Operational continuity guaranteed for the digital bank illimity Bank.

A Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plan for the cloud-native bank illimity.

Advantages gained

Limited initial investment and rapid implementation.

Business Continuity plan compliant with the constraints of the Bank of Italy.

No costly business interruption thanks to the significant reduction of RTO and RPO.

Backup environment protected according to Azure's predefined security criteria.

Context and needs

Illimity is the first Italian digital cloud-native bank. Founded in 2018, it has built its architecture on Microsoft Azure. Today, it provides credit to small and medium enterprises with high potential, acquires and manages Distressed Corporate Credit, and offers innovative digital direct banking services to retail and corporate clients.

Like all Italian banking entities, illimity must comply with the “Guidelines for Operational Continuity” outlined by the Bank of Italy, which require intermediaries to prepare emergency plans for information systems capable of ensuring, when necessary, the continuity of vital operations for the company and a return to normal operations within a reasonable time frame.

Being a bank that predominantly provides digital banking, illimity had additional project constraints to keep the business operational even during Disaster Recovery, including: the need to minimize (to less than 4 hours) the Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which is the time between the production of data and its securing; reduce the Recovery Time Objective (RTO), i.e., the time that can elapse between the stopping of a System and the recovery of its operability; and manage to execute the failback from the DR site to the primary site within 24 hours.

Solution and Technology

To identify an appropriate Disaster Recovery solution, SoftJam first conducted a Business Impact Analysis to assess the impact of potential disaster scenarios on business processes and to determine the RPO and RTO parameters. After studying the technical feasibility of possible protection options, SoftJam selected and implemented the Disaster Recovery solution that best met the client’s needs and the prerequisites of the Bank of Italy. This solution involves the presence of two “Regions” in Microsoft Azure – West Europe and North Europe – interconnected within Azure through the Global vNet Peering mechanism, thus avoiding data crossing the Internet except for application-related reasons.

The integration of the Business Continuity plan with the current Disaster Recovery ensures operational continuity even during the potential failure of one of the Azure Regions. In the event of a failure (planned or unplanned) of the Primary Region, all requests are redirected to the active systems in the other Region. To do this, in addition to the continuous replication of systems in both Regions, it is necessary to implement application awareness that allows services to be delivered indifferently from both Regions.