Case Study

The customer is a leading pan-African banking group with subsidiaries in twelve countries spread across four monetary zones and encompassing 143 agencies in total. They manage 390.000 clients including major international and national companies, SMEs and private individuals.

Sonema has worked with the customer for over ten years supplying a VSAT network to interconnect their main bank branches. By means of this privileged relationship, Sonema also hosts the customer’s virtual machines for their business applications.

The Challenge

In order to expand their service offer, the customer uses a digital banking platform based on a software solution which is of strategic importance for the group. To secure the correct functioning of this platform and to render it accessible to the various sites, the solution needs to be centralised in order to use the existing reliable VSAT links. The customer therefore approached Sonema to:

  • Host the operational virtual machines for their digital banking solution within a secure and resilient environment
  • Ensure business continuity for the e-banking service (BCP) and implement an efficient disaster recovery plan (DRP)
  • Take advantage of the expertise of Sonema’s teams with regards to IT security, virtual server hosting, and hybrid connectivity (satellite/terrestrial), all critical factors for the purposes of securing electronic money transfers.

Sonema's Solution

Sonema provided support to the customer during the feasibility study and test phases for hosting the virtual servers plus the implementation of the BCP/DRP for the e-banking software solution within our datacentres. The Tier III design Frejus datacentre, which is compliant with PCI DSS requirements, is secure on all levels:

  • Restricted access system plus permanent monitoring and supervision of the building
  • Category A fire prevention system
  • Network security provided via a high-speed dual redundant internet access and protected by Next Generation Firewalls combined with a Web Application Firewall to monitor incoming and outgoing application traffic
  • Redundant electrical system and N+3 air conditioning system
  • UPS systems with automatic failover

In order to ensure the proper functioning of the digital banking solution, a continuity plan for both data rooms in the Frejus datacentre plus a disaster recovery plan for Sonema’s second datacentre in Lognes were implemented.


Network Configuration


Within the context of this project, Sonema provided the customer with:

  • Three physical servers
  • Thirty virtual machines plus safeguard policies to secure data in the event of loss or corruption (users errors, VM patching, external attacks etc)
  • Equipment including firewalls, log file concentrators and HSM Payshield 9000 modules to safeguard electric money transfers. These modules are used in SSL/TLS tunnels and are software encrypted with a security componant (crytographic smart card for ATMs and POS- HSM server side)

The customer’s operational teams have access to all the data hosted in Sonema’s datacentres via a hybrid network connection using VSAT & terrestrial IP VPN links. This solution ensures reliable connectivity and guarantees access to the banking platform.


By hosting the solution within Sonema’s datacentres, the customer guarantees the availability of their ebanking suite for all their sites in addition to their customers. This was a very positive experience for the customer allowing them to:

  • Use IT facilities which are always available thanks to the BCP/DRP between the various facility locations
  • Enjoy an availability rate of 99.9% for the Internet connection and servers with associated SLAs
  • Host their ebanking service within a totally secure environment: access, fire prevention, energy, air conditioning and networks
  • Take advantage of a NOC which operates 24/7

As a host, operator and integrator of telecoms solutions for over 20 years, Sonema offers a range of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS hosting services. As a privileged partner to our customers, we are able to offer them reliable solutions based on high-quality satellite or terrestrial connections plus managed security solutions.

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Would you like to know more?

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