Financial Services, Securities
- Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform
– Acropolis Software, including built-in hypervisor, AHV
– Prism management plane
- Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure can virtualize 30-40% more machines and results in great cost savings
- Deployment time reduced to two hours with strong ability to scale out
- Significantly reduced manpower and resource requirements
Ping An has used Nutanix Enterprise Cloud to make the transformation to FinTech, the next generation infrastructure for the financial industry. To meet its rapid expansion and growing complexity, they now rely on Nutanix with a result of great cost savings, reduced deployment time, and ease of scalability.
Financial institutions are actively embracing the new wave of FinTech, the next generation infrastructure for the financial industry, ushering in an era of industry reshaping and modernization. Standing at a critical junction of technological innovation, Mainland China’s Ping An Securities aspires to leverage its FinTechbased business platforms, industry-leading Internet platforms, efficient offline business networks, large-scale customer portfolio, and powerful asset and product strength to build itself into a securities broker with a full range of functions centering on Internet-based wealth management.
The Ping An Integrated Leading-edge Open Technologies (PILOT) is a technology platform which spans China and the United States, established to connect the demands between technology R&D and its business team. In the process of transforming into Internet-based securities brokers, Ping An Securities required its IT systems to be more responsive and to provide solutions more swiftly. As a result, legacy IT systems and even operational and management modes faced new challenges.
The first challenge was the cost. In the past, banks, insurance companies, and securities brokers in the financial industry were basically “IBM-Oracle-EMC” (IOE) users, running their servers on IBM minis with Oracle databases and a pile-up of EMC traditional storage architecture. To be fair, “IOE” has made great contributions to the development of China’s financial industry in the past. However, exorbitant costs are its biggest problem. As a result, the entire financial industry has seen a “de-IOE” trend going on since last year, and Ping An Securities is no exception. In 2014, Ping An Securities began to adopt the distributed x86 platform architecture to replace its minicomputers. Replacing the traditional storage architecture is now a big part of the agenda of the company.
The second challenge was improving time and work efficiency. Under the traditional IT operation mode, it took 2 to 3 months from putting forward a project requirement to determining the hardware and software items for procurement, and then finally putting it online and delivering the application to the customers. This did not meet Ping An’s business development requirements for flexibility, elasticity, and responsiveness, especially when current market opportunities are often fleeting. In practice, once a new project is initiated by the business team, a complete hardware and software environment should be delivered within a very short period of time. Such an environment includes both early-stage development and test, but also the delivery of late-stage applications.
In short, Ping An Securities needed to significantly cut down its infrastructure costs, in order to lower the cost of operating its traditional businesses and developing new businesses. Ping An Securities also needed to make its infrastructure more flexible so it could introduce new services faster and enhance competitiveness. Therefore, a transformation away from traditional IT architecture was required.
It was very difficult for Ping An Securities to choose a solution that addressed their unique concerns. To make a fair and deliberate decision, Ping An Securities started searching for a satisfactory solution in 2015, tested and compared products from multiple companies in 2016, and finally put the infrastructure online in the first half of 2017. Nutanix, with its outstanding Enterprise Cloud solution based on hyperconverged architecture, became the new choice of Ping An Securities for digital transformation.
Talking about the conveniences brought by the Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure, Hou Sheng, head of the configuration management team of the Ping An Securities PILOT platform, described it as a series of substantial reductions. “The Nutanix solution has far exceeded my expectations in terms of deployment time, cost of use, and also ease of management and reduced maintenance.”
First, from a cost perspective, Nutanix’s hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) can virtualize 30-40% more machines than other virtualization + traditional storage models, resulting in a great savings in cost. In addition, there is a savings in datacenter space, because the Nutanix HCI only requires the purchase of 4 nodes equipment to meet the current development and test needs of Ping An Securities. To perform under the same requirements with other tested solutions to produce the same effect, it would require 2 to 3 standard cabinets. If a large-scale deployment is involved at a later stage, the cost reduction brought by Nutanix’s solution will multiply.
Secondly, the Nutanix solution also provides a significant leading advantage in deployment time. Pre-setting and advance planning is easily accomplished, which was impossible with the old infrastructure. Moreover, the Nutanix solution has also shown its competiveness in scalability, with the ability to achieve same-day use upon equipment delivery.
Thirdly, from the management and maintenance perspective, the Nutanix HCI solutions enables operation and maintenance management to be done through one operating system. By comparison, other vendors’ solutions often have multiple management interfaces that require a higher human resource investment. It is true that the Nutanix hyperconverged solution has significantly reduced Ping An Securities’ manpower and resource requirements.
In addition, Hou Sheng was deeply impressed by Nutanix’s technological leadership, remarking, “This is a really effective hyperconverged solution.” In the selection process, Ping An Securities recognized that Nutanix was the only solution that met its technical specifications and requirements, after making full product comparisons between Nutanix and other vendors.
With the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud solution, Ping An Securities has made solid progress in exploring new models of FinTech. For example, drawing upon its one stop intelligent wealth management platform, Ping An Securities has achieved 99% of online account opening. As for customer management, Ping An Securities has emphatically promoted its intelligent wealth management and full-function account-based wealth management solution. This is possible through its full function accounting system, including APP and WeChat Official Accounts, which provides customers with high-quality and all-around financial services, ranging from investor education to financial information, product trading, wealth management, and financing.
It is worth mentioning that Ping An Securities’ “AI Smart Stock Trading” service combines professionals’ value judgment logic with AI and integrates intelligent information, intelligent diagnosis, intelligent stock selection, and intelligent investment advisory. This service has not only won recognition from customers, it is also opening a new way of thinking within the financial industry.
Hou Sheng noted that Ping An Securities will continue its cooperation with Nutanix, gradually increasing the number of hyperconverged systems in the company and making new deployments of Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software in the future. In particular, with the gradual implementation of Nutanix’s latest “Software Choice” strategy, Nutanix will undoubtedly help Ping An Securities seamlessly integrate private cloud with public cloud, and horizontally expand to enable “cross-cloud” and “multi-cloud” management. This will open up a new path of innovation and development for Ping An Securities’ transformation to FinTech. Meanwhile, the success story of Ping An Securities will also set a new benchmark for FinTech transformation in the securities industry.
The Nutanix solution has far exceeded my expectations in terms of deployment time, cost of use, as well as management and maintenance efficiency.Hou Sheng, Head of the PILOT CM Group, Ping An Securities Limited