Diebold has taken the wraps off a prototype for a bank ATM that uses virtualisation technology.
Relying on remote servers instead of in-built computing resources reduces complexity while offering greater reliability and security. Diebold described the prototype as a "game changer" and part of its roadmap to make greater use of cloud-based technologies in cash machines and self-service kiosks.
"Virtualisation will fundamentally change the way Diebold – and its customers – deploy solutions to the marketplace," said Frank A Natoli Jr, vice president and chief technology officer at Diebold. "It enables unified management of a wide array of services and paves the way for orchestration of multiple channels."
He added: "This development is an important milestone on Diebold's roadmap to leveraging cloud computing technology in the retail financial space."
The virtualised ATM prototype was developed by Diebold in conjunction with VMware, which said that the kit illustrates that virtualisation has plenty of applications outside its traditional home in the datacentre. Diebold wants to recruit banks to set up sites for a virtual ATM proof-of-concept study.
Virtualisation removes the onboard computer from the ATM, tying each terminal single server running many "virtual" ATMs. This consolidation allows greater control and therefore better security, at least in theory. Far from offering a single point of failure, this approach would also allow faster failure recovery and more rapid software upgrades and services deployment, leading to an overall increase in ATM uptime, according to Diebold.
Diebold's demonstration terminal at VMworld 2011 also showcased biometrics for enhanced security and near field communications (NFC) technology. ®