National Bank of Kuwait Redefines Storage Infrastructure with Dell EMC

Dell EMC has announced that the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has selected Dell EMC’s all-flash storage solutions to further strengthen their agility and highly available foundation to power “round the clock” applications and service delivery. NBK was amongst the early adopters in the Middle East to successfully deploy Information Life Cycle Management (ILM) as its strategy for proper data governance.

Nikolaos Sfikas, Group Head of IT at National Bank of Kuwait.
Nikolaos Sfikas, Group Head of IT at National Bank of Kuwait.

In line with this, NBK aims to facilitate smarter decision-making and enhance their commitment to service excellence in this hyper connected, digitized era. This deployment has reinforced NBK’s leading position on the map as a leader in all-flash storage technology for mission critical applications in the Middle East and Africa, asserting its pioneering position in the banking and finance industry.

NBK has selected Dell EMC VMAX3 All Flash Array (AFA) which features software-defined reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) technology to create the right IT environment to better support consistently increasing data streams and enable maximum application availability, while significantly reducing the response time.

With over 200 mission and business critical applications on the network, NBK will further reinforce these deployments with Dell EMC’s Non-Disruptive Migration (NDM) technology. NDM technology is specifically developed to ensure seamless data mobility between storage systems with zero impact on the hosted applications. Thus, making NBK the first organization in the Middle East to successfully perform a non-disruptive migration of critical applications to the new VMAX All Flash without any down time or services interruption.

Habib Mahakian, Vice President, Gulf at Dell EMC.
Habib Mahakian, Vice President, Gulf at Dell EMC.

Customer benefits:

  • Improved Performance: With Dell EMC’s VMAX3 All Flash Array storage solutions, NBK has created a highly resilient and performance driven environment which has significantly reduced application response time for internal users and customers by 50%. This allows NBK to meet the demands for higher data availability and ensures information readiness for faster and smarter decision making.
  • Storage Efficiency: VMAX has enabled NBK to decrease application and data storage utilization by 25% and improved the performance of operational data storage (ODS) by an average of 62%. This has resulted in enhancing the overall storage performance and facilitating immediate availability of storage resources for hosting additional applications and provisioning new service requirements.
  • Fueled Reliability: By leveraging Dell EMC’s Non-Disruptive Migration (NDM) technology and software-defined reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) technology, NBK has successfully facilitated 99.9999% of application and data availability, while ensuring Intelligent Data Mobility allowing seamless transfer of workloads between its storage systems.
  • Simplified Management: VMAX3 All Flash Array has helped NBK to simplify management of its storage environment by consolidating the high volume of application services into a particular storage system, resulting in a simpler infrastructure to support business operations.

Customer challenges:
Since its incorporation in 1952 as the first indigenous bank in the state of Kuwait, and the first shareholding company in the entire Gulf region, NBK has always succeeded in building an advanced banking institution. NBK offers a full spectrum of innovative and unrivalled financial and investment services to individuals, corporate and institutional clients, both for the local market in Kuwait, and globally. As the keystone of the country’s economy, the bank projects an ambitious roadmap as it continues to introduce a host of best-in-class products and services to enhance overall customer experience and become the premier bank in the Arab world.

Acknowledging the critical importance of the right storage infrastructure to manage and protect a wealth of over 200 organically grown mission critical data and applications, improve scalability and reliability to meet the needs of their rapidly expanding customer base, the bank aimed to establish a truly integrated infrastructure.

Deploying the powerful combination of Dell EMC’s VMAX3 All Flash Array storage solutions together with Non-Disruptive Migration technology has resulted in accelerated performance benefits, seamless data mobility between storage systems, enhanced replication control and simplified administration of the increasing data and applications.

Nikolaos Sfikas, Group Head of IT at National Bank of Kuwait, said, “As a leader in the global financial services industry and cornerstone of Kuwait’s economy, we at NBK constantly strive to create a leading, service oriented architecture for our customers in Kuwait and across the world. Data and application availability remain at the very core of everything we do as customers continue demand seamless access to financial products and services anytime, anywhere. We’re pleased to have selected Dell EMC as our trusted partner and proud to showcase an advanced, resilient environment that is designed to provision the efficiency, agility and performance required to power our business operations and growth strategy. Dell EMC’s VMAX3 All Flash Array (AFA) has resulted in significantly improved performance of both mission critical applications and storage systems. Most importantly, the new environment brings tighter control and integration, creating a powerful and safe environment for both NBK employees and customers.”

With VMAX3 all flash storage, engineered for highest industry possible performance, in addition to its proven 6×9’s reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features, NBK successfully reduced the application response time from 40 millisecond to 20 millisecond. This also resulted in achieving increased levels of business agility and storage optimization. Dell EMC’s trusted VMAX storage has enabled NBK to reduce application and data storage utilization by 25 percent.

In addition, VMAX3 helped NBK to consolidate its mission and business critical application services and data into a particular storage system. This resulted in simplifying the management of higher workloads allowing NBK to plan new services and reduce time-to-service, while optimizing performance at the lowest cost across all applications and driving both workflow efficiency and productivity.

This deployment provides the scale, management simplicity and efficiency that NBK needs to cope with enormous amounts of data and applications. Together with Dell EMC, NBK has powered a performance backed infrastructure to guarantee customer uninterrupted and trusted access to globally recognized products and services while ensuring their data and financials remain protected.



Habib Mahakian, Vice President, Gulf at Dell EMC, said, “NBK continues to revolutionize standards across the financial services sector and with a remarkable growth trajectory, the institution has worked to create a transformation driven environment to offer customers the very best in financial products and services. We are pleased to be the trusted partner of choice for NBK in their endeavor to lead their position as among the world’s highest rated and premier banks and look forward to expanding this alliance to bring innovation and agility at the heart of financial services in Kuwait and across the world.”