In recent years, the business scale of Yingda Asset Management has grown 54 times, from 1.8 billion yuan to 100 billion yuan. Its growth speed ranks first in the industry in China.

With the expansion in business scale and launch of new business products, Yingda Asset Management has innovatively upgraded the IT infrastructure of the production data center and disaster recovery data center through hyperconvergence, giving effective support to business ranging from general production to core production. While ensuring the user experience of quality services and meeting the internal business demands, the upgraded infrastructure provides lower total cost of ownership and higher agility than traditional infrastructure.

For this reason, we invited Xia Yan, Vice President of the Internet Finance Department of Yingda Asset Management, to share Yingda’s perspectives and practices on the upgrade of IT infrastructure.

Click here to watch the interview.

The following is the transcript of the interview.

Interviewee: Xia Yan, Vice President of the Internet Finance Department of Yingda Asset Management

Please briefly introduce yourself and the development of Yingda Asset Management.

I come from the Internet Finance Department of Yingda Asset Management, and I am mainly engaged in information technology management. In the past two years, Yingda has registered rapid business growth. From the initial scale of 1.8 billion yuan, our business has grown 54 times and it reached 100 billion yuan by the end of last month. We experienced the fastest growth in the industry.

Why did Yingda Asset Management choose hyperconverged architecture for the upgrade of IT infrastructure?

The rapid growth in business has brought a lot of challenges and demands to our IT infrastructure. We are launching  many new business products and modules, which requires the fast response and support from the IT department, including rapid distribution, procurement and deployment of the system.

We chose the hyperconverged architecture because it fits our goals. Previously, we used the traditional three-tier architecture, and the speed of deployment and implementation could not keep up with the pace of our business development.

Additionally, we have a small IT department, with only a few people. Our business goal is to reach 100 billion yuan as quickly as possible, and an asset management company of that size needs at least 10 IT staff.

We chose hyperconverged architecture because it can streamline our operation and maintenance process. It enables us to support the rapid launch of business with minimal staff, and secures the safety and stability of our business.

What are the businesses you deploy on the hyperconverged architecture?

After adopting the hyperconverged architecture, we migrated all the minicomputer services to the new architecture. Now all of our business systems, including core database applications, are running on hyperconverged architecture, and our disaster recovery is also on hyperconverged architecture. The performance of hyperconverged architecture is as efficient as minicomputers, if not more so.

Currently, the asset managing business that meet the requirement of the level-2 national cybersecurity system, including investment, i.e. the five core systems of O3, TA, valuation, clearing and online trading, as well as the Oracle database used by these systems, the SQL Server used for offering quotations in the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the MySQL used by the auxiliary peripheral systems, are all running on hyperconverged architecture.

How stable is the hyperconverged architecture in supporting multiple core businesses?

The hyperconverged architecture has been running for more than three years and there has not been a single accident of downtime. The regulatory requirements for the securities and fund industry are very strict. If a downtime event occurs, it will be notified in the whole industry.

We have never had such a downtime event. Even if it happens, according to our test, the hyperconverged architecture recovers much faster than the traditional architecture.

What are the improvements in the efficiency of support for business departments?

For the IT department, giving support to the development of other business departments is a top priority. Now our business is growing rapidly, and the requirements are very strict for rapid system construction, including distribution.

At the beginning, Yingda was only managing 1.8 billion yuan of asset, and many business systems and business products were not launched yet. Over the past year, we have launched a wide range of business products, including the transformation of ETF, ESG 120, SSE STAR Market and Growth Enterprise Market products, as required by government policies or on our own initiative. Although we introduced more systems than any other company in the industry, we finished all the projects on time, and even ahead of schedule in certain cases.

Not long ago, we were planning to launch a settlement system for the annual financial close. We were given a very tight schedule, and had to consider force majeure factors such as the pandemic, as well as the impact of the procurement cycle, but we finished the construction, distribution and launch of the system in only 15 days. It provided the business departments with a very good user experience, and they also gave us a lot of praises and compliments.

What are the improvements in the operation & maintenance management and efficiency?

With so few hands, we still have to complete the tasks of construction and operation & maintenance, and also meet the needs of the business departments as quickly as possible. Now with the hyperconverged architecture, we are doing it pretty well.

Looking at next year, we still have quite a number of business systems in the pipeline, like MOM, FOF, overseas, and probably also the recently established business with Beijing Stock Exchange.

Thanks to the flexibility and convenience of the hyperconverged architecture, we are able to support the launch, distribution, deployment, operation, disaster recovery and disaster tolerance of so many business products with just a few people.

What are the improvements in the use of space and energy efficiency of the server room?

Before we opted for the hyperconverged architecture, we had some 30 cabinets. But after switching to the hyperconverged architecture, the number of cabinets reduced to only 3, and the energy consumption of the whole cabinet was down by about 80%. At the same time, with fewer equipment in the server room, relocation also became easier.

It took us just a whole weekend to move from the traditional server room, which is our current server room, to the disaster recovery server room. This would be unthinkable with a traditional architecture, and we would have to find a week-long holiday like the National Day or the Labor Day to complete the relocation.

In the meantime, the power and energy consumption of the server room has been greatly reduced, which is also in line with the government’s goal of carbon neutrality.

How do you feel about working with SmartX?

We have been working with SmartX for more than three years, and we trust each other; SmartX’s all-around services have attended to all our needs.

Last year, we had a power outage in our building on National Day. The UPS in our server room lost power supply, and all of the servers went down all of a sudden. SmartX worked extra hours with us to reboot the servers, including the virtual machine applications on it, until 2:30 am. SmartX gave us vital support through the whole process.

What are Yingda’s plans for the business and IT infrastructure?

We have to carry out more business next year. So we must respond quickly to the launch of business systems and information systems in order to support the high-speed growth of our business.

At the infrastructure level, we will probably do some refactoring or node expansion, including business separation. We are considering discussing with SmartX whether there is any possibility for more cooperation in the utilization of these resources, including architecture design.

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