IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe - July/August 2018 - 24
second. Each transaction involves
dozens of I/O transactions,
including checking the customer's
bank account balance and
validating the customer's bank
card. If a mainframe application
crashes in one of Rabobank's
data centers during account
processing, the bank must switch
to another data center without
losing a single transaction.
To keep up with growing
demand, the bank needed to
replace its entire payments
applications landscape. The
previous landscape was a
combination of systems that were
several decades old.
Rabobank envisioned how
its future landscape would look
and function. It wanted to be
able to maintain performance,
scalability, stability and data
consistency. After extensively
investigating the payment
platforms used by other
Rabobank concluded that the
IBM Z platform remained the
best choice for its transaction
As a result, the bank committed
to large-scale greenfield
applications built on IBM Z
with state-of-the-art technology.
The system would be web
service-based and secured by IBM
DataPower. Rabobank chose a
DevOps approach to foster agility,
stability and collaboration.
The bank saw a great
opportunity to make choices
about which workloads might
remain on or be migrated to
IBM Z. To remain on Z, workloads
had to meet four criteria: high
availability, high consistency,
high security and high scalability.
"If the answers to all four
questions are yes, then the
workload is allowed to run on Z,"
van Beek explains.
Even though the bank is
forging ahead with revamping
lead time for an
from a month to
an average of
24 // JULY/AUGUST 2018 ibmsystemsmag.com
systems, it relies on COBOL
for many applications. While
Rabobank uses Java and .Net,
it uses COBOL for its efficiency
in running transactions. It may
take more time to develop code in
COBOL. However, the bank views
it as a necessary investment to
get high-performance transaction
While the old payments
applications were run with
COBOL on HP NonStop and
IBM Z, Rabobank now has a
hybrid setup. The Current Account
System, which makes up the
core of payment processing,
runs on IBM Z. The bank uses
a collection of package-based
solutions and Java applications
to run the less time-critical and
more product-specific tasks.
For instance, an ACI Worldwide
solution is used for card
processing, and IBM Financial
Transaction Manager handles
internally initiated payment
Rabobank realized that it also
had the opportunity to change
its approach to development.
The need for agility and faster
development influenced the
bank's decision to use a DevOps
model. "If you're going to build
12 million lines of code, then
you need to accelerate your
development," notes van Beek.
The desire to keep up with
market demand for mobile and
website functionality was another
reason Rabobank chose DevOps.
"We can't allow ourselves to slow
down our product innovation
because our back end isn't able to
match the speed of our front end,"
he says. That goal encouraged
IT to be more agile and use
smaller-scale development releases.
DevOps is a model that
Rabobank has been implementing
for some time. Several years ago,
the bank created its "One Team"
initiative to bring development
and operations personnel together
under the same governance and
at the same location.
Next, the bank started to
apply DevOps processes and
development technology to
integrate and automate its work
processes. Rabobank's "Radical
Automation" initiative focuses
on the automation of its entire
development process and looks
at IT from a business viewpoint.