First State Banks on Migration to Solaris

With its IBM mainframe system nearing capacity, a Mississippi community bank opts for Sun's SPARC platform-a move that officials estimate will save the bank $133,000 over five years.

First State Bank had reached a crossroads. For about 18 years, the community bank, based in Waynesboro, Miss., had run core banking applications on an IBM mainframe running the VSE operating system.

But about 18 months ago, it became evident that the 7.5-mips P390 system was reaching capacity—First State needed a new infrastructure.

"We were out of cycles, basically," said Don Story, executive vice president for operations at the bank. "It was maxed out."

Working with Kirchman Corp., developer of the core software solution Kirchman Bankway, First State had three options to consider: moving to another IBM mainframe system; moving to IBMs iSeries servers running the OS/400 operating system or transitioning to Sun Microsystems Inc.s SPARC/Solaris architecture.

First State chose Sun, a move that officials estimate will save the bank $133,000 over five years. First State is running its core Kirchman applications—which handle everything from account updates to general ledger accounting—on Suns Sun Fire V880 server using Solaris 8, as well as Suns StorEdge 3310 storage system.

Nine months later, the move is paying off, Story said. "It runs, it runs really well and it runs all night," he said.

The time it takes to run the nightly batch update was reduced from seven hours to 35 minutes, Story said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifSun recently announced that it will release the Solaris operating-system code as open source. Click here to read an analysis.

First State is a $292 million bank with 11 branches and 120 employees spread throughout southeastern Mississippi. A subsidiary of First Bank Corp., also based in Waynesboro, the bank has been a Kirchman customer since 1986, and that was key when deciding on a partner, according to Story, who has been with the bank since the early 1970s.

"Its our core software for the bank," Story said. "Its a total banking system. Kirchman is our core processor. We have a lot of confidence in them, and we felt they had our best interests."

Next Page: Kirchman says it keeps a strong relationship with its customers.