IBM puts banking and finance on the Grid

IBM puts banking and finance on the Grid

IBM is releasing new Grid-based solutions for banking and financial markets following successful projects at Morgan Stanley, Hewitt Associates and Nippon Life Insurance.

The vendor has teamed up with SAS and Data Synapse to develop vertical Grid-based solutions that harness idle computer power to drive number-crunching analytics and real-time risk management applications.

IBM says its first-hand experience implementing Grid systems for power-hungry financial markets applications demonstrates the viability of the technology for the commercial market.

At Morgan Stanley, IBM has been working to migrate analytical applications to run across a grid of Intel processor servers resulting in a marked reduction of processing time.

Richard Anfang, managing director, Morgan Stanley, comments: "IBM has demonstrated significant performance improvement in a financial analytics application that runs across a Grid of several hundred Intel processor-based machines."

IBM has also detailed its work with Hewitt Associates, the global outsourcing and HR consulting firm, to build a Grid, Linux and WebSphere-based solution for the company's pension modeling application. The solution features IBM eServer zSeries mainframe and BladeCenter technologies working in tandem with DataSynapse's GridServer software. On the Grid, Hewitt reduced its transaction costs by some 90%, without rewriting any applications.

At the NLI Research Institute, a company of the Nippon Life Insurance Group, a joint research project with IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory managed to slash processing times for Monte Carlo risk management simulations from ten hours to 49 minutes.

In a further effort to prove the technology, IBM has utilised the SAS Credit Scoring application - part of the SAS Banking Intelligence solution - to show that applications can be readily Grid-enabled for plug and play performance without customised programming. IBM says the combined offering reduces cycle time for executing statistical models, and provides more sophisticated analysis and increased accuracy of customer acquisition and retention.

IBM has also teamed up with DataSynapse to help risk managers implement a Grid infrastructure to support real-time credit limit monitoring. Currently, many of these applications are run overnight. IBM says the system can form the foundation for a credit risk application infrastructure that complies with Basel II and can help financial firms to comply more efficiently with the Patriot Act, Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Nyse Rule 92.

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