APC upgrades Zimbabwean bank IT infrastructure

Global leader in critical power and cooling services, APC by Schneider Electric has upgraded FBC Bank Limited’s IT infrastructure and installed a full InfraStruXure solution, worth over US$200,000 in the Zimbabwean region.

InfraStruXure is a complete, modular, scalable data centre solution and proved to be an ideal solution to FBC Bank’s previously disparate and heterogeneous rack centre.

Prior to the project, says Michael Chigwedere, chief engineering officer at Tendo Electronics, the APC partner that handled the implementation, FBC Bank had deployed various servers to manage its data centre requirements, some of which were situated in a rack environment, while others were placed on conventional desks. In addition, all of these servers had been purchased from different vendors.

“The InfraStruXure solution brought together all of the bank’s data management requirements to one place and from one vendor,” he says. “As part of the implementation, Tendo deployed all seven of the available Network Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) components including those that manage power, cooling, racks, physical infrastructure, cable management, environment monitoring and security.

“It was also a major requirement that the new infrastructure be future proof and the highly scalable design of InfraStruXure has addressed this completely,” he says.

The individual components of the deployment have all been included to attend to the varying requirements of the bank’s server environment and include the Symmetra PX uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which provides modular, fault tolerant power protection and simplifies adaptation to changing power requirements.

“APC’s InRow RP cooling unit allows close coupling of IT loads with air conditioning units, increasing predictability and agility and its NetShelter enclosures were installed complete with APC power distribution for racks and infrastructure, providing superior door ventilation and scalable cooling options to address escalating heat densities,” says Chigwedere.

“The deployment also includes a scalable suite of APC NetBotz environmental sensors and cameras that protect the physical infrastructure from a host of environmental conditions, including heat, dust and moisture.”

According to Paolo Miglietta, VP for Southern Africa at APC by Schneider Electric, additional components include metered rack PDUs that provide active monitoring and alarms to warn of potential circuit overloads, as well as InfraStruXure Central, a scalable management appliance to manage the devices. “InfraStruXure Change Manager allows the bank’s infrastructure managers to deploy new hardware quickly and confidently while Capacity Manager helps align IT needs with the capacity of the physical infrastructure,” he explains.

FBC Bank’s Senior manager: IT infrastructure, Clever Haparari is very pleased that FBC is the first institution to implement the fully-fledged APC InfraStruxure data centre solution in Zimbabwe. He hails its lack of complexity, increased scalability and overall protection provided by the solution all – which have alleviated concerns experienced in the past with traditional server rooms.

“Furthermore, we have experienced absolutely no downtime since the completion of the implementation and this, coupled with the ease of use proffered by the solution, has enabled us to re-distribute staff previously dedicated to attending to our old IT infrastructure,” he says. He further cites the implementation of the InfraStruxure solution, which is by any measure a significant capital investment, as a clear commitment by the FBC Bank senior management, board of directors and shareholders to providing robust computing platforms which directly translate into world-class, electronically driven financial services and products to the Zimbabwean populace and the world over.

“The InfraStruxure solution has helped us eliminate hot spots through the deployment of predictable cooling paths, has enabled the quick deployment of new equipment as it becomes necessary, has helped FBC Bank realise optimal efficiency from a right-sized environment and allows room for growth without changes to the installation.

“The IT staff at FBC Bank is feeling great relieved thanks to the new system and is already enjoying a fuss-free data centre infrastructure that is stable and scalable to any future requirements,” he concludes.

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APC upgrades Zimbabwean bank IT infrastructure