I definitely recommend virtualization against using physical servers because it does not affect quality; on the contrary, it improves the performance and flexibility. Moreover, I think companies that do not choose virtualization as fast as possible, will be losing money soon!”
Iulian Mihăilă, Head of IT
BCR Leasing IFN has been active on the Romanian leasing market since 2001, as a subsidiary of the Romanian Commercial Bank and part of the powerful financial Central European group Erste. With 20 branches and 150 employees, the company currently offers a full range of financial leasing products and services, lying between the first companies of this kind in Romania. BCR Leasing IFN is a customer oriented organization, constantly concerned with innovation, quality and adaptation of products and services to market requirements.
The collaboration between TotalSoft and BCR Leasing began in 2002 and led to the first version of the system developed for the leasing industry, today known as Charisma Leasing Management. In later years, as BCR Leasing's business grew and faced such an increasingly competitive market, the software platform had to be extended to other systems developed by TotalSoft (collection, self-service, BI , CRM, e-marketing, goods resale, web leasing etc.).
- By reducing the number of servers, the energy consumption was drastically reduced and, importantly, the company decreased the risk caused by power interruptions.
- The hardware renewal investments were reduced – the virtual machines could be escalated according to changing business requirements. “We used to upgrade our hardware infrastructure every 2 years. The virtualization helped us reduce these investments a lot – basically, we have no reason to invest anymore. If necessary, I will add another host in the cluster and that’s it!” states Iulian Mihăilă.
- By moving all servers to the new cluster the company recorded an amazing performance improvement. “The computing power of old hosted servers increased by 100%. Thus, just by using virtual machines we managed to improve the servers’ performance” , adds Iulian Mihăilă.
- Another major advantage was the infrastructure’s stability. According to the cluster and strage configurations, problems may arise only if more than 50% of the hardware infrastructure gets damaged, which is impossible. “Large hardware infrastructures cannot avoid totally incidents. BCR Leasing faced such a problem when one server failed. A huge effort was invested in data recovering – we were lucky to be having a good back-up policy.”
- Future equipment upgrade can be easily done, by moving the machines in real time. “Our current infrastructure can support up to four times more virtual machines than we are using now. The projects that will be run in 2012 and 2013 will not require any investment from this perspective; the business may increase as much as possible.”
- For the Disaster Recovery policy virtual machines can be replicated to an off-site, so that no business interruption may occur.
- The virtual machines are not influenced by the hardware infrastructure; physical servers can be replaced at anytime.
- The hardware administration is performed easily, in a centralized manner and with the help of a specialized tool, vCenter that manages both physical and virtual resources.
- Financial savings are notable. A Windows Server Enterprise license can be used for four virtual machines hosted on the same physical server.
Case study revised in 2012.