Many of Excelian’s clients rely on compute-intensive models to assess risk and set prices. How could Excelian deliver non-stop, low-cost availability for these business-critical environments?
With IBM Spectrum Symphony, Excelian helps clients harness the power of huge numbers of geographically dispersed CPUs, enabling full utilization of computing resources alongside simple management.
Powersquick decision making, helping Excelian provide competitive advantage to clients
Deliversfaster ROI for Excelian clients by enhancing utilization of grid computing assets
Contributesto high satisfaction levels for Excelian by enabling cons
Business challenge story
Navigating complex financial markets
Capital markets never stand still, and investment banks must contend with increasingly complex risk environments and regulatory landscapes to succeed. To make sense of the many variables involved, firms rely on analytical applications for financial modeling, helping them to evaluate risk and price financial instruments while complying with industry guidelines.
Global consulting and software engineering specialist Excelian designs, engineers, operates and optimizes critical technology and business solutions for companies in the financial services sector. As a result, it is well-versed in building and managing financial modeling landscapes that deliver key insights to decision makers across its clients’ organizations.
Karl Fallon, HPC Grid Management Consultant at Excelian, explains: “To support risk analysis and pricing, many of our clients rely on grid architectures, where commodity servers are linked together to provide huge performance at relatively low cost. They look to us to enable high uptime and consistent performance.”
In the past, homogeneous environments were the norm. Today, more of Excelian’s clients are mixing components and operating systems within a single grid architecture. Excelian sought an effective management solution to ensure that it could keep cost and complexity under control for client environments increasing in size and diversity.
“Clients don’t want to be locked into using one type of hardware or operating system,” says Fallon. “Instead, it’s important that we can build grid infrastructure tailored to their specific requirements, which can be adapted in the future. To ensure that we always meet the changing demands of our clients’ businesses, we wanted a solution that minimizes management effort for grid computing infrastructure, while driving great outcomes.”
Unleashing the power of grid computing
Excelian uses IBM Spectrum Symphony as a single point of control for computing cluster resources, giving it the tools to schedule workloads efficiently. The solution ensures reliable performance and availability for clients’ business-critical pricing and risk analysis applications.
“IBM Spectrum Symphony has become a crucial part of our daily toolset for many client environments,” comments Fallon. “It gives us the ability to ensure that grids just work, regardless of what is thrown at them. As a turnkey solution, Spectrum Symphony doesn’t take long to set it up, so we can deploy it and start providing value to clients fast.”
With IBM Spectrum Symphony, Excelian manages tens of thousands of cores for financial services clients. Each client environment is often spread across several data centers. Excelian can tailor the solution to multiple scenarios, including enabling instant responses to traders’ queries, handling huge batches of calculations periodically and more.
“The developer toolset that comes with IBM Spectrum Symphony is great,” says Fallon. “We have used it to build apps for our clients, get them up and running and integrate them with their existing systems extremely quickly.”
For some clients, Excelian uses IBM Spectrum Symphony to manage hybrid cloud environments. Fallon explains: “With Spectrum Symphony, our clients can burst into the cloud if demand exceeds the capabilities of their on-premises infrastructure. The solution’s ease of portability means that we don’t restrict clients to their current landscape but can move in an agile way to whatever future platform suits them best.”
Making the most of today and tomorrow
With support from IBM Spectrum Symphony, Excelian delivers exceptional service continuity and fast returns on investment to clients. The solution helps the company ensure that jobs are completed within agreed timeframes, so that it reliably exceeds user expectations.
“IBM Spectrum Symphony is an excellent, very mature grid management solution,” says Fallon. “In the volatile software market, it’s rare for companies to stay loyal to a product for so long. The fact that Excelian clients have been using Spectrum Symphony for years is testament to the excellent quality of the technology. It enables us to ramp up utilization of grid computing resources, so clients unlock the value of their infrastructure investments sooner rather than later.”
By reliably equipping decision makers with the information they need to make the right strategic choices, the IBM solution enables Excelian to give its clients an edge over their competitors. Fallon adds: “Over the years, IBM Spectrum Symphony has helped us achieve outstanding stability for clients’ pricing and risk scenario applications, giving risk management departments the insight that they need to excel.”
Looking to the future, IBM's continued investments in IBM Spectrum Symphony give Excelian the freedom to adapt to new and changing demands from its clients, reducing risk and keeping costs low. For example, it can introduce new operating systems, scale up to manage more cores and onboard new frameworks such as machine learning or deep learning, certain that these capabilities are already supported and easily accessible within IBM Spectrum Symphony.
Fallon concludes: “IBM Spectrum Symphony is extremely versatile, which allows us to consider evolving client environments in many different directions, including the cloud. It is the ideal foundation for where many of our financial services clients are today, and where they are headed in the future.”
Excelian provides specialist consulting and software engineering solutions to financial services clients worldwide. Building on almost 20 years’ experience serving the finance sector, it has fostered innovations in capital markets, investment banking, wealth management, asset management, treasury and commodities trading.