, and efficiency in use of installation space.

NEXT STEPS

As for the future, Katsuda says that the goal is to expand Nutanix to the platforms of all group companies. “The plan indicated by management is to increase overall strength of the group by coordinating with group companies. As someone working on systems, I want to raise the floor of the entire group, including support for work style changes by using Nutanix,” said Katsuda.

Bank of The Ryukyus is also looking at using public clouds in the future, and Miyazato says that they want to build an environment suited for flexible infrastructure operation. He says that they also have high expectations for the application management tool Nutanix Calm, as well as for Xi Cloud Services, which provides disaster recovery with cloud integration. Furthermore, if models specializing in compute nodes or storage nodes are released in the future, Miyazato hopes that it will enable scaling of resources in an optimal manner in needed areas. As for Nutanix’s native hypervisor, AHV, he said, “As system integrators offer appealing environment construction, AHV is bound to spread in the market. We would definitely like to try it in the future."

The plan indicated by management is to increase overall strength of the group by coordinating with group companies. As someone working on systems, I want to raise the floor of the entire group, including support for work style changes, by using Nutanix.

Yasunori Katsuda, Administration Department Deputy Manager and System Planning Section Manager, Bank of The Ryukyus, Limited