HDFC Bank Goes for Huge Networking Drive

by Amit Tripathi    Jan 19, 2004

The Housing Development and Finance Corporation (HDFC) bank is planning a massive expansion of its network, by centralizing more than 120 of its branches.

Speaking to CXOtoday, S.R. Balasubramanian, VP-IT, HDFC Bank, said, “We have already floated a tender seeking quotations for branch cabling and networking infrastructure, which closed on 16 Jan 2004.’

According to Balasubramanian, the bank has decided on invest in ’big league’ brands for networking components, like Cisco switches for its larger branches. However, it is also keenly eyeing other vendors for networking smaller branches.

HDFC’s network operates on a ’hub and spokes’ principle. About 280 sites are already connected to the central server in Mumbai. Local branches are connected to the central server through regional hubs.

A 64 Kbps network with 2 Mbps lease lines, plus radio modems and VSAT’s with a two vendor ISDN back up, will augment the present expansion program, where the bandwidth will be through leased lines or radio modems.

The bank has a geographically diverse IT infrastructure, running on heterogeneous environments over multiple operating systems, namely Unix, NT and Novell. Oracle and SQL are used as databases, and the hardware consists of 500 Wintel servers, 40 RISC machines, and 6,500 desktops.

A few simultaneous IT initiatives are already in progress at the bank, including a disaster recovery expansion for its facility in Chennai, where an additional 3000 square feet of space is being added to the already existing 850 square feet area. The project is expected to be completed within four months.

Added Balasubramanian, “We plan to outsource the monitoring and support of our network. However, we will retain key areas of IT decision making to our internal management.”

Tags: HDFC bank