• United States
Senior Editor

Bandwidth in the bank

Aug 10, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsFinancial Services Industry

* Security Bank gets more out of its current bandwidth

Security Bank about a year ago realized it wouldn’t be a prudent move to incur the costs of upgrading its connections to two branch offices from 56K bit/sec to a T-1 – without first trying to get better application performance from its current links.

“We knew what we had was too slow, but we also weren’t prepared to pay for more bandwidth,” says Matt Hanson, IT manager at the Sioux Falls, S.D., Security Bank branch. “We have a slow link, but we wanted to see if we could do more with that for now.”

Hanson discussed his thoughts with a reseller and was later introduced to Expand Networks and its line of Accelerators. Soon after he was rolling out three accelerators to the Sioux Falls location, as well as the two branches. The change ensured two critical applications – Internet traffic and e-mail – managed to get the bandwidth they needed to cross the WAN during prime hours.

“The two core banking applications need to be used in real time at bank locations, so it was important to get the full speed from the line,” Hanson says.

Hanson says installation went quickly as he installed the boxes connected to the routers at each location and then connected to the network. And despite their position in the line of traffic, he says the boxes will shut down and permit traffic to continue if there is a problem. Hanson says the Expand devices haven’t had any failures in the past year.

While Hansen is currently pleased with the performance of the accelerators, he says he realizes it is a temporary solution, and if the bank wants to do more WAN-intensive IT projects, he will have to upgrade the lines.

“They are good at doing what they are supposed to do,” Hanson says. “But anything else we’d like to do, we will eventually need to upgrade to a T-1.”

Even today, the accelerators don’t address a particularly bandwidth-intensive application that can take more than an hour to upgrade. Hanson advises users to download the upgrades incrementally, at timed intervals, to avoid the lagging download for multiple users.

“We have applications that still congest the line pretty heavily, but the Expand boxes help us get the most from what we have available now,” Hanson says.