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Société Générale

Ensuring Business Continuity and Efficiency with Proven DDI, APIs and Automation

Project Objectives

Prevent loss of service caused by home-grown DNS and IPAM solutions
Enhance network automation by reducing API latency
Meet ever-evolving security compliance criteria
Handle scalability challenges brought from digital transformation
Boost delivery capability to match DevOps approach

Key Benefits

Significant operational time savings
Guaranteed service uptime as misconfigurations eliminated
Time-to-market reduced with IaC & automation
Rapid security compliance certification
Improved resiliency of business apps

Societe Generale is one of the principal European fnancial services groups. It is a diversifed and integrated bank founded on three complementary core businesses:
1. French Retail Banking
2. International Retail Banking & Financial Services (banking, insurance, operational vehicle leasing and feet management, vendor equipment fnance…)
3. Global Banking & Investor Solutions.
Societe Generale is present in 66 countries, with 131 000 members of staf serving 26 million individual clients, businesses and institutional investors. Being committed to giving customers the means to build their future, Societe Generale ofers technological services and solutions with a spirit of constant innovation.

Implementing the well-proven SOLIDserver DDI solution has simplified DNS management and guaranteed high availability of DNS services to ensure business continuity.
Olivier Laigle – Deputy Head, Server Operating Systems

Situation and Challenges Being Faced

The Servers Operating System team manages 70K servers (Windows servers, Linux and IBM AIX) in various forms: physical, virtual and private cloud / public cloud. The DDI (DNSDHCP-IPAM) services also fall under this team. For DNS and IPAM, home-made tools were being used for DNS management and for Subnet referential. For delivering DHCP services, ISC DHCP was used.

The in-house development was proving difcult to maintain: to guarantee performance, production stability, and feature evolution such as security enhancements. Complexity was also being caused by having several DDI infrastructure layers rather than as a whole. And with activity and real-time interactions increasing due to digital transformation, there was a need to handle scalability while boosting delivery capability to cope with the DevOps approach. Lastly, new regulatory compliance requirements concerning critical banking infrastructure (for robustness, resiliency…) were increasing pressure on the team.

Main Impacts of the Challenges

The consequences of having home-made tools for DNS and IPAM included the following:

Low productivity and application resiliency
• Lengthy time for registering high volume of DNS records (deployment of new applications, etc…)
• Could take hours to switch DNS records, thus increasing the MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) and degrading the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of applications Service Downtime
• Loss of DNS services (critical for the banking service, has financial impacts) of up to 1 hour caused by human errors or bugs on the home-made tool Slow TTM / Increasing workload due to lack of automation
• Despite the API approach already set, it was hard to quickly develop new features. Time-To-Market (TTM) for delivering new features was long
• It was difcult to qualify the new releases in terms of impact, lack of non-regression tests
• DNS experts had to continuously develop their skills, impacting strategic workforce planning Expansion Difculty
• Handling new requests was not possible (e.g. DNS wildcards)

Impacts on the business caused by outages was the starting point of the DDI revamping project. A second driver was the refresh of Societe Generale’s private cloud infrastructure and associated services, developed with an API approach to enable moving towards IaC and CI/CD for application development. After studying, Societe Generale decided to incorporate a DDI solution from a true specialist vendor.

Solution Implemented

As part of their DNS transformation project, Société Générale created an abstraction layer to allow, for instance, the apps team to create their own accounts and manage their own DNS records.

Then, an RFP was created to evaluate the main DDI vendors. After product investigation and tests, EfcientIP SOLIDserver DDI was selected as it met Société Générale’s fnancial and technical requirements.

With SOLIDserver DDI, critical Societe Generale apps can now be switched in 10 minutes with API and script, instead of 2 hours with a manual GUI.
Olivier Laigle – Deputy Head, Server Operating Systems

Main Results

Société Générale’s new DDI infrastructure is now ready for the incoming challenge introduced by the cloud approach and cybersecurity aspects.

They now have just one unique entry point for DNS provisioning and the clustering capability ofered by SOLIDserver has led to a reduction in the number of DNS servers, which are in addition more robust. The consequent time savings brought for expert users is estimated to be between 30% and 40%.

This is on top of the time saved by the reduced number of tickets. The solution has allowed Société Générale to do things which were not possible before, such as transparent maintenance. Also, interfacing with all the SG Cloud platform APIs is now a possibility, enabling “self-service” DNS provisioning and a CI/CD approach.

Conclusions / Future Plans

As Société Générale has a multi-Cloud strategy they will study to scope the EfcientIP solution with this approach.

With regards to security, Société Générale will reinforce security use cases by increasing the security monitoring surface for the Société Générale SOC.

As the EfcientIP DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM) solution is now confrmed as a global Société Générale standard, the goal is to extend this standard to other Société Générale entities. Sharing of expertise and global support will help guarantee operational excellence.

Key Resources

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Super-Pharm: Improving Revenue Protection by Replacing Microsoft DHCP With SOLIDserver
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University of Grenoble Alpes: Simplifying the IT merger of its entities with DDI
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Société Générale: Ensuring Business Continuity and Efficiency with Proven DDI, APIs and Automation
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La Poste Case Study
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La Poste: Improving Governance, Security and Cost with Unified DDI Management
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Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council: Solving the Problems of Government Cuts
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Universidad del País Vasco: Optimizing Network Services Management
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STMicroelectronics – DDI Solutions For Enabling NetSecOps Collaboration
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STMicroelectronics – Centralization of DNS-DHCP Services Management
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Software AG: Transparent and Central User Management
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