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November 24, 2009

Arab National Bank Deploys F5 Networks’ BIG-IP

To enhance its ability to respond to market challenges

By CBR Staff Writer

Arab National Bank (ANB) has integrated F5 Networks’ BIG-IP Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) into its core banking system, to improve customer service, transaction and investment efficiencies.

Recent turbulence affecting the global financial sector prompted ANB to overhaul its 15-year-old core banking system to enhance the bank’s ability to respond to market challenges. A key part of this project was to ensure that ANB’s infosys financial applications didn’t suffer from network performance problems.

F5 said that end-user experience can be enhanced by the bank’s deployment of a pair of BIG-IP local traffic manager devices at the web layer, facing customers, as well as a pair of BIG-IP 8400 units at the application layer, facing the core banking system. These devices have also allowed ANB to offload SSL traffic from its servers, resulting in a 20-30% reduction in load, which in turn has freed up the IT team to reallocate servers in its infrastructure.

Jamil Barakat, head of IT and telecommunications at ANB, said: Poor performance would be a nightmare for us. The emergence of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) has really changed the whole concept of what we thought of as load balancing. We opted for F5 specifically after a competitive evaluation, with parameters set around speed, security, and application control. F5 delivers on the ADC concept in full.

Paul Sherry, regional director of Middle East at F5, said: ANB also found that F5’s iRules scripting language had a number of benefits. They developed iRules to encrypt unencrypted traffic and vice versa, and also to change application content in real time. ANB estimated that the latter iRule alone— which took only 30 minutes to create, saved up to three months of application developer time.

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