ABN AMRO Clearing: From Legacy to Postgres Plus

August 19, 2015

Contributed by Roald Ruchti

A clear sign of changing times is the increasing number of companies in the financial services industry moving away from their traditional database solutions. One of the best examples is ABN AMRO Clearing, part of the state-owned ABN AMRO bank and a global leader in derivatives and equity clearing. Their journey toward open source began in 2006 and since then, Postgres Plus has become their go-to solution for innovation and replacing legacy applications.

Companies in highly consolidated industries like banking and insurance face significant challenges with their legacy hardware and applications. Mergers and acquisitions over decades have created an intricate web of old and new software solutions that can't easily be replaced. Many relationships with traditional software vendors are based on a long history of collaboration and on top of that, regulations can hinder new vendors from competing.

Now that financial services companies are much more focused on innovation, addressing this hodgepodge of systems has become the gateway for investing in alternative database solutions. Such was the case with ABN AMRO Clearing. The company first began using Community PostgreSQL for two applications. As the applications grew in importance, the company upgraded to EDB Postgres Plus and have even migrated an Oracle legacy application to EDB Postgres Plus.

Moving to Postgres Plus

As a company with 12 locations worldwide that supports more than 16 million trades per day, ABN AMRO Clearing faces many challenges to reduce operating costs while ensuring functionality, high availability and security. In 2006 the company made the strategic move to start using open source solutions wherever this was feasible. Since they develop many of their applications in-house, using Postgres seemed a logical choice when development began for a global reporting portal. It’s used to store clearing transaction data and compiling reports for customers, internal ABN AMRO departments and regulators.

As more and more ABN AMRO employees based internationally began using the application, it grew at an aggressive rate, making Postgres an increasingly important part of the IT infrastructure. This prompted the company to transition from the Community edition to Postgres Plus Advanced Server from EnterpriseDB. ABN AMRO wanted the support and partnership of an experienced Postgres vendor as well as tools, database compatibility for Oracle and other software enhancements EDB has developed for Postgres for greater performance and security.

          [Learn why Gartner estimates that by 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS, and 50% of existing commercial RDBMS instances will have been converted or will be in process.] 

Modernizing Gradually

The migration was completed during a hardware upgrade in 2011. Since then, ABN AMRO Clearing has gained a lot of experience using EDB Postgres Plus. The footprint of the database has increased a lot, especially in 2013, when ABN AMRO ported a transactional trade capture system from Community PostgreSQL to EDB Postgres Plus. This application was part of the legacy infrastructure installed in the 1990's and had been targeted for modernization. The initial migration in 2011 had forced the company to build a new database platform based on EDB Postgres Plus, which accelerated the use of the database by other applications as well.

Since April 2015, ABN AMRO was using Postgres Plus to facilitate between six and 10 million transactions a day. The company was also creating a proof-of-concept for a new mission-critical risk assessment/risk calculation application to be powered by EDB Postgres Plus. And they were planning a new client query portal on an all-flash array for high-performance that will be powered by Postgres Plus. 

Upgrading to EDB Postgres

It's very encouraging to see that a financial services company like ABN AMRO Clearing making significant strides in the adoption of Postgres. It’s also not uncommon for companies using Community PostgreSQL to upgrade to EDB Postgres Plus when they start experiencing the benefits of the technology. As applications become more critical to the organization, data professionals realize they need the support and additional software the EDB has developed for performance, scalability, tooling and compatibility. The story of ABN AMRO Clearing is unfolding in many companies worldwide as more companies discover the value of EDB and Postgres Plus. 

For more information on how EDB can help your company succeed with Postgres, contact us

Roald Ruchti is Sales Manager, Northern Europe at EnterpriseDB. 

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