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. Ativa used Red Hat OpenShift, a leading Kubernetes application platform, to create this new IT environment. Now, Ativa can deliver projects in hours, rather than months, with no service downtime. Red Hat OpenShift has also helped the broker prepare for future multicloud adoption by improving its efficiency and meeting market demand for innovative services faster.
- Reduced project delivery from months to hours
- Improved agility to accommodate growing customer base
- Improved issue resolution and staff knowledge with expert support
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 Diego Cerqueira, Ativa’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
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 Gustavo Franco Farias, DevOps and Infrastructure Manager, Ativa Investimentos.
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.
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.
“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,” said Giovani Zanon, Software Sales Manager, Dell Computadores do Brasil.
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 multicloud 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 Gustavo Franco Farias, DevOps and Infrastructure Manager, Ativa Investimentos.
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,” said Farias. “Before, 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. 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 with a scalable application environment
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,” said Faria. “The container platform is much smarter than our traditional virtual environment and helps us adapt quickly as needs change.”
Ativa currently has two datacenters in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but plans to migrate to a multicloud 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 multicloud 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 Kubernetes technology with expert Red Hatter 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 ongoing support on best practices for its new IT architecture.