Gallinat-Service Migrates Data-intensive Applications from Oracle to EDB Postgres
Gallinat-Service GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gallinat-Bank AG and, as a group-owned service provider, manages the areas of asset backed securities, factoring and structured corporate finance both for external clients and for all the companies within the parent group of Gallinat Bank AG, the ALBIS Leasing Group. The ten-member Gallinat Service Team developed its own Java-based software platform to meet all monitoring and processing requirements relating to ABS and factoring transactions. The epAAA securitisation software, certified by BDO to PS 880, is financial software used in banking for posting, settlement and risk reporting in connection with accounts receivable purchasing.
Typical applications are securitisation transactions and factoring refinancing. Data on receivables and postings relating to sellers of receivables is compiled into a monthly investor report via the connected Web reporting portal. In addition to mapping all the financial accounting for the SPV and the processing of all standard posting activities for all parties to a transaction, individual client-specific posting activities and accounts can be added to the solution at any time.
Originally the epAAA settlement software and the reporting portal were operated using an Oracle® database to ensure sufficient capacity for the data-intensive processing. However, the cost/benefit ratio of the Oracle database deteriorated due to annual increases in licensing costs. The implementation of the reporting portal pushed the licensing costs up further owing to the number of external reporting portal users that involved in the Oracle license model. This meant that using the Oracle database was no longer justifiable when compared with in-house controlling. This resulted in the decision to switch to alternative, open source database software across the whole group.
Reliability of Postgres
Other applications based on the free object-relational database management system PostgreSQL were already running at this time in the ALBIS Leasing Group. Frank Ebinger, Head of IT Engineering at Gallinat-Service GmbH and, as such, responsible for the database migration, recalled PostgreSQL had an extremely positive image throughout the entire group even at that early stage.
The EDB Postgres™ Advanced Server solution from EnterpriseDB® (EDB™) that the company had in mind also gained favor for its Oracle compatibility, guaranteeing a reduction in the costs of migration. In November 2011, the final decision, following a degree of pre-tuning, was made to migrate from the increasingly costly Oracle solution to Postgres and to deploy EDB Postgres Advanced Server with the accompanying professional EDB training opportunities.
Choosing EDB Postgres Advanced Server
The decision to implement EDB Postgres™ Advanced Server offered users high vertical scalability on multi-core machines as well as reliable and stable Postgres performance on hardware with up to 64 cores. The solution runs on Linux 32-bit/64-bit platforms and on Windows 32-bit/64-bit platforms; HP-UX also runs on Itanium or Solaris. An additional benefit is that, thanks to the vastly simplified Oracle migration in the latest versions, companies can continue to benefit from investments made in Oracle despite having switched to Postgres.
The EDB Postgres solution with its extensive functionality is also considered by far the most secure of the open source databases available. The system's ease of use also becomes evident in practice: Gallinat-Service's migration to EDB Postgres required virtually no technical support from the EDB support team and was completed independently for the most part.
Ebinger described employees' feelings in the face of the migration decision: "Naturally, we had a healthy respect for the decision to switch our database structure definitively – anyone familiar with databases knows that these processes do not always run smoothly. But now that is done, it can be said that the migration really came off astonishingly easily. With the training options made available to us by EDB, we were able to adjust to the new software under optimum conditions and to be perfectly prepared for the conversion in advance."
The Gallinat-Service IT team first built a parallel PostgreSQL environment for the migrated system so that any problems with the migration could be identified and, where necessary, resolved in advance. During this six-month PostgreSQL proof of concept, the new database application ran in parallel to the customary Oracle application for three whole months following installation and initial implementation. A test suite ran daily tests at night to check that the Oracle and EDB test screens matched. This also showed that the results were consistent with one another relatively quickly. Gallinat-Service used the EDB migration tool kit for the actual migration.
"We did not have to call on EDB Support at all during the entire migration phase – all the details were already documented perfectly in the Postgres environment," Ebinger said.
In addition to the EDB migration tool kit used for the migration, Gallinat-Service gathered experience with the professional tools EDB Postgres Enterprise Manager and EDB Postgres SQL Profiler, which will ensure that databases are managed even more efficiently in the future. The company's experience with EDB's products has been highly satisfactory to date: the cost situation improved considerably and Gallinat-Service was once again in a position to reliably calculate its future database investments.
Said Ebinger: "After more than a year of using our definitive Postgres application, we are really very pleased. The performance of Postgres is stable and reliable. We have not had to compromise on speed or performance and are even considering using EDB Postgres more widely in the future. Across the group as a whole, there is a clear trend developing at the ALBIS Leasing Group to continue the implementation of alternative, open source software solutions not only with regard to databases but in other applications as well."