The Central Bank of Iraq Cuts TCO and Operational Costs by 40% with Oracle

The Central Bank of Iraq reduces TCO and operational costs by 40% and improves decision making with high performance and maximum availability.

The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) ensures that the country has domestic price stability and a competitive market-based financial system. To conduct day-to-day business, CBI runs a multitude of Oracle Databases that support its banking systems—including Core Banking, Human Resources, Payroll, Real Time Gross Settlements, Retail Payments, Automated Clearing House, and National Financial Switch—in addition to a variety of special function databases for in-house programs. 

In recent years, the bank ran into performance issues stemming from multiple servers and silos of information. To increase the availability, performance, and scalability of databases and core banking applications, CBI adopted a consolidation and maximum availability strategy replacing 20 servers in production and disaster recovery sites.

This is all aligned with CBI’s strategic plan for 2016 to 2020 and the vision set by His Excellency Mr. Ali Mohsen Ismail, its Governor, for developing and embracing the latest technologies and innovations in the Iraqi banking industry.


Since we consolidated our databases and workloads onto Oracle Exadata Database Machine, we enjoy much higher performance, simpler management, and the highest availability in both the main site and the disaster recovery site. We track transactions way faster, and we’re reducing total cost of ownership up to 40% by having everything in one box.

Adnan AsaadCIO, Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)

Business challenges

Improve business continuity and efficiency through higher availability of banking systems, helping CBI ensure price stability and support the country’s financial services sector

Reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) for operating core banking and other financial applications based on Oracle Database by consolidating multiple servers and eliminating silos of information

Increase storage capacity for core banking and other financial applications growing year-over-year to support Iraq’s strong economic development

Why Central Bank of Iraq Chose Oracle

“Most of our systems are Oracle based since we’ve relied on Oracle Database since forever. When the Central Bank suffered from a fire in 2008, the Oracle equipment survived. Now with Oracle Exadata Database Machine, we get hardware and software engineered to work together, which increases our performance while reducing costs. Oracle is the only vendor to offer such engineered systems, and we are extremely satisfied with the result.”
—Adnan Asaad, CIO, Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)


The Central Bank of Iraq began preparing for implementation of two instances of Oracle Exadata Database Machine X7-2 Eighth Rack for main and disaster recovery sites and went live only a few months later. CBI worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Services and local Oracle partner Guardia Systems. Oracle helped with the business requirements and sizing, training, and go-live support, while Guardia’s Oracle certified engineers assisted with out-of-the-box implementation, integration to other systems, and database migration, working onsite for two months.

Expedited reporting time by 50% through the accelerated query processing and automatic load balancing of Oracle Exadata Database Machine, leading to improved decision making

Reduced hardware and software costs by 40% through consolidating databases and workloads onto Oracle Exadata Database Machine, replacing 14 HP rackmount servers and slashing database license fees

Reduced ongoing operational expenses by 40% with simplified database maintenance by using the built-in management server of Oracle Exadata Database Machine, which constantly monitors the health of hardware and software components

Built a Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) with seamless replication between production and disaster recovery sites using Oracle Advanced Security and Oracle Active Data Guard, empowering 200 internal users of critical banking applications

Leveraged the performance of Oracle Exadata Database Machine to provide 80 customers—Iraqi and international commercial banks—with improved banking infrastructure for optimizing the daily exchange of electronic payments and other financial transactions

Achieved automatic replication with Oracle Exadata Database Machine Eighth Rack and Oracle Real Application Clusters from the production site to the disaster recovery site located 300 miles from Baghdad, replacing IBM backup servers hosting the core banking module to increase data security and availability

Liberated database, system, network, and storage management personnel to work on more value-add tasks by consolidating multiple admin roles with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Migrated not only banking systems but also human resources, accounting, and finance applications and functions to Oracle Exadata Database Machine, boosting organizational and business efficiency

Solved storage issues associated with projected data growth from 1 GB to up to 30 GB by planning for an upgrade from Oracle Exadata Database Machine X7-2 Eighth Rack  to Quarter Rack Upgrade without buying new hardware

Emphasized the Central Bank’s solid rules for respecting intellectual property and adopting and owning only licensed systems, forcing the Iraqi banking sector to comply with these regulations


“Guardia Systems worked shoulder to shoulder with us. We enjoyed the collaboration, their local presence, and the quality of their engineers. They are a certified Oracle partner in Iraq and well versed in the financial services sector,” Adnan Asaad said.
Published:January 9, 2019