China Construction Bank (CCB) is one of the leading joint-stock commercial banks in China. In 2008, Asia Week listed CCB as one of Asia's most profitable banks, with the second-highest net profits among the top 300 Asian banks.
To reinforce its information system integration and data center construction, CCB has invested heavily in equipment and technical programs; customizing its data processing centers and systems at all levels promotes service management and development. As one of the largest banks in China, CCB now leads the application and practice of IT information construction.
The ServerFarm project was to build CCB an IT infrastructure that can support the bank’s transitioning to the new services, and integration with legacy systems. The infrastructure system is required to be future-oriented, service and collaboration enabled. It needs advanced network architecture, compact and tailored to the flexible deployment of diversified applications and security control accordingly. Successful completion of the ServerFarm project should cement CCB's competitiveness in the banking industry and enforce its reputation as a market leader.
H3C has been fully involved in the planning, construction and maintenance of the ServerFarm network since the project’s inception. Throughout three phases of construction and expansion, more than 50 S9500 Series modular core switches and thousands of servers have been deployed. The ServerFarm network now boasts the largest server partition of all China's financial enterprises.
Based on a hierarchical and modular design, the overall network is divided into core, aggregation and access layers, and into different areas based on service and application characteristics. The core layer is the high-speed switching kernel of the data center, which provides reliable and secure Layer 3 access services to each functional area. It combines high reliability and high bandwidth. The aggregation layer is the switching core of each functional area, and provides aggregation services for access devices in each area. As the point of external access for each area, the aggregation layer is responsible for access and security control. The access layer connects the hosts and servers in each area and features high-density access.
To enhance network reliability, multiple technologies including inter-board link aggregation, Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) and equal-cost routing have been deployed over the network to ensure dynamic link backup; this enables ServerFarm to satisfy carrier-class network reliability requirements. The separate routing and forwarding functions of H3C switches support nonstop forwarding (NSF) and greatly reduce pressure on the main control board engine. Therefore, during the switchover of the main control board engine, the network can ensure that switching and routing remain uninterrupted.
Additionally, patented H3C IRF™ technology helps the bank minimize the initial infrastructure investment and exponentially increases the value of subsequent investment and access capability. H3C S5600 Series Gigabit Ethernet switches utilize IRF technology, which enables interconnected switches to be managed as a single logical entity. Distributed architecture enhances performance and scalability based on all Layer 3 switch functions, and eliminates the complexity of managing multiple independent Layer 3 devices. Distributed link aggregation improves the availability and performance of the access network by enabling ports on switches with distributed architectures to be configured as an aggregated link to connect upstream devices in dual links with dual cores.
The resultant highly reliable and scalable H3C network provides solid performance and supports diversified network applications throughout ServerFarm, including IP telephony, real-time services (streaming video, teleconferencing), batch services and best-effort services. The platform now carries 40 service systems, including Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Call Center Integration (CCI). It also supports the optimization and expansion of the Network Attached Storage (NAS) network and out-of-band network management system (NMS) capacity. Furthermore, ServerFarm enables new service access from different areas in the same city.