Getting Financial Services and the Public Sector Digital Ready

When it comes to information technology, financial services and the public sector share some common traits. As highly regulated industries entrusted with sensitive data, they can be risk-averse and slow to innovate. At the same time, their focus on providing services to specialized audiences often means their existing IT infrastructures and datasets are siloed and architected around traditional centralized systems and networks.

Still, the drive toward digitalization encompasses all industries and geographies. One of the biggest catalysts driving change in both the private and public sectors is the emergence of new IT modernization mandates and data privacy and protection regulations. Heightened concerns around escalating cybersecurity threats and industry disruptors are mobilizing leaders in these sectors to accelerate digital transformation. And timeline pressures are intensifying as their users demand more personalized, do-it-yourself services that are available anytime through any device.

Solving these challenges requires a new approach. Delivering better experiences to users at scale across a variety of devices requires an organization to be ready to integrate data insights and exchange data traffic across a distributed IT architecture. Hybrid multicloud infrastructures work best for the special regulatory, security and data residency concerns of these industries, but success means more than moving workloads to the cloud. As I discussed in a previous blog detailing how Equinix and Oracle are helping our enterprise customers to design hybrid IT architectures, you also need to consider the speed of the network, the volume of traffic and the location of the industry center of gravity for digital interactions.

Getting to hybrid multicloud faster with Equinix and Oracle

Each digital transformation journey differs a bit depending on the specific financial services or government IT objective, and the overall mission of the organization. However, there are some common, best practices for deploying private interconnection and IT at the edge that will significantly speed your transformation. You can see this dynamic at play in the following four examples, which detail how Equinix and Oracle can enable a diverse set of financial services firms and government agencies to get digital ready faster. Although the first three are hypothetical, they are based on Interconnection Oriented Architecture™ (IOA™) blueprints which come from studying real customer use cases. Each organization in these examples is able to establish secure, direct connectivity between its on-premises and Oracle Cloud environments as well as to other clouds and networks across the globe by leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect via Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™).Interconnected across Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers around the world, ECX Fabric enables direct and secure access to cloud platforms that may not be local to a business’ data center locations and is optimized for connectivity to Oracle Cloud services, even in metros with no local Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect presence.

1. Moving and improving Tier 1 / Tier 2 (new) applications:

Let’s say an electronic payments provider wants to improve the agility and scalability of its E-Business Suite and JD Edwards ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications to compete with next generation payment processors who were “born in the cloud.” To achieve this goal, the company decides to move these applications to Oracle Cloud. It establishes direct connectivity between its on-premises and Oracle Cloud environment by leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect via ECX Fabric on Platform Equinix®. This provides the highly secure, fast connectivity that the company needs for the initial migration as well as for ongoing private connectivity between the two environments, positioning them well for future scalability needs.

To keep pace with the demands of tech-savvy consumers and digital offerings from new fintech entrants capable of real-time processing and dynamic data processing, financial services firms need to re-architect and distribute their IT infrastructures at the digital edge leveraging private interconnection. The digital edge playbooks for Payment and Commerce, Wealth Management and Retail Bankingprovide the key steps that these financial services firms can take in any phase of their digital transformation.

2. Moving and consolidating databases:

In this scenario, a large government agency needs to consolidate IT systems spread across 150 offices to comply with a recent IT modernization mandate to leverage the cloud. The main concern for the agency is the sensitive nature of its classified data, so putting it all in a public cloud isn’t an option. At the same time, the agency operates under strict spending limits, so cost is a big factor. By implementing a hybrid cloud adjacent architecture with Oracle and Equinix, the agency can help meet government guidelines for security, monitoring and data governance while having access to multiple cloud services. Sensitive data can be stored on an Oracle Exadata Database Machine at an Equinix IBX government-grade data center in Ashburn, Virginia. Non-sensitive workloads and data can be migrated to public clouds for improved cost effectiveness and flexibility. Leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect via ECX Fabric would enable the agency to easily connect all its offices, as well as business partners, through a single portal.Government network providers that provide contract vehicles such as GSA EIS, Networx and WITS are also part of the interconnected government ecosystem at Equinix.

