Cloud Solution: Minimizing Downtime and Ensuring Compliance of Business-Critical Apps

Customer Overview

This case study involved one of the world’s largest financial trading software companies. As a leading provider of financial trading platforms, they implemented Cloudpaging™ technology because of how easily they could deploy software and upgrades to its customers, ensuring the most current versions, with no downtime. After all, time is money.

Money Is Lost When Software Is Down

A financial services enterprise provides trading platform software to over 60 major financial institutions, including the top 20 largest in the world. The employees of these companies depend on a proprietary trading software to be available during business hours to complete transactions. The provider of the trading platform updated the software for new trading rules, security fixes, and additional features, but suffered with implementing the updates across its customer base of financial institutions, as software downtime was a critical concern and could not be afforded. Financial institutions, and in some occasions the employee themselves, lose money if they are unable to perform if the software changes in an undesirable way. Consequently, local IT staff was reluctant to roll out the required updates.

The electronic trading platform provider was faced with some major challenges. With over 19 different versions of its trading software to support at any given time, the company was required to maintain a large support and development staff which was costly. Additionally, the IT departments of their financial institution customers were unable to upgrade all users’ systems to new versions of the software in a timely fashion due to potential downtime for failed installations. The critical nature of the software would make any downtime highly visible throughout the organization, yet management of the software installation and updates was not under the trading platform provider’s control. The financial institutions were also faced with strict compliance guidelines to ensure the platform was secure, always available, and running a verified version of the software.

The Challenge

The trading platform provider attempted to modify its software to incorporate other web-based or quick-start solutions, but these failed. The enterprise also attempted to use remoting (server-based computing) solutions without success or acceptance by the financial institutions. The provider of the electronic trading platform needed a solution that could manage group- and/or user-specific upgrades and rollbacks of software, require no downtime, and have high security that was accepted by the highly regulated finance industry. Furthermore, the platform needed to be modern, leveraging the benefits of the cloud such as cost and scalability, but not have to make tradeoffs in functionality or performance which is often the case when moving from native applications to cloud-based ones.

The Solution

The trading platform provider worked closely with Numecent to uncover a unique solution to their problems through Cloudpaging. Cloudpaging has an extensible digital rights management component that allows entitlement, provisioning, and upgrades to be centrally controlled and extended upon by using a set of Web API’s by system integrators. Cloudpaging enabled the enterprise to move the management of its trading platform software into its own control, eliminating the need for financial institutions’ local IT departments to deploy and manage the software.

The Outcome

This enterprise now packages each version of their trading platform into a Cloudpaged application called an appset. This appset is encrypted and includes tamper proof mechanisms to deter malware injection, copying of files, and other potential security threats. By utilizing Numecent’s cloud platform, Cloudpaging CDN, the enterprise is able to centrally manage the deployment and maintenance of its software with minimal reliance on the local IT teams of its financial service customers.

Each financial institution can select a version of the trading platform they would like to use. The trading platform provider is then able to assign the specific version to users of a financial institution, allowing different institutions to use different versions of the platform and even allowing different users within one institution access to different versions of the platform.

Maintenance windows are now a thing of the past. The Cloudpaging Player routinely checks for new versions of the trading software on a defined schedule, and in this case during non-trading times. The application is upgraded to the new version almost instantly if one is available. The enterprise receives feedback from the Player regarding the success or failure of the software upgrade. If the new version is not accepted by the trader or fails for any reason, the Player’s fail-safe mechanism will automatically (in the event of a failure) rollback the software to the previous version.

Conclusion

The electronic trading platform provider benefitted from the ease of deployment and upgrades. All users are guaranteed to have the version they need with no downtime. Now, the enterprise can ensure that all their customers are on current, up-to-date versions of its software and never needs to support more than three versions at any given time. (See Figure A.)

Figure A. Cloudpaging reduced the number of active software versions running at any given time from nineteen to three; the technology decreased the rollout process for updates from one year to one month.

About Cloudpaging

Cloudpaging uses standard HTTP/S protocol and AES-256 encryption that is both secure and allows financial institutions to monitor network traffic using existing tools. Cloudpaging also works with firewalls and HTTP proxies that are used by most large financial institutions to secure traffic inside their organizations.

About Numecent

Numecent is the pioneer of Cloudpaging, an award-winning cloud technology designed to maximize application compatibility and portability across modern desktop environments. Headquartered in Irvine, California – with two satellite locations in London and Tokyo – the company delivers applications to millions of users worldwide. With innovation at the core of its business, the company’s technology portfolio includes 58 issued patents (and counting).

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