Archive for July, 2012

Banks and people, and databases in the sky!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

It seems we have another banking crisis, but this time it’s IT related, so what could be occurring at any of the said banks that are having these issues.

Well all these systems are interlinked, fail proofed and secured to the maximum……We hope! No bank will come out and tell you exactly what way they are doing this, or it will be hidden behind some PR brefing document.

So lets ponder what a typical bank set up might be:
well its going to be at the base level, storage, processing, and display

So lets have a look at storage:
We can presume that any bank would have a SAN or Storage Area network, this could be fiber or network, but these systems tend to be legacy based, so will probably be fiber. Their should be actually at least two sans, on as a mirror, so there would be fail-over. At a disk level there would be at least a RAID array (We would hope)and their would be a back up solution.

On the Processing side:
They could have a private cloud running vmware or Linux or M$ or some other cloud vendor, or they could be on plain hardware which hopefully would be on a cluster. These boxes would hopefully run Linux or M$.

Then we’re going to have some processing software, remember at all these systems core is a database that keeps your name, account number and the current balance in your account, that’s the main function of a bank. That would be fine if there was nothing else happening, and when you credited or withdrawn money form the bank, well then your current balance would be credited of debited, however the trouble is that when you have millions of these occurring, you then have a problem, or in some cases 20 million plus occurring, then if it goes wrong then you have a bigger problem.

The Display part, is simply putting the information on the screen, however if the information is wrong in the screen, well then you have a problem.

This seems to be whats happening at the moment, as shown in the regester:

But I just wonder about the people that may ask the questions at our enquires, what skill set will they have?, will they have the technical competency to know or understand even the basics of these systems?, I not aware of any member of the oireachtas, coming out and stating that they have a Degree in IT related discipline or having a Technical officer asking the questions that need to be asked.

Even looking at the committees list ( we don’t even have a mention of information technology, and I surpose I’m looking for it in the wrong place, but even so, I just wonder how tech competent the oireachtas members are?