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News Briefing

Revolutionising Financial IT: A Breakthrough in Cloud-Native Storage Solutions

Release date: 19 March 2024

In the fast-paced world of financial services and insurance the demand for high-performance, secure and cost-effective storage solutions is ever-growing.

Vespertec works with a number of partners and Lightbits Labs have been doing some fascinating work recently with a leading cloud service provider in Germany that found itself facing challenges with underutilized storage capacity, inefficient resource utilization and stringent compliance requirements.

Lightbits Labs and Intel helped them engineer a groundbreaking solution, bringing together a cloud-native, disaggregated and software-defined storage infrastructure.

Meeting Compliance and Performance Challenges

Then ambitious project involved creating a Kubernetes-based Finance Cloud Native production interface with internally engineered NVMe-based infrastructure. Compliance with European Union and German data regulations, including BaFin requirements, posed a significant hurdle. The existing direct-attached NVMe storage lacked the necessary data protection, high availability and centralized redundancy.

The Lightbits and Intel Solution

The client turned to Lightbits Labs and Intel for a solution that not only met compliance standards but also addressed inefficiencies in storage and resource utilization. The collaboration resulted in a cloud-native disaggregated storage solution that provided persistent storage functionality, high availability and compliance with regulations.

Key Components of the Solution

NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP): Lightbits Labs pioneered the NVMe/TCP standard embodied in Lightbits, The Cloud Data Platform, delivering cloud-native persistent storage integration for Kubernetes. This allowed the client to achieve local flash performance rates on its existing infrastructure.

Intel Technologies: The solution integrated a range of Intel hardware, including 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Optane persistent memory, QLC 3D NAND SSDs and Intel Ethernet 800 Series with Application Device Queues (ADQ) technology.

Achieving Success and Differentiation

The collaboration resulted in a cloud-native service that differentiated the client from its competitors. The Finance Cloud Native service, powered by Lightbits, The Cloud Data Platform, offers a fully automated, API-driven, flexible and easy-to-use deployment model. It provides high availability, low latency, high bandwidth and consistent response times – all critical for their institutional customers.

Intelligent Flash Management and Efficiency

Lightbits also streamlines the Finance Cloud Native service deployment, enabling customers to spin up services in minutes. The solution allows to provision high-performance, software-defined volumes with advantages like thin provisioning, compression, snapshots, thin clones and storage quality of service (QoS). Meanwhile, Lightbits’ Intelligent Flash Management delivers faster data access and extends the life of the storage media.

Reliability, Scalability and Security

Lightbits automates the scaling of Kubernetes clusters, offering flexibility in independently increasing storage performance or capacity, with a cost model that scales linearly with capacity. With built-in reliability features, the solution ensures drive and server failure protection, highly available management and compliance with European and German regulations, providing peace of mind to the client and its customers.

Leveraging Kubernetes Common Storage Interface (CSI) Specification

A critical aspect of the client’s success lies in its adoption of the Kubernetes Common Storage Interface (CSI) specification. This standardized interface facilitated seamless integration between the cloud-native storage solution and the Kubernetes orchestration layer. CSI enables them to provide customers with direct Kubernetes access using APIs, meeting the specific requirements of a containerized-environment infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering. This adherence to CSI specification underscores the solution’s commitment to industry best practices and ensures compatibility within the Kubernetes ecosystem.

Developer-Focused Support and Operational Simplicity

Beyond technological innovation, this cloud-native storage solution is backed by high-quality, developer-focused support. Recognizing the importance of a robust support system, Lightbits Labs and Intel ensure that the team, mostly composed of software engineers, can operate the software-defined solution with ease. This emphasis on developer support not only enhances the overall user experience but also empowers smaller teams to manage and maintain a high-performance storage infrastructure efficiently.

Driving Innovation, Reducing TCO

Ultimately, they achieved improved resource utilisation, enhanced performance and efficient data scaling while reducing its total cost of ownership. The collaboration with Lightbits and Intel not only addressed specific challenges but also positions them as an industry leader, offering a highly differentiated service that met the critical needs of its customers.

In a rapidly evolving IT landscape, this journey exemplifies how strategic partnerships, innovative storage solutions and adherence to industry standards such as CSI can drive success. This approach enables financial institutions to stay ahead of the curve and meet the demanding latency and throughput requirements of performance-sensitive AI/ML workloads, all while ensuring efficient and secure operations in compliance with regulatory frameworks.

To discuss your financial trading infrastructure needs, call us on +44 (0)161 947 4321 or email to set up a meeting.

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