BCR Leasing

In less than six months, I turned all physical servers into virtual machines using VMware Converter

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.).

This platform had an extensive hardware infrastructure and each software component had a server of its own. In short, the Data Center consisted of a rack brimming with equipments, which seemed to fill up continuously and then lie down on several additional tables. The company opted for this structure to avoid reducing the processing power and prevent possible equipment overloads. Thus, each server was awarded usually only one role (Charisma database, Collection, Application server, BI database; they were complemented by the necessary infrastructure servers - Active Directory, mail, antivirus etc.). Even so, there were servers playing multiple roles.
“Assigning multiple roles to one server was risky – if a server fell, you would fail at putting it back into operation, regardless of your great effort or back-up. In addition, the disruption of the company’s activity could have had disastrous consequences.” Remembers Iulian Valentin Mihăilă, Head of IT, BCR Leasing.
With the integration of BCR Leasing in BCR’s infrastructure, which involved dispensing of servers such as the domain controller, mail server, communications server in favor of the bank’s ones, BCR Leasing had to review its hardware infrastructure.
According to bank norms and procedures, the need to develop and test environments that BCR Leasing IT team would use arose quickly. Also, the bank's IT team needed a test environment to better understand TotalSoft’s leasing applications and provide feedback, if necessary.
“I was triggered by BCR’s test server. It was a machine with VMwareesx. My colleagues told me that I could upload on it all the virtual machines necessary for our test environments. Then I started to study more what virtualization technology meant and, in less than six months, I turned all physical servers into virtual machines using VMware Converter. Our machines were hosted on the best hardware we had at that time. My colleagues felt no change. So, this was how I got rid of the junk in our Data Center.” Says Iulian Mihăilă.

When BCR Leasing decided to purchase new modules of Charisma, it realized that the hardware they were about to use had to be upgraded.
“I consulted with colleagues in the bank and then I made a small business case, where we concluded that our investment costs in memory and processors, required by the modernization of the equipment, was much higher than the acquisition of two new servers, which were actually very well equipped, with appropriate VMware licenses, and which could be later configured in a vmware cluster.” Says Iulian Mihăilă.
In addition, as computing power, the analysis showed that a single core processor in November was much faster than an entire old processor with 4 cores. It was decided then to shift from all physical hardware to the virtual infrastructure, for the fast advantages and effective distribution of resources.


  • 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.

Other references

Other clients

Test now

Discover the most accesible and intuitive business solution

Free demo


Keep up with the latest news in technology!

* We don't like spam either, so be sure your email address is 100% safe with us.
© 2016 TotalSoft| Term and conditions | Site Map |Contact
This site uses cookies and by using the site you are consenting to this. Find out more.