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Dovetail delivers scalability

Dovetail was challenged by one of the world's biggest banks to prove the scalability of the Dovetail Payments System under the most stringent test conditions. "We passed with flying colours," says Martin Coen, Dovetail Group CEO. "For the first time there's a genuine universal payments system on the market that satisfies the performance demands of the biggest banks. Working with Sun, we have proven that our solution is scalable, flexible and high-performance—and with unprecedented speed, resilience and versatility." The extensive testing was carried out over a six-week period at Sun's laboratories in Linlithgow, Scotland.

Dovetail's client defined performance criteria that would ensure the system handled all of its future processing needs and supported its aggressive growth strategy on a single payments platform. Testing was designed to mirror real life as closely as possible.

The tests were carried out using the fully functional Dovetail SEPA Solution which supports bulking and unbulking of ISO 20022 and other file formats, Credit Transfer and Direct Debit payments including all inbound and outbound 'R' messages, and mandate management, IBAN and BIC lookup and validation, regulatory and funds check, and individual and batch accounting and advising.

These tests followed the successful benchmark testing programme carried out last year when SEPA payment throughput of 4.3 million an hour was achieved. The latest programme focused on making the overall processing environment as realistic as possible. This included simultaneously submitting client files through multiple ISO 20022 gateways with up to 600,000 payments per batch. The profile of client files sent through system was designed to represent the most demanding situations with very large files arriving close to cut-off alongside smaller sets of urgent payments. Payments data was held online for two months enabling automatic 'R' message matching and user inquiries across current and historical data. Both high availability and disaster recovery were enabled with synchronous replication to a disaster recovery site 120 km from the primary site—well in excess of the most stringent regulatory requirements.

The results surpassed the client's success criteria in throughput, latency and usability and proved that the Dovetail Payments System together with Sun's service-oriented architecture truly provides scalable, flexible, high-performing transaction processing with unprecedented speed, resilience, and versatility. A senior member of the client team who observed the tests commented, "We were highly impressed. The standards we set were punishing but Dovetail met them with room to spare. The parallel processing with almost no deterioration in performance and the scalability of the solution are remarkable. Dovetail's dynamic prioritization capability will enable us to process urgent payments on the same infrastructure as very large bulk files, confident in the knowledge that client and product SLAs will be ensured."

The system was configured with multiple ISO 20022 Gateways and the Dovetail SEPA Solution was deployed, using WebLogic Server version 9.2 running under Sun's JDK 1.5, on two Sun M8000 servers and two Sun StorageTek 9990 systems.

Each M8000 contained four boards with four dual-core 2.4 GHz CPUs each and 64 GB of RAM. Each M8000 was partitioned as two equal logical domains resulting in a four domain configuration, each domain having eight CPUs and 32 GB of RAM. The Oracle servers were configured using an ASM file system with approximately 4.5 TB of storage available for data and just over one TB available for redo. The storage was configured using Synchronous TrueCopy between two Sun StorageTek 9990 storage systems.

Pieter Heyn, Head of Payments in Sun's Global Financial Services team, says, "This is an excellent example of a mutually beneficial partnership. Our technologies work superbly together to create real added value for the user. It's proof that it is possible to build real high performance, scalable payments systems using a service-orientated architecture that is open and flexible. I'm sure we'll work with Dovetail to deliver their solution to many of the world's leading banks."