How HPE, Cohesity & Blue Connections Accelerated Transformation for the ANZ bank with AI based Infrastructure Management

Project Management Office and Managed Services


ANZ was founded in 1835 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. ANZ has a proud heritage of more than 180 years and operates in 33 markets globally with representation in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Pacific, Europe, America and the Middle East. ANZ is among the top 4 banks in Australia, the largest banking group in New Zealand and Pacific, and among the top 50 banks in the world.

One of the core business units that delivers the leading-edge technology offered to ANZ institutional customers is Global Customer Integration Solution (GCIS). GCIS provides host-to-host connectivity that allows two-way data exchange to ANZ institutional customers in a highly secure, file agnostic environment. GCIS enables a closer integration on payments that significantly increases straight through processing for ANZ institutional customers.

The Challenge

ANZ Bank’s Institutional Banking division’s success meant data was growing at an unprecedented rate. New services, such as the New Payments Platform (NPP) meant that data was being created and ingested at ever increasing rates leading to two challenges – one, the existing storage arrays were under performing and while maintenance costs on the ageing hardware was increasing, the support level remained stagnant and two, the underlying data protection platform was struggling to cope with the volume of data and data was fragmented across multiple infrastructure tiers and device locations.

In Institutional Banking, apps are becoming mission critical, with major business impact to the bank, therefore, these apps not only needed to be backed up, but they required immediate granular recovery. The legacy backup solution could not cope with these new business imperatives and combined with the increasing customer demands mandated the need to increase the frequency and velocity of the backup and restore.

In addition, the legacy backup solution was complex to manage and difficult to operate. Further, complex capacity planning and the inability to scale out to meet business needs meant a new approach was needed.

Key goals for the successful implementation of the storage solution were:

  • Tier 1 vendor with both All flash and Hybrid Flash options
  • 5x or more data reduction from deduplication & compression
  • Enterprise support that integrates, automates and simplifies storage administration
  • An Enterprise-grade Multi-Cloud storage service to enable the seamless movement of volumes between on premise and public clouds

Key goals for the successful transformation of the data protection environment were:

  • Ease of management
  • Transform recovery posture and deliver <5min RPO and near zero RTO
  • Increase disk-based retention by 3X and provide robust cross site replication
  • Ensure cloud readiness and protect from ransomware

The Solution

Blue Connections has a long-standing relationship with the ANZ GCIS team and has delivered many server and infrastructure solutions since 2011. As Blue Connections Senior Account Executive, Daniel Gothard explained “Our vendor agnostic approach and knowledge of their environment allowed us to recommend and deliver the best solution to the customer, which of course was HPE for primary storage and Cohesity for secondary storage”.

The business imperative required ANZ Bank’s Institutional Banking division to manage a detailed proof of concept (POC) spanning 4 months with various storage and data protection vendors and selected Cohesity to consolidate all backup and secondary data on to a web-scale hyperconverged platform built on HPE GEN 10 DL 380 Servers. The HPE-Cohesity reference architecture delivered qualified nodes from HPE to run Cohesity’s web- scale data protection platform, reducing risk and improving time to market. Melbourne based Blue Connections co-ordinated with HPE and Cohesity to design and deliver the infrastructure required for a successful POC, which ensured production implementation was timely and stress free.

Phase 1 of the project included, four 48TB Cohesity nodes on HPE DL380 Gen10 servers being deployed in Melbourne, with four more replicated in Sydney. Workloads were protected in each DC with efficient, cross- site replication enabled between the two data centres. Cohesity’s integration with VMware meant VMs were automatically registered and backup policies were configured via a policy driven UI.

It was imperative for ANZ Institutional Bank’s to have a server centric view of their environment, so the use of HPE InfoSight to manage infrastructure performance and uptime in the data centre was key to the project’s success. HPE InfoSight is an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that predicts and prevents problems before they arise across an infrastructure stack.

Through predictive analytics and intelligent automation, the HPE Nimble Storage solution was able to deliver fast, reliable and highly available data access. The alliance partnership between the two vendors allowed Cohesity to consolidate multiple silos ranging from backup, target storage and test dev to archive and cloud on to a single web- scale appliance, dramatically reducing complexity in the environment.

The Results

By consolidating its primary storage infrastructure onto HPE Nimble Flash Arrays and secondary storage with Cohesity deployed on HPE Servers, the ANZ Bank simplified the way it delivers, manages, and supports storage and backup services, improving agility to meet wide-ranging workload requirements, while increasing performance, reducing costs and adapting to the ever changing business needs.

As Lee Murphy – Senior Manager ANZ GCIS explained “Moving to HPE Nimble Storage Flash Arrays was one of the easiest deployments we’ve been through. We had entire data centers migrated in weeks instead of months.”

Greater Business Benefits

  • Faster deployment of new applications, accelerating time to revenue
  • Improved visibility of the environment with InofSight, reducing unplanned downtime
  • Visibility into backup data ensuring compliance
  • Dramatically improved recovery posture – granular RPO and near instant RTO
  • Simplified management and operations

IT Benefits

  • Improved backup & data restore times by 300%
  • Achieved 6:1 data reduction across Primary Storage; X:1 data reduction for backups
  • Reduced datacenter footprint by 4 racks, while having 4x Capacity
  • Simple policy-based data protection
  • Cross site replication with <5 min RPO and near zero RTO
  • Increased retention by 3x – 42 Daily restore points on disk
  • Decreased reliance on tape and integration into public cloud
  • >90:1 data reduction rate and dramatically increased capacity savings
  • Immutable backups resulting in improved ransomware protection