Payments can be very cyclical for clients of FinTech startups – they can be flooded Monday morning after a quiet Sunday. With that sudden rush of information, the startups need to rapidly adapt to handle that flow of information. “We need the ability to scale our platform quickly and very effectively,” DadeSystems' CTO Doug Hathaway told PYMNTS in an interview, adding that clients can all “feel like they’re No.1” and that their data is quickly processed.
FinTech startups, however, face a challenge when it comes to meeting this goal: They want to grow their capacity without paying for hundreds of servers. As a result, they have adopted technology like Kubernetes that allows them to scale quickly and on demand. With the software, the startups provide a container description with specifications like a number of central processing units (CPUs) a machine needs to have. FinTech companies can then create an image of a machine they want to run. They can also have auto-scaling technology that allows them to add more servers and scale down if needed.
This approach is important to companies like DadeSystems, because startups only pay for the use of a machine when it’s on with cloud computing. Those payments are generally by the hour, or may round up to an hour. Either way, this approach allows FinTech startups to avoid having a huge computing bill “because we’re only scaling when we need the horsepower,” according to Hathaway. In addition, the company can add customers to its platform without having to worry about adding more servers.
However, FinTech startups can still face challenges with scaling their databases. For that reason, DadeSystems has multiple read replicas that are duplicates of the production database made in real time. The FinTech company, which uses Microsoft Azure technology, has read replicas in the west, where work can take place that doesn’t require data to be changed or written, in addition to its primary data in the east. These read replicas allow the company to take advantage of its resources in the west, while having the ability to flip its operations to the east in case of some type of disaster.
To keep tabs on these operations, DadeSystems taps into services like the industry-standard monitoring tool New Relic. That technology allows the company to pump information, like how long it takes to process a payment or how long a user waits when they click a button, into a single location. With these monitoring efforts – along with its scaling strategy – FinTech companies are able to handle all the under-the-hood processes that customers never see or hear about. According to Hathaway, all they know is that the system is fast for them.