Zurich Cantonal Bank
Zurich Cantonal Bank (German: Zürcher Kantonalbank, or ZKB) with total assets of over CHF 288 billion, is the largest cantonal bank and fourth largest bank in Switzerland as well as the leading financial services provider in the Greater Zurich area. ZKB is an independent, incorporated public-law institution which is wholly owned by the Canton of Zurich. ZKB has the highest possible credit rating from the three most important rating agencies Standard & Poor's, Fitch and Moody's, and Global Finance magazine has rated ZKB as one of the five safest banks in the world.
Before the Project - Virtualization Technology
Zurich Cantonalbank had been using a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) solution with blade PCs and thin clients at the trader desks for years. But the solution was approaching End-of-Life, and the thin clients no longer fully met trader requirements going forward. So, ZKB changed their strategy and chose high-performance workstations instead.
Traders work with multiple programs and platforms, such as; information data systems like Bloomberg, Thom- son Reuters EIKON & FXT; electronic trading systems like Front Arena, personal systems like the office suite, and more. Each program requires a sizable amount of computing power, measured in processor performance and working memory. But, installing all these programs on a single PC reduces its performance as “hungry” trader applications steal RAM and processing speed from each other. Therefore, many traders need multiple PCs to balance computing power across workstations.
Challenges from the perspective of IT and traders
According the Matthias Müller, Senior ICT System Engineer at ZKB: “In the past, we had massive problems with windows updates in combination with our virtual environment. ”There are two big updates per year for new windows software cycles, monthly windows security updates, VDI updates (Citrix, VMware) and virus scanner updates. “Deploying updates in the virtualized environment demanded more and more testing in the live environment, consuming considerable time and IT resources. In the WEYTEC environment, our solution is deployed on standard hardware and software versions. There are fewer dependencies on software products and there are no more test runs.”
Supporting standard PCs and a high-performance switching matrix is easier than supporting a virtual environment. According to the IT staff, when there were problems with the overall solution in the virtualized environment, it was sometimes difficult to identify the exact cause and the responsible vendor. Responsibilities are clear with the WEYTEC solution. High performance workstations with hot standby PCs are very reliable. And WEYTEC maintenance services provide onsite hardware and software support.