Introducing Our New Architecture - The ANext Engine
The first-generation FundApps Rule Engine has been doing a great job for the last ten years. However - as our client base and ambitions have grown, we have invested in a new platform that can grow and scale with us and our clients.
The ANext Engine is the product of a two-year focus to enable us to compute larger and more complex files and unlock new insights and functionality for our clients. We will be rolling out the new Engine to all of our clients starting in Q4 2021, and will in time retire our heritage Rule Engine.
Benefits to our clients
Shared Nothing: reduced sharing of infrastructure
- All clients to have fully isolated computational power for processing files and storing data
- No competition for CPU or memory means that file runs will not be impacted by other client uploads
- Over time, we can tweak computation to improve client file run times and unlock new features and possibilities
Cloud Native: more cloud computation power as our client base grows
- New data storage platform can handle huge input throughput
- Use multiple machines rather than a single server, to be able to process more and larger client uploads
- Cloud machines created on-demand without the need for managing infrastructure
- Automated patch management of FundApps infrastructure with no downtime
- Reduced sharing of infrastructure between clients means reduced chance of "noisy neighbour" issues
Plan for Rollout
We will be rolling out the new ANext Engine in phases, starting from November 2021.
The rollout process requires no additional work from our clients; however, there will be a period of Engine downtime (to be agreed with our clients), during which the Engine will not process position files. All other FundApps features will continue to work as normal.
During downtime, we will:
- Migrate Result and Asset data out of SQL Server to the new ANext storage
- Set up and enable the ANext Engine
Our migration objective is to minimise the downtime window in order to be able to do this during working hours so that we can confirm successful migration promptly.
Phases of Rollout
- Existing and new clients who use core Shareholding Disclosure (SD) and Sensitive Industries (SI) functionality
- Clients who do not use Position Limits (PL), Room in a Name (RIAN), Rapportr, Denominator Check (DC) or Desk Assets as part of their core workflow
- Clients that use the full complement of the aforementioned SD features
- Position Limits clients
Q. What changes will the clients notice after the migration?
A. Clients may experience an increase in run times compared to the run times on the old Engine. This is as expected.
Update: Previously clients may have noticed a change in the number of assets highlighted in the Previous Uploads page. This was because the new engine had a different methodology for counting assets (and did not include lookthroughs). We have since updated this so lookthroughs are included once again, this now matches the way the heritage engine counts assets.
Day 1 post-migration, Takeover: GB & Takeover: GB - Initial and Dealings Disclosure values may appear as new positions - this should be isolated to day 1 and we recommend reviewing your new values against previous values to determine if a disclosure is required
Clients may experience some performance degradation in producing reports in Rapportr. The reports should still be generated however please let us know if you cannot generate the reports.
Everything else will work as per usual including the current API for uploading a position file, the XML file format and all currently supported FundApps functionalities.
If you have any particular concerns, please reach out to email@example.com.
Q. Do we need to make any changes to our file?
A. We highly recommend (and test internally) using UTF-8 however we don't prohibit other encodings. Please be aware however that alternate encodings can result in unforeseen issues. Common causes of these issues include accents, diacritics and other special characters but can have knock on effects to ID linking and files successfully running.
Q. What support will FundApps provide?
A. Our clients can expect the same high level of support as they currently expect, including our SLAs.
Q. What are we doing to ensure reliability?
A. Our SLAs hold us to FundApps' high standard of reliability. In addition, we have been running the new Engine in select client environments, alongside our internal environments - running multiple months of files per day!
Q. What if something goes wrong?
A. We have been working on the ANext Engine for two years and have been running files on a daily basis to ensure reliability and stability. It is ready to help us unlock new possibilities. As we are dealing with software and computers, there is always a chance that something might go wrong, but we will be there to support you along the way to the same high level that you currently expect.