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OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s largest credit union says a three-year slimming down of a key piece of its technology infrastructure is paying off in both dollars and sense.Tinker Federal Credit Union (www.tinkerfcu.org) recently went live with a virtualized storage area network (SAN) that is the first of its kind supporting the Symitar Episys core processing platform.“Operating in a virtualized environment has given us greater visibility, control and automation of workloads across our heterogeneous environment. This has been instrumental in helping us save nearly $225,000 a year, extend branch hours by five hours and improve energy efficiency,” said Steve Mooney, vice president of information systems operations at the $1.7 billion institution.This particular SAN allows Tinker FCU to run in a virtualized dual processor system, with a primary processor at its operations center and a backup center located miles away, connected by a four-gigabyte fiber channel.Reduced processing and backup times are one result, while new systems can be created and data storage occurs separate from the core processor and tape storage can be a thing of the past.The new architecture already has cut the number of servers in use from 160 to 40, a number expected to be halved yet again to 20, Mooney said.“We don’t have to keep growing data centers because we store information now on disk rather than on tape,” he said.“This type of system is the future of technology,” he said, “but we chose to do it now because it makes good business sense. It allows us to do more with less.”Mooney said overnight transaction processing has improved by up to 45% and that backup processing performance has improved by 55%.“The new system is also better, faster and we no longer have disruptions in serving our members caused by a breakdown in the system,” he said.The new system is also a fit for today’s economic environment, said John San Filippo, Symitar marketing manager.“By employing virtualization on the Episys system, our clients will be able to make significant increases in utilization of input/output and capacity, while drastically reducing the need for power, space, cooling and administrative overhead,” San Filippo said.“The result is a dynamic core processing system platform that can be grown on demand and in real time. All is this is achieved with little additional cost compared to purchasing, installing and maintaining numerous independent, monolithic servers,” he said. “Especially today, this is significant.”Tinker FCU’s senior technology chief, meanwhile, said he sees the benefits of the conversion to the new SAN extending across the years at his 194,000-member credit union, and across the industry as Symitar markets the new system to its client base.“Everyone benefits,” said Grant Woldum, executive vice president and chief information officer. “We’re serving our members more efficiently than ever before while reducing overall operating costs and the new infrastructure is expandable and will serve us well for years to come.”Symitar’s San Filippo added, “Tinker FCU is exactly the kind of client you want helping with a big project like this.”“Through their diligence and dedication, they not only had a huge impact on their own infra-structure, the many Symitar clients that will deploy Episys virtualization in the months ahead also will realize the benefits ofTinker’s hard work.”“And that’s really what the credit union movement is all about isn’t it?”–[email protected]

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