Postbank - Germany
In 2009, the Postbank initialised a new backbone project based on the MPLS (Multi-Protocol-Label-Switching) technology, and which aimed to evaluate and then implement new technologies. It replaced the ATM (Asynchronous-Transfer-Mode) technology, started in 1996.
The network based on MPLS technology met with the requirements of Postbank IT and improved the energy balance, which is an important criterion for Postbank, as an ISO 14 001 certified enterprise.
The implementation of the MPLS technology, beside a quick return on investment, resulted in reduced energy costs due to energy savings. Energy savings of over 59% were realised in the data centre following the replacement of network components. The introduction of logically separated networks made decentralised firewall-transitions redundant, thus with energy savings of over 61% for firewall servers. The energy savings associated with the distribution infrastructure were estimated around 52%.
On the overall, in respect to the improved security and increased availability, the project resulted in a significant marketing potential for the provided services. The main aspects were:
- New network equipment with a 10 year lifespan;
- Return on investment about 18 months;
- Switch replacement linked to server life cycle due to soft migration.
With the MPLS technology the physical network was divided into logical and independent subdivisions or clients. This virtualization satisfied increasing demands in terms of scalability and easy network management capability, as well as the need of protection for data connections from unauthorized access.
After the introduction of the MPLS backbone, network components in the data centre were removed and replaced gradually with new components. The subdivision of the new system allowed for a strong reduction of necessary hardware, thus energy consumption, at all sites: the virtualised network needed 188 network components, compared to about 400 routers and switches previously.
Postbank was able to pretest the new network configuration at Cisco laboratory in San Jose. Postbank voluntarily implemented an environmental management system certified to ISO 14001. Ecological standards in procurement are part of Postbank’s environmental management system.