PULSE worked with HP Technology Services to evaluate its business needs and develop a technology strategy that delivered a scalable infrastructure capable of supporting nearly five times more transaction processing than its previous platform.(1) In addition to maintaining the highest levels of performance, the company leveraged HP NonStop technology to eliminate unplanned downtime, enhancing client satisfaction, while reducing processing costs.
Following a thorough review of available solutions, PULSE selected an HP Converged Infrastructure consisting of three mission-critical HP Integrity NonStop NB50000c BladeSystem infrastructure platforms. The solution offers a combination of servers, networking and storage that easily scales and eliminates unplanned downtime. Each PULSE data center location includes dedicated systems for production transaction processing, certification, and development and benchmarking.
“For PULSE to leverage new opportunities and meet changing industry demands, we needed to scale out our transaction processing platform while maintaining high availability and performance,” said Tony Zeis, senior vice president, Technology, PULSE. “As an HP client for more than 17 years, we knew that the HP Converged Infrastructure would fit our needs perfectly, while reducing our transaction processing time and costs.”
“Financial institutions, like ours, depend on their networks to deliver uninterrupted 24/7 service,” said Nick Anderson, senior vice president, Trustmark Bank, a participating PULSE issuer in Jackson, Miss. “PULSE’s migration to the new HP NonStop architecture strengthens their ability to provide reliable services and 100 percent uptime—this helps us sleep better at night.”
While this gives the great HP and PULSE side of the story, we also got some of the inside story from Rod Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Before founding the Enderle Group, Rob held leading positions with Forrester Research and the Giga Information Group. Rob has or does work with most of the technology companies in a variety of segments.
For a great third party analysis read the following excerpt posted to ITBusinessEdge by Rob Enderle.
PULSE Case: Ditching Oracle for HP and Planning for the Future
Posted by Rob Enderle Jul 16, 2012 6:05:19 PM in ITBusinessEdge
Last week, I spent some time talking to PULSE, a Discover Financial Services company, on why it stepped away from a suite of vendors — including IBM, EMC, Cisco and Oracle — to implement a massive HP NonStop blade system using ReD’s real-time transaction monitoring technology to create the first real-time debit card fraud alert system. (The related announcement is here.)”
It was an amazing conversation and a couple of things jumped out at me.”
PULSE Real-Time Fraud Alerts
I’ve been following on-line fraud for some time and am well aware that debit cards are where we are most exposed. Generally, the banks have taken a position that is it cheaper to absorb the losses than implement technology to prevent them, even though, should the breach result in your identity being stolen, it can cost up to 9 months and $250K (that estimate is from a decade ago and now likely higher) to get things sort of back to where they were. You’ll likely never fix your credit scores completely.”
This is particularly true of debit cards, which are not afforded the same protections as credit cards are (which is why I very rarely use mine).”
As it turns out, the other problem, in addition to cost, is that the banks won’t tolerate false blocks or false positives, which block users from their legitimate transactions. This is because they drive up support costs and piss off customers in mass. So the system that PULSE had to create had to not only do the job of stopping most fraud, it had to do it very cheaply and it had to be very accurate. It also turned out that it had to be real time to maximize the impact and this last was particularly difficult.”
HP Was Better Because It Was Simpler
The first big moment was when PULSE talked about its first attempt to implement this system and how it was having an administrative nightmare. It wasn’t that the EMC, IBM and Cisco hardware weren’t competitive; it was that constantly working with technologies that weren’t designed to work together was creating an overhead nightmare of finger-pointing problems and requiring a level of staffing it couldn’t sustain. In addition, this multi-vendor mess wasn’t particularly agile either and didn’t allow it to plan for the growth it was anticipating with its market-leading solution.”
Reliability wasn’t particularly good either at an estimated 97 percent and it knew it needed to bet to 99.999 percent to be viable. Customers, and it has customers that range from the largest to the smallest debit card providers, aren’t very understanding of downtime.”
It found that by going with a single vendor, it could dramatically reduce support costs and dramatically increase reliability, performance and manageability — all critical to the success of this offering. While it also bid IBM’s System Z, the company just wasn't left feeling that IBM could execute with what it needed, even though it is a big System Z user on with other parts of its business. Oracle wasn’t asked to bid for two reasons: The first is that Oracle’s Exadata solution wasn’t competitive, but the other is that Oracle penalized it for anticipating growth and for being secure…”
Read the entire article here: PULSE Case: Ditching Oracle for HP and Planning for the Future
And in addition read the related HP Press Release:HP Powers PULSE to Expand Transaction Processing Capacity
(1) Based on internal client results.