- Deployed and operationalized Postgres Enterprise Manager with high availability and across site disaster recovery with the help of EDB Professional Services
- Reduced operational risk by adopting an always-on, highly available architecture, complete with robust disaster recovery
- Enabled team to proactively address database health issues with enhanced visibility
Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, providing personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment services to more than 12 million customers globally. BMO is driven by a single purpose: to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. That means helping customers achieve real financial progress, financing clients’ growth and innovation, investing in the future-readiness of their workforce and leading efforts for a thriving economy, a more sustainable future and an inclusive society.
A core pillar of this effort is the bank’s digital first strategy which focuses on building a digitally enabled, future-ready bank that drives progress for its customers, unlocks the power of its people, and delivers loyalty, growth and efficiency.
BMO’s digital first agenda drives all of its technology initiatives. In an effort to enhance the customer experience, increase speed to market and drive efficiency, BMO has sought to modernize their development platforms.
The whole organization rallying around a digital first mindset means that across the bank there are numerous teams simultaneously working on new initiatives. These could be new features, applications, internal analysis’, etc. – all which require agility, enterprise-class support and a cost-effective licensing structure.
The bank has increasingly standardized on Postgres as a preferred database because it provides their developers the flexibility, they need to accommodate a wide range of workloads and use cases. With the increased number of Postgres databases in production and in development, BMO turned to EDB to provide enterprise-level support and has developed a strong working relationship with the team over the years, particularly as it looked to add on enterprise features such as high availability and disaster recovery using EDB Failover Manager.
The jump in Postgres databases posed an additional challenge to DBA teams, who are responsible for the ongoing management and maintenance of databases for applications developed throughout the organization.
“We had more and more enterprise-level Postgres databases coming our way, and we needed to be able to build and maintain those databases in a way that didn’t drain our teams. It was a very manual process to check if something was wrong, how the performance was doing or if the database was properly managed”
Ping Yuan, Senior Manager, Technology Resiliency & Enterprise Operations, Corporate Commercial and Payments and Cloud Operations, BMO Financial Group
BMO’s ongoing relationship with EDB included a monthly call with an enterprise account executive to talk through their needs and identify ways to maximize their investment. BMO’s account manager suggested they engage with the EDB Professional Services team to get expert support thinking through potential solutions.
“The Customer Success team was incredible. They took the time to really understand what we were doing and where our limitations were. And with the help of Professional Services, we had three to four architectural solutions to consider and with their guidance, we were able to pick the one that best met our requirements and restrictions,” recalls Ping.
BMO was able to create a highly resilient, always-on system designed for high availability and structured to support disaster recovery across multiple sites by implementing EDB Failover Manager. An added benefit to that configuration is the new ability to perform rolling upgrades, patching the system without a system dump.
Most notably has been in the implementation of Postgres Enterprise Manager. The new visibility into the health of each database and the accompanying alerts has freed up a considerable amount of time. In a few short months since it was implemented, BMO has onboarded 22 non-production databases and 12 production databases. They now have observability across all Postgres databases.
One of the bank’s largest PostgreSQL databases runs Ansible, an automation tool that the bank uses throughout the organization. Ansible manages the patching of thousands of the bank’s servers, and also runs automation jobs throughout the enterprise. In many respects, it is the heartbeat of the bank’s IT infrastructure.
Ping and her team expect Postgres to be a part of the bank’s future for a long time to come. The adoption of Postgres Enterprise Manager has freed up their time, making them more efficient and the team agrees.
“The successful implementation of Postgres Enterprise Manager has been a true partnership between BMO and EDB. This implementation enables observability and improves the resiliency of the ever-growing Postgres environment at BMO. Ping was also able to collaborate with EDB to strengthen the BMO team's Postgres skills, helping us to quickly take advantage of open-source technologies.”
-Michael Wintle, VP and Head of Corporate, Commercial and Payments and Cloud Operations, BMO Financial Group
And for folks nervous about adopting Postgres, Ping has this advice: “Have the courage to try it. It’s an Open Source based product with a lot of functionality and it’s easy to use. Don’t assume that commercial products are best—take a chance, install it, test it, try it, and then let the data tell you whether the database can do the job you expect it to.”