How MinIO is helping the finance industry maximise the value of unstructured data

Find out how Intel-powered private cloud infrastructure is enabling data analytics on a massive scale

Financial organisations want to be able to operate on large datasets while using the same tools that built the enterprise and allowed them to become so competitive

By Libby Plummer, Technology Writer

In this fast-moving digitised business landscape the amount of data generated every day is growing quicker than ever before and nowhere is this truer than in the Financial Services Industry (FSI). More and more of this often-sensitive data is being produced outside of the public cloud, fuelling the need for new systems that can handle it. Managing this explosion of data, more and more of which is unstructured data, is a critical challenge for financial institutions that are still reliant on traditional storage systems.

Object storage is rapidly becoming the primary mode of storage for the private cloud, offering high rates of throughput, along with high performance and scalability. Neither file nor block storage systems can offer the combination of speed and scalability of object storage. As the volume of data continues to grow, financial organisations need to be able to perform advanced analytics at scale. The only thing that can give them that massive scale, and performance, is object storage.

Intel partner MinIO* specialises in the development of cloud-native object storage and is helping businesses to build private cloud infrastructure. "We've built an open source Amazon* S3 compatible distributed object storage system that can be deployed on standard Intel® Xeon® servers and turn them into a very large scale data infrastructure," said AB Periasamy, CEO and Co-Founder at MinIO. "Today, we are already the most widely adopted object storage in the private cloud."

Purpose-built for the private cloud, MinIO is particularly relevant for businesses that are modernising their traditional IT infrastructure and demand cloud-native attributes like RESTful APIs, micro-services, containers and orchestration. By loading its software onto an Intel Xeon server, MinIO is able to offer the Amazon* S3 capability to the private cloud environment – this service is also valuable in the public cloud and MinIO delivers it on premise. Overall, MinIO is offering cloud infrastructure comparable to that used by tech giants such as Google* and Facebook*.

MinIO has grown by a staggering 300% over the past 18 months in terms of the number of enterprises that have deployed its technology. The Silicon Valley-based company focuses on large scale publicly-traded organisations across a wide range of sectors, including the financial industry. In fact, 13 of the 15 largest banks in Europe already run MinIO, along with 12 of the 15 largest banks in the US.

The scalability and flexibility offered by MinIO's object storage enables FSI businesses to thrive in the data-centric world. "We offer the fastest object storage in the world," said Jonathan Symonds, Chief Marketing Officer at MinIO. "We have accomplished this by optimising our software for Intel chipsets, allowing us to achieve extraordinary throughput. As a result, banks can run Spark*, Presto*, Splunk* and Tensorflow* directly on these massive stores of data. As financial organisations seek to operate on ever larger datasets they want to employ same tools that built the enterprise and allowed them to become so competitive.”

A shift towards software-defined infrastructure (SDI) is driving the need for object storage systems. This is because SDI is incredibly flexible and enables businesses to automate everything. Using API-driven architecture, where changes and improvements can be automatically and continuously pushed out, businesses can achieve exceptional scale and efficiency. This kind of scale is simply not possible with traditional IT infrastructure.

As a result of another major shift, the vast majority of modern data infrastructure is now built on open source technology. "Being open source has been fundamental to our growth," said Periasamy. "Customers see it as a mandatory requirement that any new technology they bring it into their infrastructure has to be open source.”

In future, MinIO will continue to invest in creating interoperability for the application ecosystem such that customers will view the public and private cloud interchangeably. It will also continue to focus on driving performance at scale – a must for FSI businesses – along with extending its leadership on the Kubernetes* front. An open source compute platform originally developed by Google, Kubernetes has become the compute framework of choice and MinIO aims to make its Kubernetes-friendly infrastructure even more simple, more responsive and more effective than it is today.

Mike Blalock, General Manager, Intel Financial Services Industry, is keen to point out the significance of the solution: “MinIO is a great example of the collaboration being done with our Intel Capital partners to deliver business value through Intel technology – in this case Intel® AVX-512. There is so much talk about the importance and value of data but the reality is that you have to know and understand how to handle it. MinIO is helping financial sector businesses address  this explosion of unstructured data and create a high performance distributed object storage to help enterprises thrive at scale and it’s all built on our Intel® Xeon® platform which helps their workload run even faster.”

Dealing with the explosion of unstructured data will continue to be a challenge for all financial sector businesses in the coming months and beyond. By investing in modern private cloud infrastructure based on object storage, financial organisations can run analytics at vast scales and get the best out of the ever-increasing amount of data they hold.