Homogeneous Active/Active Systems for Regional Bank Service Bureau


A large U.S. bank implemented a service bureau in order for its regional banks to process securities and financial information. The service bureau required an active/active architecture that would provide load-balancing and high availability. Due to electrical outages during hurricane season in the Florida node, the bank also required a system that would allow for fail-over of their users to the Midwest node.

Shadowbase Solution: Homogeneous Active/Active Systems


  • Data changes on one HPE NonStop node are applied to the other NonStop node’s database via asynchronous replication.
  • The primary databases for the bank’s customers are assigned to one of the two nodes (Midwest or Florida) in order to load-balance activity across both nodes, which is periodically evaluated and adjusted depending on the volume of the changing transactions.
  • To avoid data collisions using this approach, it is important that the database supports partitioning (via a customer identifier embedded in the record key fields) and that an update for a specific customer is always executed on the same node.
  • Should a node fail, all of its users are reassigned to the second node. By replicating partition changes to the alternate node, a backup access path is provided for updates. This path is only provided in the event of the primary node loss for that partition.

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The above was adapted from the book: Breaking the Availability Barrier, Volume III: Active/Active Systems in Practice by Paul J. Holenstein, Dr. Bruce Holenstein, and Dr. Bill Highleyman.