By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2009-07-28 Email Print this article Print

Server virtualization, self-service applications and service-oriented architecture give banks and other financial institutions the tools to increase their efficiency, cut costs and boost revenue.


Wells Fargo, headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the many companies to launch a server virtualization project in recent years. The firm’s data centers support more than 80 diverse businesses, and demand for technology services and capacity is continually increasing.

“To meet our business partners’ and customers’ requirements, we need to stabilize, standardize and optimize our data center environment,” says Scott Dillon, head of technology infrastructure services. “A large part of this effort has been accomplished by employing server virtualization.”

By implementing virtualization, “we are driving compute power up and costs down, and realizing higher server utilization and greater density,” he adds. “Server virtualization has contributed greatly to extending the life of our data centers and has allowed us to defer investment of a new data center by 18 months, generating savings in costs and energy.”

Wells Fargo first focused on server virtualization in its development and test environments two years ago. Based on that, it deployed virtualization in all its data centers, with the goal of achieving a 50 percent virtual footprint.

“The virtualization devices we use are dependent on the platform,” Dillon says. “We take a holistic virtualization approach across open systems, midrange systems and the mainframe. Our goal is to align and map the right application to the appropriate technology platform.”

Because of virtualization, Wells Fargo’s business partners have seen benefits such as greater flexibility, reduced costs and an accelerated time to market. “Through server virtualization, we’ve also realized great savings in power and space,” Dillon says. “Such savings create a simpler operating environment, which in turn reduces our support and maintenance costs.

“On the energy-efficiency side, server virtualization allows us to make our data centers more efficient and utilize less energy. We’ll continue to focus on green IT as a pragmatic extension of new technology when it benefits our customers, makes good business sense and delivers real ROI in the areas of availability, power and space, operational efficiency and benefits to the environment.”

One of the initial implementation challenges Wells Fargo faced was making the case for virtualization to business partners. “Since it was a shift in our computing model, it took some time to prove it was a viable technology,” Dillon says. “To make the benefits of server virtualization more tangible, we demonstrated the value with development and testing. Our business partners control their own development and test environments, so they were able to quickly realize the benefits and associated cost savings.”


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