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How SIOS Ensures High Availability For The Financial Services Industry 

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In this ongoing series about high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) for various industries, Greg Tucker, Senior Product (Windows) Support Engineer at SIOS Technology,  joins us to share his insights about how the company protects the financial industry from downtime and failover.

SIOS has a global presence in the financial industry with customers ranging from commercial banking, various brokerage firms, wealth management, CPA firms and so on. No other industry is more mission critical and sensitive to downtime and failure than the financial industry,  with customers relying on critical applications for their online banking systems, ATMs, and payment systems. “We provide failure or clustering software that will protect their critical applications and data from downtime and/or a catastrophic event,” says Tucker.

Tucker explains that in essence, the critical applications are deployed on a primary server, whether it be on-prem or in the cloud, as it is clustered with a secondary server or multiple servers. “In the event, the clustering software detects a failure, it will move all the resources over to the secondary node and restore services to the end users automatically; no data loss, no disruption,” he adds.

Check out the whole interview above to learn more.

Highlights of the discussion:

  • SIOS has a global presence in the financial industry with customers using SIOS products to eliminate a single point of failure in their cluster environment.
  • With a shift towards cloud, there is a business requirement (SLAs) to protect and make data highly available for Oracle, SAP, SQL, SAP MAxDB, file shares and generic (legacy) applications.
  • Scalability that comes with cloud can pose some challenges to high availability but SIOS clustering solution designed for cloud can swiftly handle those potential challenges.
  • Tucker addresses some common misconceptions about high availability especially in the financial service industry.
  • Importance of HA for financial institutions.

Solutions

Connect with Greg Tucker (LinkedIn)

 
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Here is the automated and unedited transcript of the recording. Please note that the transcript has not been edited or reviewed. 

Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host, Swapnil Bhartiya, and welcome to another episode of TFiR Insights. Today we have with us, Greg Tucker, SIOS Senior Product (Windows) Support Engineer at SIOS Technology. Greg, it’s great to have you on the show.

Greg Tucker: Hello.

Swapnil Bhartiya:

Today we are going to talk about high availability for the financial services industry. If I ask you, Greg, do you folks have any customers in the financial services industry?

Greg Tucker: Yes. At SIOS, we have a global presence in the industry with customers using our products to eliminate a single point of failure in their cluster environment. Our customers are in the arenas of commercial banking, various brokerage firms, wealth management, CPA firms, and the like. They all rely on critical applications for their online banking systems, ATMs, and payment systems. Thus, we provide failure or clustering software that will protect their critical applications and data from downtime and/or a catastrophic event.

Let me expound on that briefly. In essence, the critical applications are deployed on a primary server, whether it be on-prem or in the cloud, as it is clustered with a secondary server or multiple servers. In the event, the clustering software detects a failure, it will move all the resources over to the secondary node and restore services to the end users automatically; no data loss, no disruption.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Now, thanks for, of course, explaining that. Can you also talk about what kind of applications or use cases you have seen in the banking industry for high availability?

Greg Tucker: Companies want two things. They want to move their Windows server failure or clustering from on-prem to the cloud; or two, they need an easy way to create a cluster for applications in Linux. We see two common scenarios: one, customers with applications on Windows operating systems who are using Windows server failure or cluster on prem, and want to move to the cloud without any changes; and secondly, customers running applications on, let’s say, Red Hat, SUSE, Rahi, Linux, OS, and they are concerned about the complexity of configuring and managing and clustering environment, particularly in the cloud. Now with the shift from on prem to cloud, there is still a need, a business requirement, an SLA to be met and the like, to protect and make data highly available for your Oracle, SAP, SQL, MAxDB, file shares and generic applications. By the way, typically, generic applications consist of legacy applications.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Depending on who you talk to at times, people feel that scalability can be a big challenge for high available environments for some. Is that true?

Greg Tucker: Scaling applications and other protected resources can be complicated, but we can overcome this when planning with SIOS’ Azure clustering solutions. So yes, it’s very true that there’s a lot of complexity involved, all of it, which exceeds the basic elements of compute, storage, networking, and security. Just your basic pillars of your infrastructure. For every node that resides in your cluster, which is typically two or more or two and many, whether they are in the same availability zone or if they are geographically dispersed, the complexity will always reside in planning. Three things. Can your infrastructure scale to meet demand? Secondly, reliability; and last, flexibility. This is where a SIOS solution can provide high performance and configuration flexibility in your Window server failure clustering and Linux clustered environments. With a SIOS solution, you can create an enterprise class, highly-available cluster.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Of course, thanks for explaining the chemistry between scalability and the challenges for each. Now, what are the common misconceptions about high availability especially in the financial service industry?

Greg Tucker: That is true about the misconception that if your resources reside in the cloud, that you’re protected from an unlikely event. This is where clustering your applications and protecting them with a SIOS solution will create high availability. Financial institutions will use cloud technology for their test and dev environments. More often than not, applications are deployed and are running on mainframes which have been in usage for decades. Most large financial institutions have prem to prem, prem to hybrid, and/or an all in cloud infrastructure as they have the bandwidth to accommodate these configurations. But with so much on the line and so many stakeholders involved, chief technical officers, or chief information officers have a tendency to be somewhat conservative, just relying heavily on their mainframes. They have rarely committed to an all in cloud environment because of control, but they need high availability regardless.

Swapnil Bhartiya: When I listen to you and I look at all the challenges that they face, talk a bit about can SIOS protect their resources? If yes, how?

Greg Tucker: Yes. With a SIOS solution, we can provide the flexibility, reliability, and scalability to meet all of the financial services company’s needs.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Can you also talk about what is the importance now of why banks or the financial industry need high availability?

Greg Tucker: Banks have historically put applications on mainframes, but more and more are running important apps on servers and in the cloud where they need each.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Greg, thank you so much for taking time out today and talk about the importance of high availability for the financial service industry, and also share the insight that you have on how SIOS helps them protect their resources. I would love to have you back on the show to talk about another topic. Thank you.

Greg Tucker: Thank you for having me.

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