To stay competitive in the dynamic Brazilian investment market, Ativa Investimentos decided to replace its traditional virtualization approach with a new container and microservices-based architecture and cloud technology.
Using Red Hat platform technology to create a new IT environment, Ativa Investimentos can now deliver projects in hours, rather than months and with no service downtime.
Red Hat OpenShift has also helped the broker prepare for future multi-cloud adoption by improving its efficiency and meeting market demand for innovative services faster.
Diego Cerqueira, CTO, Ativa Investimentos, said: “Previously, delivery of larger or more complex solutions could take months. Now, the same size projects can be delivered in days or even a few hours, and we have 100% availability with zero service downtime.”
Maintaining competitiveness with efficient, security-focused data processing
Ativa Investimentos is a broker with more than 35 years’ experience and a comprehensive financial portfolio to meet the needs of Brazilian investors. To maintain its competitiveness in Brazil’s rapidly growing investment market, Ativa sought to improve its approach for processing, sharing and using data.
“To meet our target of fivefold growth of our customer base, we needed to move from a traditional virtualized environment to a solution that would allow exponential growth,” said Cerqueira.
Ativa sought to create a cloud services platform and develop an Open Banking approach, where financial institutions integrate and share data using application programming interfaces (APIs) to improve customer services. Additionally, Ativa sought to ensure its IT environment was compliant with Brazil’s General Data Protection Law (LGPD) that went into effect in February 2020.
“We know that Digital Transformation is essential. We want to keep up and be competitive in the market with a platform that is flexible, efficient and highly available,” said Cerqueira.
The broker decided to meet its data processing and protection challenges by shifting to a cloud-native, container-based architecture with robust application orchestration, automation and security capabilities
“The container platform is much smarter than our traditional virtual environment and helps us adapt quickly as needs change,” added the CTO.
Building a modular, responsive service platform with Red Hat OpenShift
Ativa completed market research and considered solutions from several providers, including IBM and Microsoft, before choosing to build its new, container and microservices-based services platform using Red Hat OpenShift. This solution was recommended by Dell Computadores do Brasil, a local division of Red Hat partner Dell EMC and one of Ativa’s server hardware providers.
Giovani Zanon, Software Sales Manager, Dell Computadores do Brasil, said: “Ativa was looking for an enterprise Platform-as-a-Service [PaaS] backed by expert support. Red Hat OpenShift not only provides the right technology capabilities for improved agility, but also the support, documentation and guidance for adopting new methodologies like DevOps.”
Red Hat OpenShift is an enterprise Kubernetes container platform with comprehensive automation capabilities to support faster, more innovative development of applications and services across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Ativa worked with Dell and Red Hat Consulting to quickly implement Red Hat OpenShift in production.
“We needed a minimum viable product (MVP) version of the platform to be available quickly to our developers. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, installation had to be done remotely. With all the planning done with Dell and Red Hat, we installed Red Hat OpenShift on our Dell EMC VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure servers in just one week,” said Cerqueira.
The broker now hosts all of its new customer-facing applications on Red Hat OpenShift, from account creation and management to buying and selling assets such as shares, investment funds, initial public offerings (IPOs) and private pension plans. The new architecture also supports several internal, back-end processes, such as Ativa’s customer database and transactions-related workflows.
Adapting to deliver services faster with cloud and container technology
- Reduced project delivery from months to hours
With a responsive yet reliable platform for building and hosting its applications and services, Ativa can launch new products for its customers and offer them through new channels, such as the broker’s new, innovative mobile app.
Using the microservices-based environment and Red Hat OpenShift, Ativa has simplified provisioning processes to develop its new products faster. Collaborative, iterative DevOps and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) approaches, supported by the built-in automation capabilities of OpenShift, have also helped Ativa respond faster to demand.
Now, its infrastructure team can focus on working closely with developers on more valuable, customer-facing projects. These new offerings will help the broker stand out against the competition.
“The speed of project delivery improved greatly, in terms of both development and operations tasks. Before, delivery of larger or more complex solutions could take months,” said Cerqueira.
“Now, the same size projects can be delivered in days or even a few hours, and we have 100% availability with zero service downtime. Red Hat OpenShift has exceeded our expectations in how much we were able to streamline our application processes.”
- Improved agility to accommodate growing customer base
Compared to its previous platform technology, Ativa can now flexibly scale its Red Hat OpenShift environment to support higher transaction volumes as needed with less compute and memory resources. This responsiveness will help the broker respond faster to exponential growth of its customer base.
“We improved our costs with the move to Red Hat OpenShift by reducing the capacity, resources, and even hardware electricity and cooling demands needed to provide the same responsiveness for our customers. The container platform is much smarter than our traditional virtual environment and helps us adapt quickly as needs change,” explained Cerqueira.
Ativa currently has two data centers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but plans to migrate to a multi-cloud environment in the near future. By standardizing on Red Hat OpenShift as a consistent platform across its cloud environments, the broker has created a path to future expansion to public clouds from its choice of providers.
“A multi-cloud environment is the best way to guarantee us the availability and agility necessary to support the exponential customer growth we’re anticipating,” said Cerqueira.
- Improved adoption of container technology with expert support
To support its adoption of the new platform technology and work approaches, Ativa engaged Red Hat Consulting to provide guidance during project planning, cost analysis and deployment, as well as on-going support on best practices for its new IT architecture.
“Red Hat Consulting not only worked alongside our internal IT to complete our initial implementation smoothly, but also helps our technicians with training, troubleshooting and planning as we continue to grow and enhance our OpenShift environment. With expert guidance, we can take full advantage of our technology investment to create real business results,” said Cerqueira.
Preparing for automation and Big Data
Ativa now plans to explore automation, data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), to continue improving its operational efficiency. The broker is considering enhancing the automation capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, a human-readable automation technology that improves process efficiency with repeatable, reusable playbooks. Ativa plans to explore the self-service and automated provisioning capabilities offered by Red Hat OpenShift.
The broker is also considering participating in Red Hat Open Innovation Labs, an immersive residency program with Red Hat technology experts that incorporates open processes, culture and technology into existing work approaches to build business resilience.
“Red Hat and Dell were essential to a successful, efficient project delivery. We are excited to maintain this relationship to continue refining our existing approach and take advantage of new opportunities for innovation,” concluded Cerqueira.
About Ativa Investimentos
Ativa Investimentos is an independent investment broker with more than 35 years’ experience in the financial market. Its mission is to maximize return on its customers’ assets, following appropriate technical advice and ethical precepts and guaranteeing loyal and long-lasting relationships.Click below to share this article