We have lowered the cost per gigabyte by 70% for our backups since migrating to the AWS Cloud.
Mani Kant Singh R Head of IT, Orbis Financial
  • Orbis Financial needed a highly efficient and speedy infrastructure to deliver more value back to the business
  • The business migrated its UAT environment and data backups to the AWS Cloud
  • Reduces IT costs by 10 percent
  • Raises management efficiency by 10 percent
  • Improves software development 20 percent
  • Reduces the number of IT outages to zero
  • Cuts backup costs by 70 percent

India-based Orbis Financial launched in 2009. The company offers a range of custodial services to foreign and domestic investors. Its services include transaction settlement, dividend collection and distribution, and investment-fund administration. The organization’s customers include commercial banks, high-net-worth individuals, pension funds, and trusts. Orbis Financial continues to expand, achieving a growth average of 20 percent year-on-year.

Orbis Financial constantly provides its customers with online reports about their investments and the services the customer is using. These reports are crucial for customers, helping them make important business decisions or meet regulation compliance. Customers can also customize reports by asking Orbis Financial to change the way it presents data in the documents. For example, one day a customer may want to see performance figures with two values after the decimal and then, another time, the same figures with four values after the decimal point.

Keeping pace with the number of customizations¾which can be as many as 50 per report across thousands of reports in a single day¾was challenging. The main issue was the user-acceptance testing (UAT) environment, where the Orbis Financial IT team checks that customizations have been successful. The environment, which operated in an on-premises infrastructure, suffered around 10 outages a month, reducing the environment’s performance.

Mani Kant Singh R, head of information technology at Orbis Financial, was looking to improve the performance of the Orbis Financial IT infrastructure and, in turn, the experience for customers. “We wanted to get those outages down to zero,” he says. Mani also sought to reduce costs—in particular, the expense of backing up and archiving the data from the UAT to a secondary on-premises site. On top of this, he sought to improve management efficiency and enhance the speed of software development so IT could deliver more value back to the business.

To address these needs and challenges, Mani looked to move the UAT environment and data backups to the cloud. To ensure he received the support of Orbis Financial board members, Mani needed to demonstrate that the cloud would be secure. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offered both the level of security and diversity of services for Orbis Financial to approve migration of the UAT environment to the AWS Cloud. Says Mani, “I convinced the board of directors that AWS offered us a level of data security that we couldn’t match¾and that our data would be safer in the AWS Cloud.”

Orbis Financial migrated its UAT environment and data backups to the AWS Cloud with little change to any application code. Explains Mani, “When we created our applications, we built them so their code would be cloud-friendly. We ran a month-long proof of concept on the AWS Cloud to make the final tweaks to the AWS infrastructure, and we completed the migration of the UAT and backup processes without any issues.”

The UAT application runs on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with client data—which populates the customized reports—residing in Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). Backups of the environment are deposited in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and then archived in Amazon Glacier.

Orbis Financial no longer suffers IT outages, which in turn has improved the performance of the UAT environment. “Since moving the UAT environment to the AWS Cloud, the number of outages to the backend infrastructure supporting the environment has gone from 10 per month to zero,” says Mani. “This has enabled us to raise the performance of our UAT processes and complete report customizations in an hour, compared to four to eight hours in the previous environment.”

The company has also reduced its IT costs by using AWS. By moving from a CAPEX to OPEX IT model, the company avoids costly upfront capital investments and any need for overprovisioning. Says Mani, “We have reduced the IT costs for our UAT environment by 10 percent through our migration from an on-premises environment to the AWS Cloud.”

Orbis Financial has also lowered spending for backup and archiving by switching to the cloud. “We have lowered the cost per gigabyte by 70 percent for our backups since migrating to the AWS Cloud,” says Mani.

Managing the infrastructure behind the UAT environment is also simpler now that the infrastructure is running in the AWS Cloud. The IT team administers just the Amazon EC2 instances and the Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier storage. “We have increased IT-management efficiency by 10 percent,” says Mani. The increased efficiency has also helped improve software-development processes and, by extension, the company’s ability to innovate. For example, the Orbis Financial IT team can quickly spin up temporary environments on AWS to support developers.

“By using AWS, we have enhanced software development by 20 percent. This will help drive innovation across the organization. The entire project received tremendous support from our Chief Executive Officer Rajesh M Sharma, who funded our move to the AWS Cloud. He conducted milestone-based reviews to monitor our progress and provided recommendations to achieve our goals,” says Mani.