Bruno Souza at Summa Technologies do Brasil explains how his company used AWS to complete a Proof of Concept for one of its customers running a complex fraud management solution:
Hi Bruno, briefly tell us about your business.
Summa Technologies do Brasil is a consulting company focused on enterprise solutions based in Java and open source frameworks. Widely recognized as a leader in the Java area, Summa has a strong reputation in helping customers implement complex, mission critical, large enterprise solutions. Summa specializes in hands on knowledge transfer, and brings the high level of expertise needed to complete projects on time with the required performance and availability to the customer's development team. With a small set of highly performing and experienced consultants, Summa focuses on critical areas of a customer project, bringing expertise to where it is needed most. Summa is based in São Paulo, Brazil, and works with customers located throughout Brazil.
Summa recently began work with CPqD and FICO on a complex fraud management solution, developed by CPqD, that monitors card issuer’s credit and debit card transactions, with the objective of migrating the solution to run on AWS cloud environment, while analyzing the impact and benefits
The solution incorporates Falcon Fraud Manager, an accurate and comprehensive solution for detecting card payment fraud, and able to reduce losses by up to 50%. FICO™ Falcon® Fraud Manager monitors transactions for 2 billion active accounts across six continents. It has saved U.S. card issuers alone more than $10 billion since its introduction in 1992. About 65 percent of the world's credit cards are managed using FICO adaptive control systems.
The application developed by CPqD is a high availability and high performance solution that needs to scale to handle high volumes of transactions during peak shopping periods throughout the year. The solution provides effective, fast, and accurate fraud identification to protect card issuers by stopping fraud early while at the same time, offering card users and merchants a smooth shopping experience.
With complex scalability needs, including peak shopping periods varying widely from month to month, and because a lack of responsiveness can adversely impact the seller, and thereby the whole card business, it requires a fast capacity of the systems to grow and adapt to the demand.
CPqD developed the application initially with no specific consideration for a cloud architecture. Summa got involved to help analyze the issues and benefits of adopting a cloud provider. By working with AWS, that allowed us to deploy the basically unmodified solution, but on a cloud environment, it allowed us to prototype the new solution, clearly identify the benefits, and map the potential for improvement.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using and how?
Summa uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) internally as the infrastructure for supporting our development teams. By hosting development tools and infrastructure in the AWS Cloud, we are able to provide a central point for our team of developers scattered across dozens of customers for their development needs. By leveraging Amazon Cloud benefits, we can easily deploy new tools, while guaranteeing the needed availability and security that our developers rely on to do their work. Summa also uses AWS to host development and testing environments and to create a faster development process and turnaround.
What programming languages and/or tools did you use to build this solution?
CPqD Gestão Integrada de Fraudes e Eventos - Integrated Fraud and Events Management, is a Java-based solution, developed on top of the FICO™ Falcon® Fraud Manager product stack. It uses IBM/WebSphere, an Oracle database, and a few third party components that the customer has little control over. Because of that, the nature of this project was to assess the viability of deploying to the Amazon Cloud without any modification to the existing application. The environment created used AWS command line tools to automate tasks, but no new cloud-specific development was done.
Why did you decide to use AWS?
Due to complex scalability demands, the need to have a fast turnaround on the installation and configuration of new environments, and the project's security and high availability requirements, it was clear that a cloud solution could help in providing the infrastructure we needed.
We selected AWS for the following reasons:
How has AWS helped your business?
Cloud computing has a profound impact on how you plan your computer systems— giving you a freedom of action never before available. AWS is the most advanced cloud system out there, and by leveraging its capabilities, you can do now what you were previously only hoping for.
Can you share any metrics on your usage of AWS to date?
The objective of this proof-of-concept (POC) was to assess the viability of deploying an unmodified application to the Amazon Cloud, and then evaluating the level of cloud features an existing application benefits from. We found that it was very successful in this because the application could be re-installed and benefited from many of the cloud features without any large issues, and with minimal adjustments. Being able to immediately benefit from AWS, without large re-development and re-architecting upfront costs is a huge advantage.
Do you have any future plans to incorporate other AWS solutions?
The POC showed that specific cloud features, like Amazon Auto Scaling and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), would hugely facilitate the administration and increase the availability of the application, even though it would require some investments and modifications to the application. Through the POC, it was clear that those modifications would add substantial value to the application architecture. Considering cloud resources in the architecture of the application leads to a solution that would be better integrated, as well as easier to deploy and manage. Planning the addition of those functionalities, while already benefiting from a cloud environment, lowers the risk of adoption and expands our capability to innovate.
To learn more, visit http://www.summa.com.br/ .
Added December 7, 2011