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CTL releases Prime test results

03 November 2004  |  858 views  |  0 Source: CTL

Card Tech Limited (CTL), a UK-based leader in the global payments industry, has completed a significant test of its PRIME card and merchant management solution. The test, run at HP's Capacity Planning Centre, showed CTL how the latest version of PRIME and its ONLINE front office product operate under a portfolio of ten million cards.

In announcing the test results today, Card Tech's chief technical officer, Bashar Chalabi, said, "With PRIME 3.0, we have removed the last scalability obstacle in the CTL solution. We can now scale up or scale out every component of the six tiers of the full solution. With the introduction of workflows throughout the product line, we are ready to tackle the largest card and merchant portfolios."

The results of the test offer CTL and its clients useful metrics that indicate hardware requirements and performance expectations when running PRIME with card volumes both greater and smaller than the ten million on which the test was conducted.

CTL consultants planned and oversaw the test. They put pressure on specific areas of system functionality to assess the strength of its new design and its interaction with the Oracle 9i database. The test covered credit card and merchant processing functions, risk management, customer service user access, and data archiving and purging. With back and front office processes running simultaneously, the test revealed a tightly integrated suite of products.

Panayiotis Modestou, the senior consultant responsible for CTL's front office development, found that batch operations such as transaction matching have little effect on the system's authorisation processing capabilities. He said, "With over 100 authorisations per seconds on a single Oracle RAC node, and response times below 0.1 second, we still do not know the theoretical maximum throughput of ONLINE in a clustered environment. And in case we reach it, we can just add another node."

The system, which ran HP-UX 11i on Itanium processors with less than 1TB disk arrays, posted transactions, both from clearing files and for payments, at a rate of more than 475 per second; and from a POS file at 250 per second. It processed 5,000 collection accounts per second and generated statements, with interest and fee calculations, at a rate of 180 per second. Senior consultant Lambros Papadopoulos explains the success: "By redesigning our batch processes to run in a 'one transaction at a time' mode, we are able to take full advantage of the parallel processing capabilities of the Oracle platform, while at the same time eliminating locking contention. As a result, our batch processes scale up very nicely with the number of processors."

Following the system test, CTL says it will use the intelligence it gathered to further its research and development programme, and to add value to the consultancy it offers.

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