A Tier 1 global bank wanted to improve its management of operational risk, reduce service-impacting incidents on its critical systems and bring down its IT operating costs.
The bank had already used Sumerian’s analytics to drive reductions in FX trading application latency and improve batch processing times. It believed Sumerian’s Capacity Planning as a Service (CPaaS) would provide the statistical evidence needed to support continual improvements to IT capacity planning, pinpoint opportunities to reduce operational IT costs and proactively address potential capacity issues that may impact its business.
Sumerian’s starting point was to create accurate Baseline models of the bank’s global infrastructure. This, in itself, allowed the bank to get a complete view of resource consumption across the different business divisions and services supported by the IT estate. Easy to understand visualizations let the bank see the ‘top 20’ and ‘bottom 20’ servers or applications in any group, helping focus in on potential under and over-utilized parts of the estate. Sumerian’s CPaaS also identified patterns and trends in the data that, if not addressed, could lead to a service outage. For example, increasing memory utilization on an application web server.
However, modeling the infrastructure was just the start. Working with the bank, Sumerian then used application log files to build up a profile of the business demand being placed on the infrastructure by various applications – such as the number of users, number of transactions, and the response time that users were experiencing for different types of transactions. By correlating this business demand data with the infrastructure data, Sumerian could scenario model how varying user and transaction volumes would impact IT resources.
By relating changes in business demand to infrastructure capacity and performance, the bank could produce accurate capacity forecasts and plans for its key applications. It was also able to identify, and take proactive action, to offset any potential bottlenecks to supporting increased business volumes.
Outcome and results
By using Sumerian’s CPaaS the bank has been able to decide whether current levels of operating risk are acceptable or not, and determine precisely when and where additional investment is required across its IT estate. Over the last year alone, the bank reduced its exposure to operational risk by preventing over 300 service outages in critical systems. This would also have raised regulatory and reputational risk issues – notably, one of these potential outages would have required notification of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
Using Sumerian’s CPaaS also allowed the bank to generate the quantified, accurate evidence to prove that additional planned spend was actually unnecessary to support future growth, and so avoided a $1.2M uplift in datacenter, licensing and support costs.
The CPaaS solution has also been used to support various ‘deep dive’ analysis projects that Sumerian has conducted for the bank, helping them to de-risk important business and IT changes. For example, achieving cost reduction targets by identifying suitable virtualization candidates within the server estate or quantifying the impact of proposed application architecture changes during non-functional testing.