A Core Health® Journey: Moving to Scalability

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The journey that Fortified Data takes its clients on is one that is focused on transforming how data is managed, analyzed and leveraged by the business. The journey towards Core Health® is not only transformative but also transcending. We work with our clients on scaling and streamlining their data applications so they can grow with their business. Other than making the system highly Available, Fortified Data also focuses on increasing the database’s SCALABILITY.

Our Focus on Scalability

As we move beyond looking at the Availability of a database, our team focuses on creating a system that can meet the Performance Level Agreements (PLA) while processing a high number of business transactions. During this stage of the Core Health® journey, Fortified Data focuses on increasing transactional volumes within your database system and optimizing the performance of critical transactions. This approach increases the system’s concurrency while reducing the number of resources required to support the peak transactional volumes of the business.

With our clients wanting to provide the best service for their customers, we also work to reduce resource consumption and licensing costs while increasing the functional and processing capabilities of the database systems.

It is our goal that the scalability of client’s database is able to process the peak workload whether it be processing credit card payments, providing health care messaging for critical care patients, or simply providing reports so that their customers can analyze their data and make strategic plans on how to improve in what they are working towards.

What We’ve Done

In many instances of working with clients, Team Fortified Data works to assess and determine whether the database needs to be scaled up or scaled out. We are a team of individuals who strive for excellence and thrive in curiosity, so even when there is a type of software that we are not familiar with, we are able to quickly learn, adapt, and provide the results that our clients keep coming back for.

Scalability is more than scaling a single system to process transactions, it is also about designing the client’s next enterprise data service offering. Over the years, Fortified Data has been engaged by Microsoft to design several highly consolidated SQL Server Private Clouds for several of the world’s largest banks. These clients’ environments had 6000+ servers and 40,000+ databases each. The goal was to design a global data environment that can scale at the enterprise level while meeting the various performance, functional and business goals of the organization.

Another project required Fortified to design a highly scalable solution to migrate 6,500 DB2 instances to SQL Server over WAN links for a large financial bank. This was the type of project that if we did not perform, the bank would have been on the front page of USA Today. The complexity of the project was massive due to each bank branch having a DB2 instance that contained confidential financial data and each branch location had limited network bandwidth to transfer data. Any issue with the systems would impact the 60,000+ bank tellers and the millions of bank customers. Fortified Data was able to migrate all of the bank branches to the SQL Server while maintaining the proper security and audit controls. Furthermore, if any issues would have occurred, thousands of bank branches would have not been able to process their transactions thus impact loan services, withdrawals, investments, and more.

Fortified Data engaged with another well-known company to scale their systems up and help improve their Core Health®. The client, who delves in payment processing for school systems asked Fortified to perform a scalability test within three weeks for one of the largest school systems in the USA. This client owns the payment marking for processing the school lunch payments and could not afford to have their systems falter or be unable to handle the workload as it would not only impact the school system but the students and their families.

Working within their timeframe, Fortified Data was able to produce quick turnaround time and design a testing strategy to load test 2,100 simulate school systems and produce the report for the large school system. Our biggest challenge within the project occurred because we were not fully knowledgeable of the client’s workload and Fortified had to quickly determine how to accurately simulate the load test and build the performance testing environment out, test and analyze the data in only 3 weeks. Before we took this engagement, we joked that this would be a very tough project and the client said, “This is why we called Fortified, because it was impossible.”

Our Goal to Provide Scalability

Scalability is a top priority for Mission Critical systems. Fortified Data makes sure the systems are first highly available so they can scale to process the revenue-generating or the life-saving transactions whenever the peak workload is. The ability to scale systems is more of an art than science and Team Fortified Data has proven time and time again that we know what it takes to transform the systems over time and make them athletes so they can compete and win the race.

Fortified Data strives to stay abreast in the newest systems and data technologies so that we are always knowledgable on how to scale any system that any client may have.

Through our growth and expanding expertise, we keep moving our clients through the entire journey towards Core Health® – with that journey moving from Availability to Scalability.