Payments processing has always demanded a high performance, and highly resiliant platfrom. This is true of Fedwire and other RTGS systems, national ACH systems, and card transaction platforms alike. As the first of these systems was implemented in the 1970s and 1980s it isn't surprising that mainframe architectures have prevailed in this space ever since. For three decades banks and major retailers around the world have driven ATMs, POS devices and card switching on mainframe hardware. As these systems age, and new payment instruments and channels are developed, payments system modernization becomes critically important. As applications are removed from the mainframe, the operating cost per application becomes higher. Many banks I speak with are looking for alternatives that will release the from the handcuffs of legacy architectures and operating costs. Of course, the new platform must have the uptime availability credentials of the mainframe world and a reduced cost of ownership.
S1 Corporation and Stratus, two of Microsoft partners in the payments industry offer a solution stack that changes the game. By using the Stratus fault tolerant server hardware running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 as a platform, banks and major retailers around the world can benefit from the functionality of S1 Corporation's payments solutions. A white paper recently released by S1 Corp and Stratus shows that configurations using Windows Server 2008 can achieve uptime approaching "six nines" (99.9999%) of availability. Putting that in context, that's about 32 seconds of downtime per year!
To find out more about the study and the white paper, please drop me a line or contact S1 or Stratus directly.