Export-Import Bank of the United States Consolidates Nine Servers and Four Storage Area Networks to Three Systems, Reduces Power Consumption and Space Requirements
 
 

Export-Import Bank of the United States Consolidates Nine Servers and Four Storage Area Networks to Three Systems, Reduces Power Consumption and Space Requirements

  • Oracle Customer:  Export-Import Bank of the United States
    Location:  Washington, D.C., United States
    Industry:  Public Sector
    Employees:  500

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official US export credit agency. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to assist in financing the export of US goods and services to international markets. The organization enables US companies—large and small—to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create US jobs, contributing to a stronger national economy.

Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export-financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. It assumes credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; loan guarantees; and direct loans (buyer financing).

On average, 85% of the organization’s transactions directly benefit small, US businesses. With more than 78 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than US$456 billion of US exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Export-Import Bank of the United States

  • "With Oracle Database Appliance, we have greatly simplified and optimized our IT infrastructure. We have improved system performance and streamlined administration while getting information into our business users’ hands much more quickly.” – Charles Puma, Database Administrator, Export-Import Bank of the United States

  • Consolidate servers to reduce power consumption and space requirements
  • Accelerate data migration to the data warehouse to more quickly access information on bank activities
  • Reduce dependence on system, disk, and network administrators by simplifying the bank’s hardware and database environment
  • Ease support and maintenance issues inherent in dealing with multiple vendors

Solutions

  • Implemented Oracle Database Appliance to simplify the hardware and database environment—running the banking and internal financial administration systems as well as the data warehouse, and maintaining approximately 2 terabytes of data, on the production system
  • Consolidated nine database servers and four storage area networks onto three Oracle Database Appliances—reducing space requirements and power costs
  • Increased CPU, I/O, and networking performance with Oracle Database Appliance, enabling Ex-Im Bank to reduce the time, from six hours to four, to move data from source systems to its data warehouse—ultimately enabling users to access reports more quickly
  • Improved the response time required to access the Oracle data warehouse and used Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition to enable users to access reports on the bank’s activities—including number of deals in play, as well as which businesses and countries received them—to make more informed decisions
  • Benefitted from Oracle Database Appliance’s simplicity—reducing the number of system, disk, and network administrators working on the database environment, from six employees to just two, while eliminating multiple levels of approval for system changes
  • Improved security and reduced time for system administration, like performing backups, patching, and batch jobs by standardizing on one hardware platform, database, and operating system—for example a reduction in patching time from two weeks to one week
  • Used the Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager feature for remote management—enabling Ex-Im Bank’s system administrators to more quickly identify and address hardware and environmental issues

Why Oracle

Previously, Ex-Im Bank managed a complex server environment including Windows and Oracle/Sun hardware, as well as multiple storage configurations. Its development-test environment was configured differently than its production system, making it more difficult to run simulations and resolve production problems.

“Oracle Database Appliance simplifies our IT environment and improves testing effectiveness. Now, our test and production systems are more closely matched—we can trust what we see. This allows for more defect-free production deployments and quicker resolutions to any problems that may occur.” said Charles Puma, database administrator, Export-Import Bank of the United States.

“I cannot overstate the value in having one knowledgeable point of contact, like Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services to handle any questions or problems that may arise.”

Implementation Process

Ex-Im Bank originally purchased one Oracle Database Appliance for development and testing and installed it in early 2012. It worked so well that the organization bought two more—one for production and one for fail-over, which it deployed approximately six months later. Ex-Im Bank runs Oracle Data Guard, a feature of Oracle Database, between the production and fail-over environments. The development and test system runs seven databases. The production and failover systems have one database on each node.

Ex-Im Bank completed the installation in house, using documentation and set-up scripts provided by Mythics, an Oracle partner.

Partner

Before Ex-Im Bank purchased Oracle Database Machine, it contacted Mythics, which set up a lab and provided a demonstration of the technology.

“It was extremely valuable to see the technology in action. Mythics was very helpful, providing answers we could not get out of a white paper,” said Charles Puma, database administrator, Export-Import Bank of the United States.