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How banks and financial institutions can ‘get the edge’ with technology

For Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, the rise in digital banking allows banks and financial service institutions (FSIs) to rethink their infrastructure and ensure that they can provide frictionless transactions.

“To win on customer experience, banks must leverage powerful digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, among others,” said Jason Lim, country manager of Vertiv in the Philippines. “Putting many of these technologies to use in real-time, however, requires the processing of large amounts of data. Banks and FSIs need a robust IT infrastructure that can support their digital initiatives. A holistic approach to power, thermal management, and monitoring technologies are also essential.”

One way to ensure that banks and FSIs provide faster and better services is by deploying more IT infrastructure or IT network services closer to where their customers are. The traditional idea of data centers situated inside corporate offices or main headquarters is shifting toward a more scattered IT network infrastructure, deployed either in residential areas or where customers gather.

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These so-called “edge locations” allow businesses to harness technology efficiently by enabling the data to be processed closer to where they are generated and stored, leading to reduced latency and an overall smoother customer experience. This approach or strategy is also referred to as “edge computing.”

Micro data center

As banking and financial services increase their digital presence, the growth in edge applications leads to a different approach to protecting the IT infrastructure. For instance, traditional designs are now shifting to micro data centers, which are fully integrated and can be easily deployed virtually anywhere. These micro data centers provide compute, storage, and access to reduce latency, as well as support 5G and IoT applications.

For instance, Vertiv offers its integrated micro data center solutions, such as SmartCabinet, SmartRow Plus, and SmartAisle, which provide an all-in-one solution, combining power, cooling, monitoring, and racks, built for unique expectations and constraints. With their compact and flexible design, they are ideal for deployment at the edge of the network or network closets. Flexibility also enables customers to scale up or down, depending on their requirements.

Vertiv micro data centers also tightly couple both the IT and supporting infrastructure facilities into a self-contained prefabricated unit for edge computing applications.

Cyberattacks

Apart from optimizing edge locations, banks must also ensure that they secure their IT infrastructure against cyberattacks. As a sector that is prone to cyber threats, banks and financial institutions are often targeted by hackers and cybercriminals.

Vertiv noted that in some instances, cybersecurity issues happen due to inefficient management of the data center’s physical infrastructure. Today’s IT environments exist in a complex web of systems and locations that can be difficult to manage.

To help in tackling these challenges, Vertiv makes it easier to manage and monitor data centers and IT devices remotely, wherever they are, through its data center infrastructure monitoring (DCIM) solutions — these provide an additional layer of security for the IT hardware.

Vertiv’s Avocent Access and IT Management solutions can enable banks or FSIs to deploy IT devices, manage operations of dispersed IT locations without local staff, and provide both secure and non-secure working environments for their workforce.

Vertiv’s intelligent monitoring solutions, such as Liebert RDU501, Liebert RDU-M, and Trellis Smart Infrasight, also allow IT managers and personnel to monitor the status of their data center, as well as their multiple edge sites. These solutions help address simple issues before they become a problem, allowing FSIs to prevent business interruptions or online banking downtime.

Uninterrupted supply

On average, a bank has about 100-1,000 ATMs in their network — all of which need to be available 24/7. ATM outages can inconvenience a customer and are sometimes brought by a chain of failures from system providers.

Preventing ATM outages means having the right infrastructure in place to protect it from sudden breakdowns. Monitoring the ATM and its infrastructure may also be a challenge, which requires a remote monitoring solution.

To help ensure an uninterrupted power supply for ATMs, Vertiv offers Liebert GXT5, an online, double-conversion UPS solution, which provides premium power outage protection and continuous power conditioning in a compact and flexible deployment system. It is also a single-phase UPS, built on the reliable platform of Liebert GXT series, supporting critical systems all over the world.

With market-leading efficiency and unity power factor operation, the Liebert GXT5 also fills the critical application needs for both centralized and edge network applications. Scalable runtime options with matching external battery cabinets offer additional flexibility when extended uninterrupted power is required. A user-friendly LCD interface, as well as full network management capability, including configuration and remote updates, make this system easy to deploy and simple to maintain.

Vertiv Liebert ITA2, on the other hand, is a fully digital, highly reliable, double-conversion UPS solution that provides clean and consistent power. This highly efficient solution is ideal for various deployments, including IT racks, network closets, automation control systems, and precision instruments to small-sized control rooms, among other edge applications needed by banks and FSIs. With its cutting-edge design, Liebert ITA2 enables seamless integration into various ecosystems. It is also tailored for deployment in low carbon, compact footprint.

These two solutions are bundled with a network card, which enables data center managers to monitor, remotely, the power status of their ATMs onsite. With the use of these network cards and Vertiv’s Power Insight software, IT managers can consolidate their view of up to 100 distributed UPS units, providing simple notification of status and events in a single pane of glass view of the backup systems. In the event of a need to shut down the UPS, the software ensures a graceful shutdown routine so that no damage occurs to the data or systems.