Archive and storage specialists Proact have supplied a VMware-based server platform to Cinnober Financial Technology. This will allow Cinnober to carry out functional testing on its IT-based stock exchange systems on a virtual platform.

140 developers work at Cinnober on the development of stock exchange systems. The systems developed have to be tested regularly to ensure that they are functioning as they ought to. One of the aims of these tests is to ensure the shortest possible delay in stock market trading, from order to transaction. This functional testing demands a lot from IT infrastructure.

The various Cinnober projects have fluctuating capacity requirements while they are in progress. The new server platform will help Cinnober to even out its utilisation of resources while at the same time reducing electricity consumption by using fewer physical servers.

“Our developers build stock exchange systems for various clients’ specific platforms, and they have to be able to test them at various times. With Proact’s help, we have now created a flexible test environment in which we allocate capacity to the various projects as required. We have processor power and memory on tap, so to speak. This allows us to save time and also to make the best use of our hardware, and so we also manage to reduce time-to-market for our clients,” says Peter Lindvall, Head of Operations at Cinnober.

Proact has designed the new server platform, which is based on a virtualisation solution from VMware. Cinnober is able to simultaneously use more than 100 virtual servers, running different operating systems, in the new test environment. This allows the company’s resources to be reallocated quickly if so required so that they can be shared among the various development projects.

“Cinnober is a shining example of a company that has much to gain from virtualisation. There are many benefits, such as better capacity utilisation and a reduction in the numbers of physical servers, so reducing electricity consumption,” says Peter Javestad, Vice President at Proact.

Proact has been responsible for the Cinnober storage and backup environment for a while now. This system is entirely disk-based, and all data is mirrored to a site in a different geographical location, so considerably enhancing security. This also keeps the risk of downtime to a minimum as the system operated from the remote site. Comprehensive system recovery is also easy and quick to implement. The new, virtualised test environment will considerably reduce disk utilisation as only data changes will be stored.

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