Achieving Federal IT modernization mandates requires an interconnected distributed IT architecture that can support a shared services model, while addressing agency needs for security, scalability and omnichannel connectivity. The U.S. Federal Government digital edge playbook outlines three simple steps that Federal agencies can take to accelerate their digital transformation.

3. Integrating advanced digital technologies into high performance workloads:

In this example, a leading insurance provider wants to start leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) for underwriting, fraud prevention and to develop new data-driven offerings. To get there, they need to create a new analytical data mart that can ingest and analyze data from their current underwriting systems as well as new data sources in the future, such as data exchanges or internet of things (IoT) trackers for health incentives and usage-based premiums. By implementing a data warehouse in the cloud with Oracle Autonomous Database, the company can easily scale up or down as needed for new data sources and analysis demands. And leveraging Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect via ECX Fabric would enable the company to connect a new database, data source or application tier on any cloud to an Autonomous Database tier in Oracle Cloud on demand that is capable of ingesting large volumes of data quickly.

Platform Equinix interconnects insurers, underwriters, brokers, catastrophe and capital modeling service providers, data exchanges and pricing information vendors in all of the world’s leading financial centers in a digital insurance marketplace known as the Equinix Insurance Data Exchange ecosystem.

As the insurance industry becomes more interconnected, a growing number of insurers will be integrating advanced digital technologies and data sources such as AI and IoT into their underwriting systems to fight fraud and develop new data-driven offerings. The digital edge playbook for Insurance summarizes the steps that insurers can take to extend the value of their digital capabilities.

4. Achieving business continuity/disaster recovery:

HAVI, a global food supply chain and logistics company, needed to scale its forecasting and data warehousing (DW) and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities globally. To solve these challenges, the company worked with Equinix and Oracle to colocate its production Exadata data warehouse (DW) in an Equinix IBX data center in Chicago. For the DR environment, HAVI wanted to make sure it was in a location remote from its production facility. Equinix’s Washington, D.C. IBX data center fit the bill as it provides both geographic separation from the Chicago production site and proximity to OCI’s Ashburn, VA, region. HAVI interconnected its Chicago production site to a disaster recovery solution in the cloud using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect on ECX Fabric. This combined solution bypasses the public internet, enabling HAVI to directly replicate data from its production Oracle Exadata DW to its DR environment. The company moves 12-15 terabytes (TB) daily over ECX Fabric to their DR site and then to Oracle Cloud via Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect, from which they can restore operations for DR.

“Equinix’s global footprint and the strength of its Cloud Exchange Fabric, along with the scalable Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, gave us the confidence to develop a DR solution that we didn’t think was possible.” Marc Flood, CIO, HAVI

Developing a business continuity plan is essential to survive in a world of growing climate risk. When disaster strikes, companies need to make sure that they can continue to operate and their data is safe. This is even more true for financial services businesses since a single second of downtime can mean lost revenue.

The financial services and government digital edge playbooks noted above prescribe deployment strategies that are detailed in specific design blueprints that can be found in the IOA Knowledge Base.

To learn more, read the white paper “Hybrid IT: Why Cloud Adjacency Matters.”

Find us at Oracle OpenWorld 2019

Equinix is proud to be a Silver sponsor of Oracle OpenWorld 2019 (Sep. 16-19, 2019). You can find out more about these and other use cases enabled by Equinix and Oracle by visiting us at booth #417 to schedule time to meet. Also, to hear more about how to modernize and future-proof your IT infrastructure, register for our sessions on Monday, Sep. 16 to be held in Moscone South Room 151:

  • (10 am) Customer Case Study: How Equinix enabled enterprise migration of JD Edwards to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (Oracle Cloud infrastructure session)
  • (11:15 am) Connecting Oracle mission critical databases to applications in the cloud through Equinix (Engineered Systems session)
  • (1:45 pm) Enhanced performance of Autonomous Database with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect through Equinix (Autonomous Database session)