A PERPETUAL EDGE ON INNOVATION

How CSI is enabling a major independent software vendor (ISV) of financial applications to efficiently test new functionality by setting up cloud environments as and when required.

Our Client: wants to test new functionality for customers who operate in a variety of environments and may have limited on-premise capacity. These workloads must be deployed in an efficient and seamless way via automation.

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Context

This ISV develops software for the financial services market: wealth and investment management. While the software is primarily written for an IBM Power Systems / IBM i environment – the fintech solutions also require several closely coupled Wintel and Linux servers.

Our client is constantly updating its software to be compliant with changes in the regulatory framework of the financial services sector.

Goal

To support customers by quickly and efficiently spinning up and taking down test environments in the cloud.

This was irrespective of the customers’ current environment or location.

Challenge

Testing new releases of software demands a duplicate environment that performs the same way as the production platform. This is a challenge for many of the ISV’s customers that run their fintech software on fixed-capacity hosted or on-premise platforms where making temporary capacity available is not easy or cheap. This becomes an even more severe problem when new releases and patches are frequent.

Development teams need a cost-effective way to set-up and shut down instances of IBM i, Wintel and Linux environments to run test scripts. By provisioning these environments only when necessary significantly reduces cost.

IN THE PAST, TESTING TEAMS WERE VERY RARELY SUPPLIED WITH AN ENVIRONMENT THAT MATCHES THE PRODUCTION SYSTEM. AS A RESULT TESTING WASN’T ALWAYS ACCURATE. CLOUD TESTING AND CONTAINERISATION HELP US TO EASILY REPLICATE A CUSTOMER ENVIRONMENT, FINDING DEFECTS, AND FIXING THEM EARLY IN THE CYCLE.

Solution

“Pay as you use” public clouds are the most effective platforms for setting up temporary computing environments – in particular, the IBM Cloud was needed to meet the requirement for IBM i in the test platform.

To further improve efficiency and accuracy of delivering the test systems, IT automation technology was added to the containerised solution. Images of individual customer production environments can be packaged to be rebuilt with little or no manual intervention.

Automated provision was achieved by using IBM Cloud Automation Manager (CAM) running in a Red Hat OpenShift cluster in the IBM Cloud. CAM integrates with existing testing processes and tools through automated workflow.

Outcomes

Testing in the IBM Cloud with Red Hat Openshift containers and orchestration is a significant improvement to the software development lifecycle.

Some of the main advantages are:

  • Lower costs – and better control of costs with “pay as you use”
  • Unlimited availability – testing can be carried out whenever and as often as required.
  • Agile working – with cloud-based test environments, the company can easily involve different members of DevOps
  • Easily customised – testing the use of different user devices supports mobile and remote working patterns.

39%

London dominated the 2018 European fintech venture capital funding with a 39% share

76.5k

The UK’s fintech sector employs over 75,000 people – a 61% increase since 2018

£24BN

Global investment in fintech start-ups reached a record £24bn in 2018 – and the average funding round doubled since 2017