BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Direct Transact functions in an environment where technological capability correlates directly with profitability. They needed to futureproof their core banking system by re- engineering it to be more cost-effective and agile. Additionally their business model is multi-tenanted however their infrastructure was designed for single tenancy. This created significant investment costs, in terms of time and hardware, for the addition of every new client. 

 While they were committed to modernisation, Direct Transact maintained a mature legacy system and, therefore, their internal capacity was tuned to the management and maintenance of such systems, rather than to developing a modern cloud-based architecture.

THE PROCESS

Tangent Solutions consulted with Direct Transact to define and cost different potential architectures to support their modernisation journey. It was soon apparent that, due to the sizable cost projection, a “lift and shift” approach to fully migrate to the cloud was not possible. 

Tangent Solutions discussed the pros and cons of various options, including the benefits of implementing containers and container orchestration frameworks like Kubernetes. The cost-saving and agility analyses for the total cost of ownership (TCO) supported a hybrid solution which mitigated risks inherent to full cloud migration and limited the client’s exposure. 

 A staged approach also leveraged the best outcomes in terms of Direct Tranact’s ability to production-test their new architecture and to let their development teams set the pace. The structured journey provided affordable milestones, which will culminate in Direct Transact offering a fully cloud-based multi-tenanted service. Once the infrastructure architecture model was agreed, Tangent Solutions submitted this to Microsoft’s Fast Track team. With approval from Microsoft’s engineering team Tangent Solutions was ready to implement the blueprint.

THE SOLUTION

As simplified deployment during the onboarding of new clients was a key consideration for Direct Transact, Tangent Solutions implemented the blueprint using Infrastructure as Code (IaC). The configuration of the environment was managed through GitOps. Azure DevOps provided Direct Transact with a robust tooling for implementing Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CICD) for their cloud-native application. 

The cloud-native application utilises Microsoft’s AKS, a Kubernetes-managed service of Azure. GitOps with Azure DevOps manages the configuration of the cloud environment to ensure no drift occurs. This ensures a “source of truth” for the architecture and provides a base repository that can quickly initiate a production- ready workload. 

 Various workloads have been broken down into a microservice architecture. These are implemented with .Net core, allowing Direct Transact to leverage a cross-platform, open-source environment from which to build their apps.

THE OUTCOME

Direct Transact has successfully moved away from a VM-intensive solution to a cloud- native microservice architecture that guarantees high availability. This microservice approach also enables efficient development and deployment in response to changing demands on the functionality of the system – as Direct Transact’s business model evolves. 

 The onboarding process for new clients is now simplified and cost-effective, with a guaranteed production-ready containerised environment. By applying an IaC approach, Direct Transact is now able to maintain the configuration of a “golden copy” of its infrastructure which may be rapidly deployed as a production version of their application platform through pipelines on Azure DevOps. 

 The new architecture implements event streaming, with all event data available in a data lake. This a significant aspect of Direct Transact’s journey away from a traditional data warehouse model to the cloud-native Azure. Benefits of which include the ability to perform advanced analytics and apply machine learning to real-time event data to identify potential issues such as fraudulent transactions. 

 Tangent Solutions is proud to have supported Direct Transact with its progression and modernisation and looks forward to assisting them to implement their full migration to the cloud.

@TangentSolutions


@TangentSolutions


@TangentSolutions


@TangentZA