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Software defined environment enables Fincare Small Finance Bank to provide customer delight

The key benefits of going for a software defined environment is eliminating the need to go for hardware management at a unit level, says Prakash Sundaram S, Chief Strategy Officer, Fincare Small Finance Bank

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Fincare Small Finance Bank, a scheduled commercial bank is emerging as a new age bank with the launching of UPI on platform 2.0 with NPCI, providing banking on WhatsApp, offering a choice of 11 languages on mobile banking and seven language options at ATM, with options of cash denominations at ATMs, etc. The bank recently crossed seven thousand five crore of business with a customer count of over 21 lakh. The SFB wants to adopt a phygital model and the data centre will be the critical component to carry the growth forward.

The Fincare Small Finance Bank has adopted a combination of captive and a hybrid model.Specific applications and OSs are managed in house, whereas the hardware, equipment, network, etc., is managed by a data centre provider over a private cloud.

There are over 60 applications in the data centre and the total number of cores go in the upwards of 1200. The RAM and storage capacity is 3TB and 60 TB respectively.The data centre is software defined and managed on a Kubernetes framework. Yet there are certain elements which are running in a physical environment. “The prime benefits of going for a software defined environment is the elimination of the need to go for hardware management at a unit level. The hypervisor abstracts the machines, which enables them to run different OSs on the same machine. The containerisation takes the ease of management to the next level by running a container, which hosts different system softwares within which the application runs,” explains Prakash Sundaram S, Chief Strategy Officer, Fincare Small Finance Bank. The smallest unit of measurement becomes one container, which is easier to manage in the scenario of a swathe of applications being launched by the bank and that too in multiple UAT, development, production environments, which are mapped to respective applications. It helps in the performance of one application not affecting others because with containers, all applications operate in isolated and individual environments. Moreover, they can be easily scaled up and down based on the demand.

A hypervisor, containerised environment leaves with very little unutilised capacity. There is no scope for surplus power, computing and boxes. The go-to-market speed, opex and deployment cycles are completed in no time. It enables agile app development with continuous integration and testing of new features. Thus the banking services and products followed up with associated updates, patches and new features can be rolled in days and not weeks as was the case before. This is how customer delight is achieved in servicing the customers on the MFI loan application, mobile banking, digital one on one account that the bank operates. “These products are built on agile frameworks powered by the software defined data centre environment. No longer is there a need to size the hardware based on future demand. No matter the UPI transactions are in hundreds or thousands, the cloud element is flexible enough to manage them,” states Sundaram.

The bank is waiting for the data centre operators to be comfortable with an end-to-end software defined environment. “A part of the reason to not go for all software defined is cost, regulation and we are waiting for the data centre players to crack the process of seamlessly running an IT landscape that is completely software defined,” said Sundaram. The focus going forward will be to automate the data centre operations with AI and robotics.

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