Are in-situ core banking system upgrades even possible.

Is zero down time realistic?

Imagine your core banking system upgrades to a new version whilst it’s running. In situ upgrades with no down time during an upgrade are possible. @ChrisLong explains how @SAP have done it at @commbank

Liberty IT Consulting Group is an Australian IT company. Liberty services the banking and finance sector and specialises in transformation Project Management. Key areas of focus are core banking, digital, integration, migrations, cloud, project quality assurance, project governance, advisory, and project recovery. Liberty’s business analysts, project managers, directors, PMO professionals, engineers, and agile practitioners are the finest in their field.

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 TRINA: So, we understand the Commonwealth Bank has accomplished in situ core banking system upgrades. How significant is that? And why, and what does it take to accomplish a near zero downtime effect.

CHRIS: Sure. So, yes CommBank did upgrade. It was about two years ago. It was the first upgrade they’ve done since the CBM project which they’d done upgrades in the early days. It’s… when you’re upgrading CBA’s core banking system, it’s significant! So, you need to tell some of the retailers. So, for example, Bunnings. If you turn up at Bunnings because the official time was coming back on a 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and if you turn up at Bunnings with your debit card and you buy something more than whatever the standard amount which, which is about $300, there’s going to be an issue. So, it’s not… it’s not without its nationwide impacts upgrading the system, but also there’s a capability so… we’re a German software company so, my German friends won’t allow me to say “zero downtime”. It’s apparently, near zero downtime. Because, they’re not American. So, they don’t sort of stretch things. Sorry Eric. But… but the way the architecture works in this, it’s quite smart, they… they can actually create a whole new instance beside it. You… you then move all the data that doesn’t change all that rapidly, you’re starting to build a completely upgraded system. While at the same time, the production system is beside it and then you just have the few tables that are constantly changing and then you go off a little bit and you bring them back and hopefully that card works before Bunnings opens in the morning and it did! So, yeah not without its challenges but the architecture allows that to happen. 

TRINA: know I was still at CBA when they did that. And yeah it was a mammoth effort and very successful.

CHRIS: just I mean the volume is 1400 transactions per second 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So you don’t want to take it off for a while because there’s actually a point where you can never catch up.

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