REVIEWER: Chris Loehr, vice president, manager of technical services for Local Oklahoma Bank.
BACKGROUND: Local Oklahoma Bank, founded in 1908, is a $2.8 billion commercial bank that specializes in commercial and consumer lending, mortgage banking, depository transaction accounts and cash flow management services. Local Oklahoma Bank is the fifth largest bank in its state based on deposits.
PLATFORMS: Corporate headquarters consists of a Snap Server 4100 along with Compaq Proliant servers and Cisco routers, with a combination of Cisco and HP switches. The 51 branch offices and two training centers are connected to corporate via a frame relay network. Each branch office uses a Snap Server 2000 which is connected to workstations.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Our company implemented a new software system in each of its 51 branch offices. The system, which was designed to automate and reduce errors in teller and new account processes, needed to run off a storage device. We looked at other banks that implemented the system and found that they installed full-featured Windows NT servers at each of their branch offices. These other banks invested a substantial amount of capital in their hardware and software, but we were looking for a more cost-effective solution. We installed Snap Server 2000s at each of our branch offices, and now we are using large amounts of storage for the banking systems at a low cost. The Snap Servers also reduced overhead on our network by allowing employees to save their files locally, rather than across the network. If anyone needs a new installation of an application, we can install it from the local server instead of pulling it across the wide area network.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The Snap Server offers the same functionality of a full- blown NT server, but at a fraction of the cost. We found that the Snap Servers were easy to integrate into our existing network, and we were able to easily set up user- and group-level security.
STRENGTHS: The Snap Server is a cost-effective way to add storage to our network. There was always the thought of having to install expensive NT servers in each branch office, but the Snap Server saved us from having to incur those costs. In addition, we have each of the Snap Servers configured in RAID 1; therefore the drives mirror one another, making any loss of data highly unlikely.
WEAKNESSES: Because our branch offices have limited space, it would be nice to have a Snap Server 2000, with its RAID capabilities and same capacity point, in a more compact and rack-mountable shape.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We consulted with other banks with similar storage needs and found they were using Windows NT or RAID-based servers that cost more than $10,000 per server per branch. Due to our tight IT budgets, we needed a much more economical solution. We thought we would have to incur these same costs, plus the additional costs of the hardware, software and overhead, which include server updates and service packs. When we came across a Snap Server advertisement in a trade publication, we decided to try it. Installing a Snap Server in each branch office saved us tremendous amounts of money and time, due to its low cost, ease of setup and minimal ongoing maintenance.
DELIVERABLES: Installation took less than five minutes per server. Once installed, they require minimal maintenance. This is a huge plus for us because our IT staff is located as far as six hours from our branch offices. Because of its Web-based user interface, we do not need to take the Snap Servers offline to perform maintenance or updates.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Quantum's support team is very good. We had some questions for Quantum when we first looked at the Snap Servers, and they were quick to answer all our questions with legitimacy. We have been in contact with Quantum both by phone and e-mail, and their responses are helpful and timely.
DOCUMENTATION: The product documentation is easy to read and understand; however, because the Snap Server is so simple to install and configure, we hardly needed to look at it.
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