Enterprise software giant Oracle’s latest Grid Index Report shows that financial services, on par with the industrial sector, are the third highest early adopters of grid technology, next to utilities and telecoms. And a few big wins by grid computing companies in this sector indicates that grid endorsement is increasing.
French bank BNP Paribas has shown a strong commitment to the deployment of grid architectures with a brace of contracts in different business areas going to different suppliers.
BNP Paribas Arbitrage has chosen the Symphony grid computing software from Platform Computing, a Canadian distributed and grid computing software firm, for its Equity and Derivatives division, while last month it picked DataSynapse’s GridServer software for its international structured credit group.
In the arbitrage group, BNP is deploying Symphony to re-use the unutilised capacity of 2,000 desktop systems, which will allow the company to save money by reducing investment in new hardware while at the same time achieving a higher level of return on investment from existing equipment.
BNP chose to adopt the grid computing model as integral to its business growth and IT strategy after it found that only 10 per cent of its desktop capacity was being used. As a provider of equities and derivatives products, BNP delivers risk, pricing and value at risk calculations to the market using a huge amount of processing power; it was finding that market demand for these calculations were growing by 10 to 15 per cent per month.
Bernard Gavgani, chief operating officer at BNP, said: “Working with Platform to adopt an enterprise grid computing model is fundamental to our growth strategy for the future. Already with Platform we will be able to maximise the return from our existing IT investments, reducing further spending while simplifying the management of our infrastructure and systems. With established leadership in the financial services market, Platform’s expertise has been vital to ensure that we are taking the right steps to move our IT strategy to a distributed computing model.”
In the international structured credit group, the DataSynapse system has been deployed at the bank’s London operations and will be rolled out to additional sites in New York and Tokyo, as well as across multiple business lines including the credit and interest rate derivatives group.
In London, BNP deployed GridServer across HP blades in the bank’s structured credit group to improve performance of its collateralised debt obligations business. By sharing IT resources, BNP will also increase utilisation of existing hardware and reduce capital spending requirements.
“DataSynapse has increased the performance and resilience of our trading applications, enabling us to trade more complex exotics at larger volumes, while speeding overnight batches,” said Dipak Shah, head of structured credit IT at BNP. “The grid allows us to maximise computing processing resources without major investments in new hardware or expansion of our existing data centres. We look forward to working with DataSynapse in the deployment of its grid solution across our global business operations.”
Recently Oracle announced that Markit Group, an asset valuation data and services firm, has selected an Oracle grid computing infrastructure to manage over a million and a half market price checks daily, 6,000 online customers and a 50 per cent annual growth of information.
To support Markit’s recent acquisitions of Loanx, Totem and DaDD and recent business growth, the company took the decision to deploy an Oracle Database 10g and Real Application Clusters (RAC) on a Linux advanced server.
Mike Bedford, chief technology officer at Markit, said, “Database scalability and reliability were imperative to meet the demands of our growing customer base of over 6000 users. We collect over a million and a half prices daily, complete over ten million transactions in the space of four hours and ensure compliance with our two-second rule for web site traffic. Since the deployment of Oracle Database 10g in March 2005, our data processing is up to four and ten times faster, satisfying report demands has improved by 75 per cent.”
Markit originally evaluated the Oracle, Sybase, IBM and Microsoft databases and chose Oracle for its scalability, powerful development environment and open standards. Markit evaluated Oracle 10g RAC on a Linux platform in the scale lab. The result was performance improvements of between four and ten times compared with the original Sun Solaris combination.