Finance and Insurance

Implementation of Active Directory

The rapid growth pace of AK BARS Bank listed among Russia’s largest financial institutions and
the existing limited capacity of Windows NT 4-based domain led to the need to use more flexible
management solutions dealing with their network’s resources and users.
Building the unified IT infrastructure was considered as one of the milestones in the
development strategy of AK BARS Bank; it would serve as the basis for operational
management of the bank and its geographically distributed branches.
At the planning stage, AK BARS Bank’s IT infrastructure was implemented on Windows NT 4-
based domain.
Aware of the need to bring the IT infrastructure to a qualitatively new level of centralization and
management, AK BARS Bank’s Automation Department management decided to implement the
directory service.
The decision would enable the bank to enhance information security, to improve the throughput
and effectiveness of IT infrastructure, and to formalize clearly the procedures of managing
logical and physical IT infrastructure.
AK BARS Bank’s Automation Department management chose ICL, a company with whom the
bank had already experienced successful practices, as a contractor for implementing project on
improving the existing IT infrastructure.

Tasks

  1. Increase server control and network administration availability
  2. Decrease TCO of IT infrastructure
  3. Enhance IT infrastructure security

Solution

The whole project was divided into several stages:
  • Project development to implement Active Directory in AK BARS Bank’s head office.
The project for AK BARS Bank’s geographically distributed IT infrastructure as a whole
was designed by ICL with direct participation of the bank’s specialists at the first stage.
The principal ‘bank framework’ was taken as a basis for new directory service
generation, where most of users and resources were supposed to be located, both of the
head office and the bank’s branches.
  • Active Directory service implementation in AK BARS Bank’s head office.
The test lab was set up using the bank’s hardware facilities at the next stage; it was
withdrawn from IT infrastructure and presented its miniature replica. The preliminary
tests were carried out by ICL specialists, which served as the project’s initial check.
After successful lab tests ICL specialists commenced to deploy AK BARS bank’s head
office domain. No changes were made in the existing IT infrastructure at that stage and
all bank operations remained unchangeable.
The head office domain users and computers migrated into new domain Windows Server
2003 using resources located in the old domain Windows NT 4.
  • AK BARS bank’s head office resources transition into new domain.
Now this stage is being implemented; it should be done smoothly and approved by AK
BARS bank’s employees to minimize the impact on the bank’s business processes.

Result

The implementation of Active Directory service provided AK BARS bank with the following
benefits:
for IT specialists
  • IT infrastructure operability enhancement that reduces dramatically failure
risks and idle mode for data and apps in continuous business environment;
  • IT infrastructure general security enhancement provides both physical and
logical data integrity;
  • Handy administration and resource management. Management delegation is
possible on any level; with the help of group policies the administration can
be easily centralized;
  • Security enhancement in network environment, single sign-on technology
support.
For the Bank
  • Enhancement of bank reliability and its rating among financial sector
enterprises.

Review

An appropriately designed logical structure of Active Directory service contributes to effective
employment of such means as group policies — the powerful tool for infrastructure management
based on Windows Server 2003, users, workstations and servers administration; it gives
possibility for administrators to organize network nodes into hierarchy structure.
This is especially important for Automation Management Department staff who face these issues
every day.

Maksim Dubkov
Acting Director, Technology and Accounting Department, AK BARS Bank

Provided services

Information security monitoring and management

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