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Banco Santander Opts for Ctera

To combine file sync, collaboration and backup services with data security and control

  • Banking group and Fortune Global #67 company selects the CTERA Enterprise File Services Platform to enhance user productivity and IT control
  • Deployment provides secure enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) services and endpoint backup to 60,000 employees across Spain and Latin America
  • Santander uses CTERA’s automated service delivery tools and the ability to leverage Santander’s software-defined object storage to minimize user support and service infrastructure costs

Founded in 1857, the Santander Group (Banco Santander S.A.) is one of the largest banks in the world with 102 million customers, 14,500 branches, 190,000 employees and over 100 million customers.

Banco Santander
Santander’s corporate technology team is responsible for managing a technology infrastructure to support its various business units. This expansive infrastructure consists of five corporate data centers, 20,000 servers, 220,000 desktop computers, all of which contribute to 4.5 million gigabytes of data moving around the organization. The IT team also supports more than three billion transactions annually, and more than 10,000 per minute.

In 2011, as cloud-based file synchronization and sharing services had become popular among consumers, Santander identified the opportunity need to provide similar – but more secure – capabilities within the organization to improve organizational productivity.

We realized the need to provide our employees a solution that would meet their demands for simple, anytime/anywhere file access and collaboration,” said Pablo Ruiz Correa, head of open innovation, Santander. “But we also needed to meet our internal IT requirements for total data privacy and security.

That year, the Santander T&O team established a series of baseline solution requirements and launched a market survey across cloud storage vendors. The chosen EFSS solution would need to provide employees with fast and reliable file synchronization and sharing capabilities from any device and from any location (roaming or local to an office), while ensuring the highest possible security and data protection and availability to tens of thousands of employees.

Additional solution requirements included:

  • To meet security requirements, the solution had to be scalable and deployed inside Santander data centers, with high levels of data protection (user access control, encryption, multi-user encryption keys, data redundancy, file versioning, and more), as well as optimization for bandwidth and storage efficiency (deduplication, compression and incremental data transmission)
  • The solution should provide reduction in TCO vs. existing file services solutions
  • The chosen EFSS platform would need to be hardware-agnostic
  • The underlying storage infrastructure must be object-based
  • The solution must feature audit ability, with advanced security and user access controls
  • The total project also required to provide data protection services to thousands of company laptops and desktops

Overall, the solution needed to combine EFSS capabilities with endpoint and branch office backup tools that could be delivered from a single, unified platform that featured the ability to support 10,000s of users as they stored, synced and collaborated on files – all at a lower TCO than the previous file services solution.

Following an extensive security audit, CTERA’s EFSS was selected by Santander for a multi-national solution deployment. EFSS provides Santander a secure and storage-agnostic solution for file sync that was deployed as a private solution from Santander data centers using cost-effective object storage. This internally delivered service provides end-users the ability to synchronize files and folders across all devices and in remote offices and collaborate on demand with CTERA’s file sharing and team collaboration tools.

Santander has expanded its CTERA deployment across Latin America to 60,000 users across regional locations in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil and Chile and is one of the world’s largest EFSS deployments in the financial services industry.

To derive the greatest value from their vendor selection, Santander also deployed CTERA’s endpoint backup solution to provide de-duplicated file-level and disk-level data protection across workstations and laptops for the same 60,000 users.

With EFSS, Santander has found a secure, private solution that provided the right mix of user service choice with IT control. The CTERA platform integrates with Santander’s existing datacenter storage infrastructure, as well as its domain services to authenticate via AD servers and large AD forests. CTERA’s white-labeling capability also allowed Santander to deliver a privately-branded functional EFSS to reinforce the solution as the only IT-sanctioned file sharing and sync service end users were to use.

Because the CTERA agent deployed on user devices offers backup capabilities in addition to file sync functions, Santander could enable endpoint data protection for employee workstations and laptops. All files and backup data are compressed and de-duplicated at the source for WAN and storage optimization and then securely encrypted before being synced to Santander’s software-defined storage environment. Not only does source-based de-duplication increase network efficiency and user performance, it also minimizes infrastructure sprawl at the datacenter compared to deploying separate point solutions, as no incremental data is created.

With tens of thousands of employees to support, in some of the farthest parts in the world, Santander needed a solution that allowed us to scale file services to any size deployment while enabling a completely private and secure IT service,” Ruiz Correa said. “The CTERA platform enabled our team to transform into an internal cloud file services provider and combine enterprise-grade management tools with a consumer-grade user experience that makes our end users more productive and happy.

With a central, cloud-based file services platform – Santander has transformed into a more agile and lean IT-as-a-service delivery organization that has lowered infrastructure and service delivery costs while also enhancing insight into user file access to provide unprecedented levels of control across a large organization. Going forward, Santander intends to continue its scale-out of their CTERA environment to extend the benefits of the CTERA platform to the broader global banking group.

CTERA has allowed us to transform how users sync, collaborate on and protect their files without requiring any of the security compromises that are common to public cloud SaaS offerings,” Correa said. “Santander is now not only more productive and agile, but we’ve managed to increase our data security, control and cost savings in our journey to the cloud.

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