Grid reporting using Amazon Web Services and Azure

In partnership with SunGard iWorks Prophet, the leading actuarial software platform, Zymbian has developed a massively scalable and cost-effective financial reporting infrastructure hosted in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.

 

Zymbian’s expertise has been in designing and optimising the infrastructure for delivery of this infrastructure, providing a resilient and secure environment.

 

Benefits include:

  • A faster reporting cycle

  • Lower overheads, running costs and maintenance

  • Faster and less complex upgrade paths as a new environment can be built in parallel to the old one

 

 

Advantages

The traditional limitation of financial reporting is that 80% of calculation capacity is only required for quarter year end calculations. So significant investment is required to allow reporting to be completed in a small and immovable window. With increasing financial requirements of Solvency II, and general product complexity the need for greater capacity is in direct conflict with tighter budgets. The justification of large and expensive to maintain systems that are only needed for 20% of the calendar year if becoming increasingly difficult. With Zymbian's AWS offering only the resources required for the duration of the calculation incur a cost, and there is a much higher limit on the number of systems available to run the required reporting cycle.

 

Concerns

At Zymbian we understand that any cloud offering is not a panacea, especially in light of traditional concerns of security, data location, and accessibility. This is why Zymbian has spent considerable effort and expense developing secure solutions that comply with the vast majority of customer’s regularity requirements.

 

Due to the high security required in the running of this system and management of all data concerned, each client is hosted in distinct and private virtual network. Access to this service is on a purely customised basis.  

Security can be provided via traditional user and password authentication, of for additional security, two factor authentication can be provided.

 

Why Amazon Web Services (AWS)

In delivering this solution several cloud based vendors were assessed. Several were capable of delivering the functionality required including Microsoft Azure. However, the range of available services and cloud based servers in AWS is unparalleled, in regard to CPU, disk and network capability. In addition the additional available services affecting security, archiving and database provision has resulted in AWS being the cloud vendor of choice for this solution.

 

Future roadmaps

The current focus is to deliver a massively scalable and cost-effective reporting platform, however the features of the Amazon cloud allow for further significant improvements on traditional reporting infrastructure. These improvements are being actively developed with our partners to deliver further AWS cloud based benefits including:

  • Archiving of data - using the secure and low cost features of Amazon Glacier

  • Refining of data - to minimise the amount of output data generation by calculations

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