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With more than 10 petabytes of data, over 2,800 custom applications and complex, on premises storage, one of the world's largest banking institutions looked to the cloud to manage and protect their expanding data volumes.


From multi-vendor storage complexity to scalable cloud data management with Panzura CloudFS.

Bound for the Cloud

Over the years, the bank's infrastructure had served them well. Designed to manage and protect sensitive data while making it available wherever required, reliability, security and high availability had always been the key considerations.

As you'd expect, there was a heavy reliance on NetApp appliances to store data in highly secure data centers, with backup and disaster recovery processes replicating data to ensure maximum durability.

Rapidly expanding volumes of data meant NetApp systems were growing at the same rate, each system with their own management requirements and lifecycle.

However, the exponential pace of data growth was making this complex legacy approach unmanageable. It couldn't scale, and it was increasingly costly in terms of hardware and IT effort to manage.

An Ambitious Set of Goals

The bank's cloud initiative aimed to deploy a new private cloud infrastructure that would:

  • Improve availability
  • Control costs
  • Maintain existing workflows
  • Streamline data management
  • Standardize infrastructure
  • Improve data availability
  • Natively integrate cloud-based technology

Any solution would have to provide enterprise scalability, absolute security, fast performance and total reliability.

To assist in keeping unstructured data volumes under control, they wanted to consolidate disconnected "data islands" into a single authoritative data set that would minimize duplicated data that needed to be stored.

Functionally, the solution needed to provide a consistent experience for all users and applications, and offer highly programmatic flexibility, utilizing an API for ease of management.

They knew that they wanted to leverage the scalability and durability of object storage, to cope with ever-increasing data volumes.

To meet regulatory requirements, they needed to use a private cloud today, but wanted to have the option to easily move to a public cloud in the future.

Scalable, Performant Cloud Data Management

Using Dell EMC/ECS as their object storage, the bank deployed CloudFS, Panzura's powerfully scalable global cloud file system.

Now, instead of data islands in different locations and problems with data integrity resulting from file versions, the bank has over 10 petabytes of data consolidated into a single authoritative data source.

Their unstructured data is now managed, protected, and securely available to all locations, without replicating files.

While latency is often a villain when users and applications work with centralized, consolidated data sets, CloudFS delivers local-feeling file performance. This high-performance capability  allowed the bank to pick up considerable additional wire transfer business during COVID shutdowns.

Seamless integration with Splunk means data can be searched, monitored, audited and analyzed across their entire network, keeping it compliant.

Removing Barriers to Making Cloud Moves

Two of the most challenging barriers to moving user and real-time application workflows to the cloud are performance and compatibility.

The distance between the user or application and data makes accessing centralized storage slow, and every millisecond of latency compounds to produce outcomes that place significant drag on organizational productivity.

Applications written to read and write to files don't understand how to communicate with object storage.

The banking sector is rife with custom-built applications that have been finely honed over years to deliver business-critical outcomes. This makes any application rewriting exceptionally risky, extraordinarily expensive and extremely time-consuming.

Panzura makes files "feel" local to both users and applications, overcoming latency to allow multi-site enterprises to work from a single, cloud-based data source without any performance degradation.

With 34 patents around uniquely performant ways of moving data, the CloudFS performance difference is very obvious when moving very high volumes of small files, for example when transacting wire transfers.

Additionally, Panzura bridges the understanding gap between files and blocks, allowing workloads reliant upon legacy applications to be migrated to cloud object storage without requiring applications to be rewritten.

As a result, CloudFS allowed this Wall Street bank to migrate critical workflows to their new private cloud, without rewriting a single one of their 2,800 custom applications, or changing a single workflow.

Compliance and Data Protection

The bank is subject to significant regulatory oversight, so rigid adherence to data management, protection and visibility requirements for regulated data are paramount.

Additionally, security for non-regulated data presents a significant concern. These data sets are just as sensitive, though they require protection for different reasons.

As a FIPS 140-2 certified data management solution, CloudFS protects the bank's data at rest and in flight, guarding against unauthorized interception and decryption.

More importantly though, CloudFS' immutable data architecture makes the bank's data resilient to damage, whether caused by accidental editing, deletion, ransomware, or malware. Read-only snapshots provide point-in-time recovery for individual files and folders, or the entire file system if required.

With high availability for immediate fail-over and the ability to recover any local failure within moments, CloudFS delivers exceptional resilience for file services themselves, as well as for the data set.

Should we Talk?

As an ever-increasing number of the organizations responsible for the world's most important, secure and highly regulated data make the switch to Panzura, should we have a conversation?