Optimizing IT Infrastructure and Enhancing Reliability: A Case Study of a Financial Institution in Azerbaijan

In order to thrive in today's rapidly evolving and competitive digital landscape, financial institutions require advanced IT infrastructure that ensures high application performance and availability, while also being efficiently managed at a lower cost.

To streamline operations and reduce expenses, a leading financial institution in Azerbaijan decided to build two data centers and consolidate their IT infrastructure. This case study explores the challenges faced by the institution and the solution implemented to overcome them.


The financial institution, comprising several independent companies and business units, sought to optimize operational expenses on IT infrastructure while improving the reliability of IT services. The existing fragmented IT infrastructure posed challenges in terms of maintenance, scalability, and resource allocation. The institution needed a solution that would consolidate their IT infrastructure, enhance reliability, and reduce costs.


After careful evaluation, the financial institution chose Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) as the data center network solution for this project. ACI's built-in multi-tenancy support perfectly matched the requirement of providing a common network infrastructure for multiple independent business units. The following design details were implemented to address the institution's challenges:

Multi-Site Solution:

Due to the distance between the two data centers and limitations in data center interconnectivity, a Multi-Site solution was chosen. This approach allowed for seamless communication and data replication between the two data centers, ensuring high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.

ACI External and WAN Connectivity:

To establish connectivity between the ACI infrastructure and the external network, Cisco Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) and Cisco ASR9900 routers were deployed. The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was selected as the routing protocol, ensuring efficient and secure communication.

VMM Integration:

To expedite the provisioning of virtual machines (VMs) on ESXi servers, Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) integration was implemented. This integration streamlined the process of deploying and managing VMs, enabling faster response times and improved resource utilization.

Cisco MSO to Cisco NDO Migration:

During the late phase of the project, the financial institution implemented a migration from Cisco Multi-Site Orchestrator (MSO) to Cisco Network Deployment Orchestrator (NDO). This migration allowed for centralized management and orchestration of the ACI infrastructure, simplifying operations and enhancing overall efficiency.


The financial institution successfully implemented the ACI-based solution, achieving the following results and benefits:

Cost Optimization:

Consolidating the IT infrastructure into two data centers allowed the institution to optimize operational expenses significantly. By eliminating redundant systems and streamlining resource allocation, the institution achieved cost savings in terms of maintenance, licensing, and energy consumption.

Enhanced Reliability:

The ACI solution provided a robust and reliable network infrastructure, ensuring high availability and disaster recovery capabilities. The Multi-Site architecture enabled seamless communication and data replication between the two data centers, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.

Improved Scalability:

The centralized management and orchestration capabilities of ACI allowed the institution to scale their IT infrastructure effortlessly. Adding new business units or expanding existing ones became a streamlined process, reducing deployment time and enhancing agility.

Simplified Operations:

The migration from Cisco MSO to Cisco NDO simplified the management and orchestration of the ACI infrastructure. Centralized control and automation capabilities reduced manual intervention, resulting in simplified operations, faster troubleshooting, and improved overall efficiency.

By leveraging the power of Cisco ACI, the financial institution in Azerbaijan successfully consolidated their IT infrastructure, optimized operational expenses, and improved the reliability of IT services. The implementation of a Multi-Site solution, ACI External and WAN connectivity, VMM integration, and Cisco MSO to Cisco NDO migration played crucial roles in achieving these outcomes. This case study demonstrates the importance of strategic IT infrastructure planning and the benefits of adopting innovative solutions to address complex challenges in the financial industry.

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