Thursday May 16, 2013

Sterci processes financial messages 7x faster while lowering TCO

Headquartered in Geneva, Sterci Group is a market-leading financial messaging solutions company with subsidiary divisions in London, Brussels, Toronto, New York, Paris, Riyadh, Singapore and Zurich. Sterci’s products and services provide banks, corporations and financial institutions with integrated business solutions for transactional banking, multi-bank connectivity, full data integration, reconciliation, cash management, zero balancing and market data management.

Sterci partners with Oracle to deliver mission critical and best-in-class solutions their clients can depend upon. Many of their customers were running old financial messaging switches like IBM mainframes and HP’s Tandem type platforms that are very expensive to support. Sterci’s view was to help those organizations lower their total cost of ownership. Sterci wanted an application server environment that had transactional monitoring capabilities that were robust, high performing, easy to distribute, and widely supported in the market.

Oracle Tuxedo was an obvious fit. Tuxedo is widely distributed, widely used, mature, highly available and highly performing. With Oracle Tuxedo and Exalogic, Sterci went from processing half a million to 3.5 million financial messages per hour while lowering the total cost of ownership. Watch the video, Sterci Clients up to 7x Faster with Oracle Tuxedo, with Rob Kotlarz, Business Development Director, of Sterci to learn more.

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Thursday May 02, 2013

The Realities of Rehosting – Four Customer Stories, by Mark Rakhmilevich, Product Mgmt, Strategy Director Product Development

Mainframe customers have options.  Not that mainframe vendors, like IBM, would tell them.  In fact, IBM recently put together a presentation on “The Reality of Rehosting” and, as you can guess, they weren’t enthusiastic about the notion of moving applications from the mainframe to open systems.  On the other hand, some mainframe users who presented at a recent Oracle OpenWorld are way more enthusiastic about their options when leveraging Tuxedo to migrate applications off the mainframe.  These are their stories on the “realities of rehosting.” 

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

BBVA, a global bank with 100,000 MIPS of IBM mainframe capacity deployed across Europe and the Americas has began rehosting their core banking transactions and other mainframe applications to Oracle Tuxedo and Oracle Database.  With over 3000 MIPS already rehosted in 2012 and another 12,000 under way in 2013, the bank has crunched the numbers and estimated $1M/year savings for every 1000 MIPS of rehosted workloads.  They rely on robust Tuxedo and Oracle Database foundation, coupled with Tuxedo Mainframe Adaptors for integration with IBM CICS and IMS, and GoldenGate for database synchronization, to run a hybrid core banking infrastructure with full security and global transaction coordination across rehosted transactions and those that are still on the mainframe. 

Operating in many countries presents complex regulatory challenges for BBVA, including requirements for managing local customer data and transactions in-country. Using Tuxedo and Oracle Database, BBVA is able to deploy a small “bank-in-a-box” datacenter configuration in those countries that have this requirement. Speaking at Oracle Open World  2012 , Antonio Gelart, head of BBVA modernization program, stated that the bank’s goal is zero MIPS – no mainframes – and with the success of early rehosting projects they can see a clear path towards this goal.


Mazda, long known as an innovator in automobile industry, is right sizing its IT infrastructure to meet the challenges of the current economic disruptions. Shedding the legacy mainframe environment, Mazda has chosen to migrate its cost accounting system off the mainframe to a Linux environment powered by Tuxedo and Tuxedo’s Application Runtime (ART) for Batch. 

Accomplishing this migration in about one year, Mazda has revamped some of its application programs in Java and successfully married the traditional mainframe batch framework provided by Tuxedo ART with Java programs.  Describing this migration project at Oracle Open World 2012, Masuhiro Yoshioka, Mazda’s IT infrastructure manager, said  that they chose Oracle Tuxedo for its strong reliability and availability characteristics, which are critical for Mazda’s cost accounting system that feeds into quarterly and annual financial reporting. In addition to significant cost savings expected from decommissioning one of the two mainframes, Mazda has seen significant performance improvements from parallelizing the overnight batch processing across a distributed batch farm supported by Tuxedo’s distributed batch framework.  Once acquired, the taste for rehosting stays strong.  Mazda is now looking at rehosting an IBM IMS application from its last remaining mainframe to Tuxedo’s Application Runtime for IMS.

Caja de Valores (CdV)

CdV, an IT arm of Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, began its mainframe modernization quest in 2001 with a 3-yr project to re-write about 4M lines of COBOL code to Java.  Fast forward to 2007, and, in the words of Alejandro Wyss, the CdV CIO, no critical subsystem has been migrated, the budget for re-write was overrun by 3X, and re-write project has achieved less than 30% of the total scope, while COBOL code base grew to 6M LoC. 

A new approach was required, one that moved the application functionality to more flexible open systems infrastructure in a short timeframe and with low risk.  CdV determined that rehosting the applications to Oracle Tuxedo, where the application logic is preserved intact in COBOL and only technical APIs are adapted or emulated to run on a Linux or UNIX platform, was a more promising option.  Starting with the Stock Trading application as a pilot, the entire migration was accomplished in 20 months.  Deploying on Linux to achieve HW vendor independence, CdV was able to leverage Tuxedo’s built-in clustering capabilities to move to an application grid enabling Active/Active fault-tolerant services infrastructure, while increasing throughput by 200% at a fraction of a mainframe cost.  Leveraging Tuxedo’s standards-based integration options, CdV is able to reduce overall risk and cut time to market for new capabilities by 30%.   

A Top 5 Global Bank

It’s difficult to imagine a more critical banking system than a SWIFT Financial Messaging application.  Lifeblood of any major bank is its connectivity into the global financial fabric managed by SWIFT that interconnects over 8000 banks and many of their corporate customers. For a bank that’s in the top 5 of SWIFT messaging volumes, an aging SWIFT Financial Messaging solution is a serious risk. 

Setting criteria for a mainframe replacement solution that could consolidate disparate SWIFT messaging systems and perform at 10x current system’s throughput, the Bank embarked on a series of performance benchmarks.  The clear winner – a Tuxedo-based GT Exchange application from Sterci, a long term Tuxedo ISV that specializes in SWIFT financial messaging market, deployed on Exalogic Elastic Cloud System. In fact, once the Bank has seen its 4x throughput advantage over IBM AIX/pSeries (2.58M complex SWIFT messages/hr on Exalogic compared to 620K on IBM p750 servers), they’ve decided to deploy it across 2 countries and 4 datacenters using 8 quarter-rack Exalogic systems.  While this is a mainframe application replacement example rather than rehosting of an existing application, it underlines the performance advantages that can be achieved through Tuxedo optimizations on Exalogic.

Migrating off expensive, inflexible mainframe systems to Tuxedo

These four customers are not alone in migrating off expensive and inflexible mainframe systems to Tuxedo-powered open systems infrastructure. They are just the more recent examples of mainframe migrations leveraging Tuxedo that demonstrate significant cost and risk reduction benefits, and highlight the gains in performance, datacenter flexibility, and business agility customers can achieve using Tuxedo-based migration approach.  In subsequent posts we’ll highlight the technical details of these migrations, and share best practices for migrating mainframe applications to Tuxedo.

More Information

Press Release:  Oracle Enhanced Mainframe Rehosting for Oracle Tuxedo 12c

Web Page:  Tuxedo page on

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