Visa leans on virtualization to transform data centers

Visa looking to replicate data center success across globe

Visa is looking for a few good people to run its next-generation data centers.

In July, the electronic payments company posted a job listing on the Data Center Job Board for a senior facilities engineer in Virginia to ensure the smooth operation and launch of new state-of-the-art data centers.

Visa is looking to mimic the 2006 launch of its Operations Center Central (OCC) processing facility in Denver in other data centers around the globe. Visa is pushing the envelope of virtualization in that facility and two others in different locations.

"OCC is an ongoing project," says Andy Lewis, Visa's head of global engineering at the Denver OCC. "Just as we complete one aspect of it there's going to be something else that comes along that is a further enabler to reduce costs and increase reliability and availability, while managing risk at the same time. Is there ever an end state?"

Its business would say no. Visa's 1.6 billion global card-holders account for more than US$3 trillion in annual transaction volume, which is growing at a 20 percent per-year clip. VisaNet, the company's global network, serves as the backbone for roughly one-seventh of American consumer expenditure.

Each OCC data center will handle more than US$1 trillion in annual transaction volume and according to Visa was designed to meet the growing volume of electronic credit, debit and prepaid transactions for the foreseeable future. Network, server and storage virtualization are key to enabling that.

The OCCs run a single synchronized image of transaction processing around the globe. And each OCC runs multiple instances -- or virtual images -- of that single image within the data center. This gives Visa "redundancy within redundancy" for credit or debit authorization, and the ability to failover to another data center as well as internally within a data center: Visa engineers at an OCC can manage another data center thousands of miles away connected over the company's VisaNet global payments network.

Virtualization has also helped Visa manage costs. By allocating or replicating processing cycles logically, Visa's IT budget went up only 3 or 4 percent, and unit costs were cut by about 50 percent between 2000 and 2007, as transactions grew at that 20 percent annual clip, CIO Michael Dreyer said at Cisco conference last summer.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags visadata centres

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?