ANB operates 168 branches across the Middle East and employs 4,700 staff. It offers a full range of financial services to the retail and corporate sectors. Recent turbulence affecting the global financial sector prompted ANB to overhaul its 15-year-old Core Banking System to enhance the bank’s ability to respond to market challenges. A key part of this project was to ensure that ANB’s Infosys financial applications didn’t suffer from network performance problems.
ANB was intent on building the most robust and advanced network possible. “Poor performance would be a nightmare for us,” said Jamil Barakat, Head of IT and Telecommunications at ANB. “The emergence of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) has really changed the whole concept of what we thought of as load balancing. We opted for F5 specifically after a competitive evaluation, with parameters set around speed, security, and application control. F5 delivers on the ADC concept in full.”
End-user experience has been enhanced by the bank’s deployment of a pair of BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager devices at the web layer, facing customers, as well as a pair of BIG-IP 8400 units at the application layer, facing the Core Banking System. These devices have also allowed enabled ANB to offload SSL traffic from its servers, resulting in a 20-30% reduction in load, which in turn has freed up the IT team to reallocate servers in its infrastructure.
“ANB also found that F5’s iRules scripting language had a number of benefits,” said Paul Sherry, Regional Director, Middle East at F5. “They developed iRules to encrypt unencrypted traffic and vice versa, and also to change application content in real time. ANB estimated that the latter iRule alone— which took only 30 minutes to create, saved up to three months of application developer time.”
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