Case Study: Major Financial Institution

BlueCat helped a major financial institution upgrade from VitalQIP to a modern, fully supported DDI solution.

The Customer

BlueCat engaged one of the world’s leading financial institutions about its DNS needs. The company serves over 60 million customers through thousands of banking and investment centers and one of the largest ATM networks in the world. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories, and more than 35 countries.

The company’s network is large and complex, with active IP addresses in the millions across headquarters and field offices around the world.

The Challenge

For nearly twenty years, this financial institution operated a split DNS infrastructure. Internal DNS was handled through six disconnected deployments of QIP. Another DDI vendor was used for external DNS.

This balkanized approach had several drawbacks:

  • Lack of visibility: The company’s administrators were unable to measure the performance or assess usage of DNS resources across the enterprise. As a result, the duplicative effort and higher costs of running parallel systems went unchallenged for years.
  • Inefficiency: Without a “single pane of glass” to manage DNS, DHCP, and IPAM resources, the company’s administrators spent undue effort translating data and deployments from system to system.
  • Lost or inaccurate data: The gaps between DNS management systems allowed inaccurate data to creep in over time, resulting in lost data and connections.
  • No support for automation: The lack of an enterprise-wide approach to DNS management made the automation of standard processes such as adding host records or managing IP addresses impossible.

In 2018, Nokia ended active support for its QIP product. Following that announcement, the company attempted to upgrade its QIP instances to the latest active version. This involved a great deal of operational risk due to the size of the financial institution’s database and its multiple audit partitions.

During the upgrade process, it became clear that the stability of the company’s network was at risk from continued use of QIP. The network team rolled back to a previous version and began investigating options to unify their DNS infrastructure under a single management platform.

The Solution

As part of its vendor evaluation process, the company set up proofs of concept in its internal lab environment. During this period, the company’s IT administrators and procurement staff learned about the unique benefits of BlueCat:

Data Cleansing: IT personnel ran tests of a theoretical QIP migration through the DNS management solutions provided by BlueCat and several of its top competitors. Through BlueCat’s QIP migration process, BlueCat identified a large amount of inaccurate or lost data that other vendors failed to capture.

Automation: BlueCat also demonstrated its strong support for automation through the DNS Gateway solution. Using its open source workflows for common tasks, BlueCat showed the company’s administrators how they could save time and effort while delivering greater functionality to internal stakeholders.

High Availability: Given the importance of the company to the global economy, maintaining uptime remains a clear priority. During the evaluation process, BlueCat demonstrated its disaster recovery and high availability functionality in the context of a version upgrade. Given the operational risk associated with QIP upgrades, the ability to quickly and smoothly transition to a new system version with no downtime offered clear benefits.

Contract Flexibility: The company wanted a purchasing model based on what they actually used and consumed rather than a traditional perpetual license approach. Only BlueCat was able to offer a true subscription model with parameters designed with future growth in mind.

The company chose BlueCat because it delivered the right mix of operational functionality and proven expertise in QIP migrations, delivered through flexible contract terms. The network team chose to trust BlueCat with migration of its core infrastructure based on its strong references from other financial services customers and proven record of seamless migrations from QIP.

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