Operations of data center secure digital services
Swedbank is one of Sweden’s leading banks. The bank has 7.3 million private individuals as customers, and over 600,000 businesses and organizations as customers. Its home markets are Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Bank’s large enterprise unit also operates in the other Nordic countries. Swedbank offers a comprehensive range of financial services within the areas of lending, payments, savings, investments, and insurance, as well as financial advisory services, all anchored in the vision to enable people, businesses and communities to thrive and grow. Since 2014, Swedbank’s headquarters office has been located in the Stockholm urban area, in Sundbyberg.
Ensuring the availability of systems and digital services is business critical for Swedbank, as the vast majority of its operations are fully digitized. Due to this, the bank has a well-developed infrastructure with a number of data centers which manage its operations. In pace with as more and more data is being used, the Swedbank’s need for secure, reliable and available data centers is constantly increasing, this requirement is strategic and its needs are constantly being evaluated. In connection with Swedbank moving to its new headquarters in 2014, the need for a new data center for the bank arose.
The bank launched a project to consider the various options and alternatives that the market offered which would live up to Swedbank’s stringent requirements for
security, availability, geographic location, and operations. Another significant aspect was that the data center would need to be modern and up-to-date, and be flexible in order to be able to respond to future needs. In addition, it was clear to Swedbank that they themselves would not take on the responsibility for the possible construction of a data center.
”We had a clear objective: to work with a supplier who could take a comprehensive approach and be responsible for the construction, the ongoing maintenance and the operations, so that we could focus on business supporting IT services. Building and operating data centers is not a core business of the bank,” notes Patrik Landin, of Service Operations, Group IT at Swedbank.
After an extensive process, in which many different alternative options were evaluated, Swedbank decided to initiate a joint collaboration with Coromatic.
“There is no other party in the Nordic countries that has the same depth of expertise and practical experience when it comes to the design, construction and ongoing operation of data centers,” comments Patrik Landin.
Coromatic was commissioned to design and build a new data center, which is located in an existing building in the Stockholm area. The company also received a contract to manage the daily operations of the data center.
The agreement which was signed is for a term of 10 years, where Coromatic is responsible via a site management unit for the strategic aspects of the data center such as performance reporting, capacity management and budgeting, plus the management of all of the equipment throughout its lifetime.
Coromatic also responsible for incident management along with all operations and maintenance concerning the infrastructure of the data center, such as cooling, heating, physical security and backup electrical power.
The service, or Coromatic Operations as it is referred to, means that instead of a large initial investment and the costs this entails, Swedbank can free up capital and the cost of the operations is adjusted monthly at a fixed and predetermined charge. The parties have signed a Service Level Agreement (SLA) governing the availability of the data center’s critical functions.
Work on the design and construction of the new data center, and the establishment of processes and the forms of working together, commenced in 2016. The data center has been constructed based on Swedbank’s specifications and fulfills the requirements concerning security, availability and redundancy that apply to the international financial sector.
“The data center is something that interests both the bank’s senior management and other internal audiences, and we often receive visits. Plus the new data center that Coromatic has built is really something we are proud to showcase, and which in its design and construction gives a modern and stylish impression while fulfilling all of our requirements for security and reliability,” comments Patrik Landin.
Before the data center commenced operations, Swedbank and Coromatic jointly conducted extensive testing on its infrastructure, including batteries, backup power, cooling, security, fire protection, etc. And when the data center was put into operation, the bank conducted several tests where capacity and operation of various systems were moved back and forth between the new data center and the bank’s other digital bases. All tests were successful, and since 2017 the data center has been fully operational.
This data center plays a critical and integral part in ensuring that Swedbank’s business operations function without interruption. As the first major bank in the Nordic countries to outsource data center operations, Swedbank has laid the foundation for establishing a stable and secure infrastructure at a fixed and budgeted cost for a long period going forward.
“Coromatic has provided us with a data center that is built entirely according to our requirements and specifications, and their financing model – with a fixed cost for operations and maintenance at a predetermined price – allows us to easily budget for the costs over a period of 10 years. This establishes security and transparency for us, and additionally enables us to focus our resources on business-developing IT services,” concludes Patrik Landin.