NTT DATA ABIC Provides Low-Cost, High-Reliability Cloud Services to Japanese Financial Institutions with the Help of EDB

NTT DATA ABIC switched their underlying database from Oracle to EDB Postgres Advanced Server. As a result, NTT DATA ABIC provides users with high-value solutions that stand out in terms of cost, reliability, functionality, and convenience.

The Challenge:

  • As they looked to convert their packaged products to cloud services, NTT DATA ABIC felt a problem with the cost of Oracle Database licenses in their new virtualized environment. On top of this, the company realized that, to effectively migrate their complex applications and sensitive data, they would need a solution that was both reliable and highly efficient.

The Solution:  

  • With the help of Japanese Ashisuto, NTT DATA ABIC adopted EDB Postgres Advanced Server, which boasted high compatibility with Oracle databases. NTT DATA ABIC was able to leverage the standard replication features of EPAS and the cluster function of its virtualization technology and evaded high license costs.

The Results:

  • NTT DATA ABIC now able to provide cloud services to users at a reasonable cost
  • Technical issues that arose during the replacement process were quickly resolved, and the project was completed on schedule
  • The company now has the reliability and availability they need

NTT DATA ABIC had a challenge: how could they build a database infrastructure in the cloud without succumbing to high license costs? In addition, their Oracle database created further issues as the company looked to turn their own packaged products to cloud services, and the process of migrating all their existing applications would be very expensive. 


NTT DATA ABIC leverages EDB Postgres Advanced Server to tackle database issues while moving to the cloud

These myriad issues were necessary to ensure the company’s continued growth and is why they opted to migrate from their Oracle database to EDB Postgres Advanced Server (EPAS). After speaking with the EDB team, NTT DATA ABIC realized that not only would EDB and PostgreSQL save them time and money, it could help them guarantee the reliability and availability that their valuable services and sensitive data required.


The challenge and opportunity of empowering financial institutions with the cloud

NTT DATA ABIC provides services related to "assets in custody." In 1998, when the Japanese government lifted the ban on over-the-counter sales of investment trusts by banks, the company began developing and providing investment trust information services and over-the-counter sales support systems for sales of investment trusts and insurance to regional banks and other financial institutions. As a result, NTT DATA ABIC has an industry-leading track record and a reputation for unparalleled expertise.

In the past, the company's packaged products were installed on customers' own physical server environments. However, according to Mr. Mitsuru Fujita, company Director, this business model has reached its limits.

When we spoke with Mr. Fujita about NTT DATA ABIC's decision to introduce cloud services, he explained: "Recently, all financial institutions have been under great pressure to reduce IT costs. We have received many requests to reduce the time and cost of system operations, which is why, since 2019, we have been gradually migrating our services to and offering them in the cloud.”

To shift their services to the cloud, NTT DATA ABIC planned to build their system in a virtual environment; but they first needed to resolve some issues. According to Mr. Kouki Okamura, General Manager of Infrastructure Promotion, one of these was selecting a database.

Per Mr. Okamura, “We had issues with the Oracle Database we were using at the time, including support and cost structure in a virtual environment. We had to carefully consider the higher licensing costs, which would affect the price of services we provide to our customers."


NTT DATA ABIC's EPAS migration achieves lower license costs and higher compatibility

When NTT DATA ABIC first discovered PostgreSQL, they were worried that, despite reducing license costs, they might incur other costs, related to migrating their applications.

Mr. Okamura explained "Our system implements most of the batch processing using Oracle Database’s stored procedures, and we thought it would take a long time to modify the programs because PostgreSQL is not compatible with Oracle Database from a programming perspective."

Consulting with group company experienced in PostgreSQL development, Mr. Okamura discovered EDB Postgres Advanced Server (EPAS), a commercial database product built on PostgreSQL. Not only is EPAS known for its high compatibility with Oracle Database, it boasts a reputation for reducing the cost of batch program modification.

NTT DATA ABIC purchased an EDB license from Ashisuto, a seller and supporter of EDB products in Japan with whom the company had an existing relationship: According to Mr. Shun Mugishima, Manager of System Development, “We originally had a relationship with Ashisuto through other products, and we trusted the quality of their support services."

"To prepare for problems that might arise during the verification process, we utilized the QA Support Service, which provides technical support by Ashisuto's dedicated engineers,” Mr. Mugishima explained. “As a result of picking up typical batch programs and verifying the compatibility between Oracle Database and EDB, we found that more than half of our programs could be migrated to EDB with almost no modification."

Based on these results, the company launched a full-scale migration to EDB. According to Mr. Naoki Miyaguchi, Manager of System Development, who is leading the project, the migration process went smoothly, although the volume of program modifications increased slightly compared to the original plan.

"During the actual migration, we encountered some compatibility issues, but Ashisuto's QA Support Service carefully investigated and answered our questions. As such we were able to quickly resolve the issues each time. Thanks to this, the project proceeded very close to schedule."


Future plans

Because of the smooth and continuous migration of all NTT DATA ABIC's existing applications to EDB Postgres Advanced Server, the service launched in Fall of 2019. 

EDB took into account the specific demands of NTT DATA ABIC's target service, which requires extremely high reliability because it handles the products of regional banks and other financial institutions. For this reason, the EDB team combined the replication function (streaming replication) -implemented as standard in EPAS- with the cluster function of virtualization technology to ensure sufficient reliability and availability.

Looking to the future, NTT DATA ABIC plans to use EDB to expand its cloud services and value proposition, including additional functions and convenience, as well as service price and reliability.

Mr. Fujita sums it up best: "Our customers will be able to easily integrate our multiple services by using our cloud services and gain even more value. We look forward to further enhancing the Oracle Database compatibility and usability of EPAS in order to realize these future plans more efficiently."

To learn more about EDB's customer successes, check out our customer stories here.

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