Financial Data Analytics on AWS

Case Study - S3 Data Lake/SAS scenario on AWS

CloudBasic makes vast historical data available for reporting and analytics in an AWS RDS/SQL Server to S3 Data Lake/SAS scenario and reduces TCO

AWS RDS/SQL Server to S3 Data Lake/SAS scenario

CloudBasic Multi-AR for SQL Server and S3 handles historical SCD Type 2 data feeding from RDS SQL Servers to S3 Data Lake/SAS Visual Analytics.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: OFX, a publicly-listed international payments service provider, recently migrated to AWS to optimize cloud architecture, achieve substantial savings in SQL Server licensing fees, and get a broad range of functional benefits thanks to readily available High-Availability Database Read-Replicas. A solution from CloudBasic enabled laying down vast historical data into S3 data lake without transforming it, enabling the company to absorb the data into SAS Visual Analytics for processing and visualization.


The Client

OFX, the premier name in international money transfers, is a publicly listed payments service provider with strong presence in multiple markets around the world. The company was originally established as OzForex in Australia in 1998 and today OFX is a consolidated global brand, powering the money transfer services of some of the best names in the financial services industry. To learn more about the company, visit https://www.ofx.com.

Recently the company deployed crucial financial IT infrastructure to the cloud, utilizing CloudBasic’s robust SQL Server replication technology to migrate its database servers to AWS.  (See Migration to AWS with High-Availability Case Study.)

The Case

The enormous amount of data that flows through the OFX systems calls for a sophisticated data analytics technology stack. Originally OXF deployed Informatica PowerCenter for ETL to Hadoop, when HDFS was used as the Data Lake and performed various transformations on the way in.

As the company systems evolved, OFX switched to using S3 as the Data Lake and Hadoop on demand. That change brought the challenge of bringing large sets of historical SCD Type 2 data, extracted from AWS RDS SQL Server, into S3 for the purpose of building BI reports based on SAS Visual Analytics.

The Solution

CloudBasic RDS Multi-AR for the Enterprise
View the benefits of CloudBasic RDS SQL Server tools for Enterprise migrations, DR, HA, Reporting, Data-Locality, EMR/Hadoop.

OFX identified the need for a tool that can handle the new generation Big Data systems, and chose CloudBasic Multi-AR as the right solution. With its low cost of maintenance and extensive self-service capabilities, CloudBasic Multi-AR is designed to be lightweight and purposely built form the ground up specifically for AWS RDS and S3/EMR/Hadoop in AWS environment.

After switching to using S3 as the Data Lake and Hadoop on demand, CloudBasic was instrumental in laying down historical SCD Type 2 data into S3. The key benefit is having the historical data laid down in a flexible managed data lake to pull from, run some heavy compute processes, and push back into S3. The solution allows OFX to absorb the data into SAS Visual Analytics for processing and visualization. Informatica Cloud remains available for specific application integrations and ETL processing.

The Results

Using S3 for storage instead of HDFS, and using Hadoop as a workload processor instead of running 24/7 on reserved instances, helps the company materialize substantial benefits.

Since CloudBasic Multi-AR was designed specifically to feed data from RDS/EC2 SQL Server to various other systems, it has a distinct advantage over general purpose big data systems designed to feed data form diverse sources. CloudBasic Multi-AR is easy to operate and maintain, as it naturally fits the AWS environment. It is launched from a preconfigured AMI in a VPC. Once activated, you operate the service in a browser just like with any other AWS service.

The necessary customization to fine tune the out-of-the-box product to the specific needs of OFX and SAS Visual Analytics processing was handled by CloudBasic Services, avoiding the need to hire a costly System Integrator. Ongoing support is also handled by CloudBasic.

For more information about CloudBasic and its cloud technology products and services, please contact CloudBasic.