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System Access achieves outstanding performance benchmarks across IBM platforms

24th September 2002 - System Access recently recorded outstanding performances in tests that ran the company's flagship solution – SYMBOLS – on IBM computing platforms. The tests put to trial SYMBOLS' capacity for handling real-time and batch operations, and concretely demonstrated the product's ability to process high volume banking transactions with unparallel speed and efficiency.

The tests, conducted at IBM Labs, Montpellier, France, ran the SYMBOLS suite of solutions through a series of benchmarks on IBM's high-end UNIX P-series 690 server and S390 mainframe server to establish the solutions' performance in high availability, load balancing and fail-over capabilities. The tests were centered on SYMBOLS' Enterprise Operation Center (EOC) solution and were conducted from, September to November 2001 and from August to September 2002.

System Access provides mission critical software solutions for financial services organizations around the world. SYMBOLS has over 30 modules designed to support all banking functions, including retail, wholesale and treasury. The SYMBOLS suite of solutions is the product of over 800 man-years in product design and engineering. It provides a unified platform for delivering personalized banking services over multiple delivery channels base while maintaining a one-to-one relationship between a finance institution and its customer.

As the core back-office banking solution, SYMBOLS handles massive transaction volume generated from a bank's back office processing of deposits, lending, trade services, treasury products. These transactions may originate from any of the banking institute's customer touch-points, including the bank's head offices, branch networks, ATMs, POS and other service delivery channels. The key challenge for SYMBOLS is the processing of large volume and complex operations in a robust, reliable and consistent manner within as little time as possible.

About the benchmarks.
To better assess the solution's performance in handling real-world banking operations, the IBM benchmark tested SYMBOLS for both its OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) and batch operation capabilities. The OLTP tests established the solutions' capability in handling real-time transactions while batch operations measured the amount of time SYMBOLS required to process transactions aggregated on an end-of-day, end-of-month and end-of-year basis.

On the P-series 690 UNIX server running the AIX 5L operating system, 20 million accounts were simulated with a business scenario mix that included savings accounts, current accounts, term deposits, lending and general ledger transactions. The objective was to establish SYMBOLS' ability to process the minimum customer requirements of 220 business transactions per second and a 4 hour window for batch operations.

In the end, SYMBOLS on P690 far exceeded the benchmark objectives set at the beginning of the test. The solution scored an impressive 0.110 seconds processing time for all real-time transactions. Its OLTP assessments over 15 different types of business transactions yielded a throughput of 628 transactions per second and a peak of 720 transactions per second. Its batch operations results were just as impressive, requiring only 51 and 97 minutes to process end-of-day and end-of-month runs respectively for a base of 20 million accounts. The system was able to process interest accruals for 25 000 retail accounts per second during batch processing.

On S390 mainframe server, which is one of IBM's z-Series servers, SYMBOLS also achieved impressive results. The exercise was to simulate the entire production environment of a large scale bank with an account base of 14 million spread out over 800 branches and a daily throughput of 14M transactions along with the batch processing.

Again SYMBOLS far exceeded expectations by scoring an average throughput of 520 transactions and a peak of 700 business transactions per second over 25 different types of business scenarios. The end-to-end response time for the online transaction was 0.48 seconds. For the volumes and account base mentioned above, the batch operations of Symbols on S390 was successfully completed within 2hrs, 5hrs and 5.5hrs for EOD, EOM and EOY respectively.

"The IBM benchmark demonstrated ability to out-perform our competitors on a variety of platforms in speed, stability and volume. Our solutions are not only amongst the most sophisticated on the market in terms of banking and technology but we also excel in scalability, performance and cross platforms interoperability" said Aravinth Kumarasamy, Head of Product Development, System Access.