The Importance of Data and Analytical Applications for Financial Services Companies
Financial services companies are heavily dependent on data and analytical applications to provide their services. This is particularly true in services such as asset management. Clients want real-time access to information on their portfolio value, income, holdings, asset allocation, volatility, and historical return. They also want information from analytical applications to project future value and income and to manage risk. And clients expect the asset managers at the financial services company to be knowledgeable and informed with the latest information.
Accessing Financial Services Applications Using VDI
Financial services companies often deploy VDI to provide access to applications and data. VDI offers a number of advantages over desktop applications and terminal services. Among these are the abilities to:
- Simultaneously update applications and data across all users.
- Control access to applications and information based on user and job profiles, not devices.
- Reduce the incidence of privacy breaches and the loss of confidential information.
- Provide access to applications that do not support terminal services.
- Enable employees to work from any available device and any office.
The study participant's VDI implementation spans three locations in two countries and supports hundreds of employees.
Application Availability Requirements
Financial services clients, and the customer-facing and back-office professionals that support them, expect applications to be consistently online and available. Personal computer crashes, hardware failures in application servers, and other minor and major disasters are not acceptable excuses for the inability to access information.
Case Study Environment
Prior to this initiative, this case study participant used dedicated storage for each Citrix Provisioning Server. Server failures impacted the ability of users to log onto their applications. In addition, adding additional provisioning servers to the environment to support additional users required replication of the VDI images. The storage infrastructure was costly and difficult to manage.
One of the goals for this study participant was to improve the fault-tolerance of its VDI infrastructure. This included the ability, in the case of a catastrophe, such as a fire in a branch office or the loss of an entire data center, to relocate employees and restore access to applications and data within 30 minutes. In addition, it wanted to:
- Reduce storage cost,
- Provide seamless infrastructure scale-out to support its growing user base, and,
- Simplify data and storage management.
The study participant used Melio VDI software from Sanbolic to enable simultaneous access from multiple Citrix Provisioning Servers to a single copy of VDI images maintained on its storage area network (SAN). This enabled the study participant to:
- Eliminate redundant copies of virtual desktop images,
- Simplify storage management by maintaining a single storage volume,
- Non-disruptively install additional provisioning servers to support additional users, and,
- Non-disruptively replace failed servers to maintain service levels during periods of peak load, such as morning boot storms.
In addition, the participant leveraged replication software to maintain a copy of the single volume in a disaster recovery site. Together with Melio VDI, this enabled the financial services company to migrate all users to another location and restore access to all desktops and applications within 30 minutes.
About the Study Participant
LBBW Asset Management is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW). With a volume of around € 22 billion in assets under management and approximately € 19 billion of assets under administration, it is among the major asset manager in Germany. Its offices are located in Stuttgart.
- Citrix XenDesktop Features by Edition
- Sanbolic Melio VDI
- LBBW Asset Management Improves Fault-Tolerance and Scalability of Citrix® XenDesktop® VDI Deployment with Sanbolic® Melio™