SunGard has added more than 500 cores to a grid computing cluster setup to host SunGard's iWorks Prophet actuarial solution, the enterprise risk management application in the iWorks solution suite.
The grid uses Sun Microsystems' Sun Blade X6250 server modules, Intel's Quad-Core Xeon processors and software from Microsoft to achieve high-performance computing capacity that facilitates the development, execution and support of actuarial models. The use of network-distributed parallel processing clusters, which can be integrated into any Microsoft-based platform, will help improve processing times for real-time risk management. SunGard plans to expand this environment to accommodate a services offering, whereby users may lease cores when needed.
"Insurance companies are looking to this fast growing trend of analytics and predictive modeling as part of the risk management process that helps improve performance and takes advantage of the high-performance computing (HPC) that is now available," said David Piesse, head of insurance, Sun Microsystems. "Thanks to the advent of HPC and our work with leading application vendors like SunGard, this collaboration will help insurance firms to deliver results more quickly and meet solvency standards more efficiently."
"Advanced technology is playing an increasingly prominent role in the insurance industry," said Rick Echevarria, Intel's vice president, Sales & Marketing Group and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Solution Sales.
"That is why we are proud that SunGard has chosen Intel Xeon quad-core processors, with their performance and performance per watt strengths, to form the hardware platform for iWorks Prophet."
"Microsoft is pleased to be working with SunGard in the development of its next generation actuarial modelling solution. Windows HPC Server 2008S delivers the ability to spread calculations across a large number of computers using industry standard tools that are well understood and easily integrated into the IT environments of SunGard and other members of the insurance industry," said Gordon Ejsmond-Frey, insurance industry director, Microsoft EMEA. "As demands increarease for faster, more flexible and robust risk modelling solutions, SunGard is investing in delivering enterprise- class modelling with iWorks Prophet, which will help insurers to improve their modelling and reporting capabilities."
Marc Fakkel, head of operations for SunGard's iWorks Prophet business unit, said, "Increasing the capacity of iWorks Prophet will help reduce our customers' model runtime, so that actuaries can focus on the development of sound risk management practices rather than worry about their organization's IT infrastructure. The team effort between Microsoft, Intel, Sun Microsystems and SunGard proves our commitment to improve the reliability, scalability and power of the iWorks Prophet enterprise framework."