An international organisation that provides offshore banking services to their personal, business, commercial, corporate and financial intermediary customers were facing a predicament in the way they deployed and managed the applications in their IBM WebSphere Application Server environment. Previously the organisation had relied upon Rational Automation Framework (RAF) to automate middleware installation, middleware management, middleware operations, and application deployment. However with support for RAF ceasing in September 2016, the bank needed to update their solution.
“… We have a three week SLA for a new manual build and would have normally taken around 5 days to complete. We are now looking at just two point five hours to complete the same task using the Talos tool and its associated toolkits.”
Tech Data’s Role
Tech Data was approached to help the bank move from RAF to Talos. Seen as a natural replacement for RAF, Talos has been developed by Tech Data to be an enterprise strength middleware configuration and automation tool. It integrates with a wide variety of cloud providers and orchestration engines and is intended to automate configuration changes and application deployments across both commercial and open source middleware platforms.
Following a series of initial meetings and a successful proof-of-concept, Tech Data worked with the bank on implementing Talos into their IBM WebSphere Application Server environment. This involved carefully understanding the needs of the business so that Tech Data could accurately help set up the automated builds.
Talos was configured as the main middleware automation software using its Installation Manager, IBM HTTP Server and WebSphere toolkit. Talos was then integrated with the Jenkins orchestration engine. The IBM WebSphere environment had been built on Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, both of which had been virtualised using VMware. The servers themselves were hosted in two off shore data centres.
Tech Data assisted the bank at every stage, providing both onsite and developer support. With the successful deployment of numerous core business applications it was clear Talos was a good fit for the bank.
Following successful implementation, the bank is able to build environments for IBM WebSphere, read existing IBM WebSphere Cell configurations and deploy applications in existing or new IBM WebSphere Cells from test to production environments. Importantly, using Talos has reduced the time it takes to build and deploy applications along with the mitigation of human errors. Prior to the installation of Talos, a new enterprise build and deployment took an average of 40 man hours. Since moving to Talos, the bank has brought this build and deployment time down to just two and a half hours, a time saving of 93.75%.
“Our Technical Operations business unit is responsible for the maintenance of various IBM WebSphere Application Server applications across the banks estate. One of our main responsibilities is to build and deploy IBM WebSphere Application Server environments and applications on top. With the recent end of life support being withdrawn for IBM RAF, we looked to Tech Data to utilise their new and emerging Talos tool as a suitable and more improved alternative. The ability of the Tech Data team to provide support and education around the tool and to provide additional flexibility to the product and its associated toolkits, has helped us meet project deadlines and in turn demonstrate the efficiency of the tool with the immense reduction in deployment and build time. We have a three week SLA for a new manual build and would have normally taken around 5 days to complete. We are now looking at just two point five hours to complete the same task using the Talos tool and its associated toolkits.”
The Customer Technical Lead, Digital Banking Support.