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Success story

Banner Bank Improves Performance and Saves More Than $225K with Ivanti

Banner Bank, a Washington-chartered commercial bank, conducts business from 90 locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. As a community bank, it offers a wide variety of commercial banking services and financial products to individuals and to small and medium-sized businesses and their employees.

The Bank maintains a Citrix desktop environment that supports 150 applications and 1,000 employees. Many of the applications were resource intensive, causing the performance of Citrix virtual machines to degrade during spikes of activity. Performance issues affected not only employee productivity but customer service as well.

“We don’t just have teller and loan officer applications in our Citrix environment. We also have business systems for all of Banner Bank’s departments, as well as standard software platforms like Microsoft Office, Acrobat Reader and Internet Explorer,” explains Mike Currie, Vice President and IT Group Manager for Banner Bank. “And these apps were just running away with us, especially around month-end processing, which involves a lot of report generation and printing large files on top of our daily activities of opening new accounts and processing loans.”

Struggling to meet capacity demands 

Currie needed to increase capacity – ideally without investing in more hardware and software licenses. “On an optimal day, we could get six to nine people on a Citrix machine,” continues Currie. “We couldn’t get past the memory limit on our servers unless we upgraded. When we started adding 10, 11, 12 people, we hit 80 % resource utilization. One spike would start taking things down.”

The Bank needed more than 250 Citrix machines to keep pace with its workload, and there were constant complaints about applications locking up or not responding. “People used to log off one Citrix machine and onto another to try to boost performance,” Currie recalls. “We called them ‘server storms.’ The only thing we could do was spin up more machines, which consumed more and more blade server resources.”

Relief with DesktopNow Performance Manager 

Working with Structured Communications, an Ivanti Platinum Partner, Banner Bank evaluated a number of potential solutions, ultimately choosing Ivanti Performance Manager. “At the vendor expos, everyone pointed us to Ivanti,” says Currie. “Ivanti was the most secure solution, the most robust solution and the most popular solution from everyone I talked to. And it was easy to manage. You don’t need to be an expert at writing code.”

Starting with Performance Manager out-of-the-box, an engineer from Structured Communications installed and tested the solution. Then Currie put Performance Manager through its paces, throttling application CPU and RAM requirements and establishing resource thresholds. “We just started picking off our top offenders and giving them a ceiling,” observes Currie. “It paid for itself almost immediately.” 

Performance Manager delivers measurable results 

With Performance Manager, Banner Bank increased average users per Citrix machine to 14 – a gain of 50%. After a subsequent Citrix upgrade, Ivanti enabled the Bank to shrink its server count from 160 to 90. “It was a huge boost in scalability, performance and user density per machine, almost four to one,” cites Currie.

As user experience improved, the number of service desk calls decreased. “When we open up at 9 a.m., we have 500 tellers starting their day,” Currie notes. “And we’re not getting that morning burst of calls. Support tickets have gone down. We’re not getting as many complaints about performance. It’s been a huge turn around for us.” In fact, not only did Ivanti reduce the number of help desk calls, but it enabled support to cut the average-time-to-answer by 28% and average call duration by 22%.

Ivanti produced a ripple effect in Banner Bank’s IT environment. Increasing user density meant that fewer virtual machines were required, which led to reductions in physical servers, storage, power and rack space. “It was an opportunity to increase our density from the top down and save money going forward,” says Currie.

In addition, Ivanti enabled Banner Bank to: 

  • Avoid spending more than double its investment in Ivanti on new hardware and data center software licensing, while supporting employee growth of up to 20%. 
  • Accommodate growth of 50% without spending nearly $250K on software licenses and hardware. 

“Ivanti has met all our expectations and goals,” concludes Currie. “And they don’t just have one product that’s perfect for us. They’re all perfect for us. We’re hoping to do a POC of Application Manager this summer, and we’re very excited about that.” 


Ivanti Performance Manager

Boost the number of users on servers; control CPU-hogging apps and resource apps.