T-DAB and CJC partner to help clients maximise the predictive power of IT Operations Analytics


By on April 3rd, 2019 in Main Blog
T-DAB and CJC partner to help clients maximise the predictive power of IT Operations Analytics

Already a successful big data visualization platform, mosaicOA from CJC is now enhanced with machine-led analytics – developed in partnership with The Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB). The use of Principle Component Analysis (PCA) in mosaicOA enables clients to more comprehensively realise the predictive power of IT Operations Analytics.

CJC logo

Firms across the capital markets spectrum typically have multiple bespoke and specialist IT infrastructures distributing real time data, both internally and to global counterparties. These are critical to running their market operations and disruption comes at a high cost.

IT Operations Analytics (ITOA) provides essential information on infrastructure performance to enable:

  • Diagnosis of bottlenecks
  • Analysis on outages and the impact of market movement
  • Capacity management forecasting of device failure
  • Impact analysis of new technology or software upgrades

MosaicOA, a SaaS-based big data visualization platform from CJC is designed to support IT Operations Analytics and deliver insight via visualisations, analytics and reports from clients’ mission critical IT infrastructures.

A typical capital market server can easily create 50 million statistics every day – from CPU, networking and application level.  This data is recorded in real-time from the entire infrastructure to a time series database running in CJC’s private cloud, then presented to the client via an interactive front end.

Users are typically IT operations and engineering teams, as well as service and capacity managers.

Human to machine led analytics

The mosaicOA platform provides excellent human led analytics, presenting users with the ability to interrogate data and create meaningful visualisations.  For example, the visualisation below shows two different manually created views for market data CPU rates and market data update rates:

mosaicOA - market data update and CPU rates 2

This visualisation demonstrates a key challenge around the correlation of different data sets.  Clearly, a spike in market data update rates had an impact on CPU levels.  However, the CPU is logged as a percentage between 0-100, with market data updates as a numeric between 0 and into millions.  Placing these into a single view would result in CPU levels being rendered invisible, so for human led visualisations, two views are required.

CJC wished to offer advanced machine led analytics, particularly in highlighting metrics which did not typically correlate. They also wanted the final presentation to be actionable, so users could immediately see and understand system behaviour. The team needed specific expertise to address the project and structure their database to deliver the enhanced insight. They called on The Data Analysis Bureau (T-DAB) to provide that expertise.

Principal component analysis

T-DAB presented Principle Component Analysis (PCA) as the solution for mosaicOA.  PCA identifies co-linearity in collected infrastructure metrics, enabling a reduction in the number of dimensions represented. These metrics are then normalised from their base units of measure into a Performance Index; a value between -100 (under-utilised) to +100 (over-utilised).

So, in the case shown above of CPU (0-100%) and Update Rates (0-XXXXXXX), the thresholds are now -100 to +100, as shown below.

mosaicOA - Screenshot of performance index values across server and application metrics

The performance index can be accessed via the front end mosaicOA GUI.  A list of servers is simply inputted, and any additions will then be compared to each other against a time frame.

mosaicOA - Screenshot to show via PCA, which servers are over and under utilised

Adding personas to PCA

Creating personas is a tried and trusted method of data sorting.  For mosaicOA, a persona is a group of servers that perform specific roles to the organisation. For example, physical servers could be separated from virtual, Windows and Unix operations systems, server’s specification and type (Dell / HP / Virtual / Cloud) and, importantly, the ‘Chinese wall’ separation of business units, departments and regions commonly found in regulated capital markets.

mosaicOA - personas

The personas are separated by individual windows, which clearly show the utilisation of that persona.  Aggregation is carried out by the client and the algorithm then works out, in real time, which servers are outside the bounds of normal performance for that selected persona, over a given time frame. T-DAB provides continuous technical project support through a senior data engineer and data scientist.

mosaicOA - capital markets

This approach allows firms to quickly identify the most used (and underused) servers, allowing them to proactively manage resources and make cost savings and decisions on their infrastructure.

T-DAB and CJC 

T-DAB helped CJC structure the software development process into two-week sprints and the tools for configuration management were built in a central location to reduce the support overhead. MosaicOA uses a continuous integration server with automated testing that allows not only automated regression tests for releases, but also automated stress tests to help define specific use-case versions of the offering.

CJC now have enhanced data competency with The Data Analysis Bureau as a partner, enabling them to push the boundaries of data innovation. Indeed, as users of mosaicOA themselves (see Global Head of Product Management, Steve Moreton’s post here), the enhanced tooling was used on their own environment to find a 40% capacity reduction.

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