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Barclays turns to Dell PowerEdge-C servers to deal with Pingit traffic

Bank leapt onto Dell's cloud servers in order to meet unanticipated demand for its mobile payments service

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Barclays has revealed that it is using Dell's PowerEdge C servers and computing platforms in order to cope with demand for its Pingit mobile payment service.

Barclays is a major global financial services provider, providing everything from personal banking to investment banking, and from credit cards to money management. The company has 140,000 employees worldwide and 170,000 clients in 51 countries.

Back in February, Barclays launched Pingit – a mobile payment service that effectively allows customers to text money to one another. The funds are credited to the recipient's bank account within five seconds.

The Barclays Mobile Banking smartphone app – which allows customers to check balances, transfer money, make payments and view statements – was also launched this year, off the back of Pingit.

According to Shaygan Kheradpir, COO at Barclays Bank, the company was caught off guard by the success of Pingit and Barclays Mobile Banking, and its data centres were unable to keep up with the level of traffic in terms of agility, cost and performance.

It therefore made a “hard right turn” onto Dell's horizontally-scaled PowerEdge-C servers, which run the OpenStack operating system and are designed to run in specialised cloud environments with software that can route around hardware failures and keep applications running.

Kheradpir said that Barclays also relies on Dell Compellent storage controllers, together with Force10 switches and 500TB of storage, in order to maintain control and keep Barclays safe from cyber threats. 

“In this newly transformed world, we absolutely need to eliminate all inefficiencies and barriers to work for our employees and colleagues. We have thousands of applications, like any other company that has been in existence for more than 10 years, and also include things BYOD,” said Kheradpir.

“We've freed up our employees in the technology department and in the operations department to go ahead and really innovate for clients and for customers.”

The news comes as Dell increases its commitment to OpenStack as its open source cloud platform of choice for public and private cloud. The company today released a technical preview of its private cloud, Dell Cloud Dedicated, which is designed to meet the strict security and regulatory requirements of the most sensitive data, such as healthcare information.

In a keynote session at the Dell World conference in Austin, Texas, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell said that enterprise solutions and services now represent one-third of the company’s revenue and half of its gross margin. Within that, cloud revenue for the third quarter of 2013 was up 30% year-on-year. 

“We provide the backbone for some of the largest service providers in the world, and we're more than happy to build out your own cloud environment for customers who want to do that themselves,” said Dell.

“We also have infrastructure and cloud services for customers that want us to architect, deploy and run it for them. We can stand up your private cloud, we can do it quickly and easily, and we can link it to the dell cloud as an extension of your own environment. In this way you enjoy the best of both worlds with a hybrid deployment – seamless, fully secure and fully compatible.”



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