Cloud Computing Architecture Assignment Sample

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I. Introduction

The use of cloud technologies has now also reached the financial industry. Users benefit from greater efficiency and resource flexibility and therefore pursue clear growth plans in the cloud segment. The financial sector is facing rapid and unpredictable changes. In particular, the banking system must deal with adjustments at all levels in business practice - from business model and strategy to processes, organization, and modern IT with their increasing importance (Lynn et al., 2018). Topics such as "innovative technologies" and "digitization" increasingly determine the competitiveness of a financial institution. FinTechs and new digital financial products increase customer expectations. The higher pressure to innovate while at the same time ensuring stable operational processes and securing high investment costs make digitalization projects a complex management task. The financial sector is changing and must deal intensively with topics such as "cloudification."

A global study by GFT Technologies shows that most international banks are convinced of the advantages of the cloud. Despite all the euphoria, there are also concerns. The security level of the cloud service provider and the lack of clarity about the fulfilment of regulatory requirements are the most significant risk factors. Not only are cost savings on the top of the list: greater agility and flexibility are also important drivers for decision-makers. Thanks to the fast, flexible, and automatable scaling of computing capacities, banks can react dynamically to a continually changing volume in day-to-day business and are no longer dependent on rigid IT structures (Gupta & Tham, 2018). Besides, the introduction of new services and applications is much more efficient because developers can align their applications to standardized cloud platforms, which means that they do not have to be costly adapted to the individual IT infrastructures of customers.

This report is for a FinTech company that has requested its services to be moved to a cloud platform from their in-house server. The cloud platform should be able to perform the same functions of the in-house server which are primarily about registration and login of end-users in the client dashboard and login of FinTech employees in the employee dashboard. Both these dashboards use different technology stack but can communicate via standard message transfer format (Arjunwadkar, 2018). The company has an active database system and a data warehousing system. The clients must be able to speculate in the equity and currency markets via the dashboard. The backend stack must be able to perform monetary transactions via external APIs. The panel is available via a browser interface and informs of downloadable apps for mobile devices. Security is a big concern, as well.

II. Project Plan

Migration to the cloud will begin with defining goals and choosing the cloud model. The motivation and requirements of the company will be precisely formulated, such as high-cost pressures, unnecessary bottlenecks in computing capacity, or the relocation of the data centre due to a lack of core competence can be possible reasons for a transformation. Furthermore, we will brainstorm carefully about which cloud models fit their goals. This will be the first milestone. This is followed by the second milestone - the actual analysis: We will update the previous IT development plan to then cluster the applications according to their technology, their organizational units, and their position within the business processes. This analysis provides information about which applications cover certain business areas and procedures of the company, and existing IT applications are documented. The result of this phase is a plan of the complete application landscape, which forms the basis for the subsequent steps. The third milestone will be the design phase is about defining the migration process. Findings from the analysis flow into a roadmap and possibly also a proof of concept (PoC). As part of a pilot, one or more applications will be transferred to the cloud to verify whether the strategy from the analysis phase works.

#

Milestone

1

Defining goals and choosing the cloud model

2

Analysis

3

Design phase

Table 1 Milestones

III. Requirement Gathering

Following is the tabulation of functional and non-functional requirements for the given FinTech cloud system.

#

Functional requirement

Description

1

User registration

Users should able to register for access to the client dashboard of the FinTech company. Users will be asked to provide all the professional information along with identity proofs and bank details. This option will be available vis web interface as well as mobile apps.

2

User login

Registered users should be able to log in the dashboard and speculate in the various trade markets such as currency market and equity market.

3

Purchase commodity

Registered users should be able to perform transactions in the dashboard buy commodities in various trade markets such as currency market and equity market.

4

Sell commodity

Registered users should be able to perform transactions in the dashboard sell commodities in various trade markets such as currency market and equity market.

5

Employee login

Hired employees should be able to log in the employee dashboard and perform tasks such as reporting on market analysis. And checking out various trade markets such as currency market and equity market.

6

User verification

Hired employees should be able to log in the employee dashboard and perform verification of the new user credentials before the user can participate in speculative trading.

7

User banning

Hired employees should be able to log in the employee dashboard and ban a user based on breach of policies so that the user cannot participate in speculative trading.

8

User deletion

Hired employees should be able to log in the employee dashboard and delete a user based on breach of policies so that the user cannot participate in speculative trading. Users record will not be permanently deleted and will be sent to the data warehouse.

Table 2 Functional Requirements

#

Non-functional requirement

Description

1

Cyber-security

The cloud architecture must be immune to cyber-attacks such as DDoS.

2

Load balancing

The cloud architecture must perform load balancing operations to manage traffic surge and traffic disruptions.

3

High volume data

The cloud architecture must be designed in such a way that it can handle large volume of financial data.

4

High velocity data

The cloud architecture must be designed in such a way that it can handle a large amount of incoming financial data.

Table 3 Non-functional Requirements

#

Characteristic

Solution

1

Risk of cyberattack

Cloud architecture can mitigate this problem by using several techniques on of them being using a deque index to prevent poisoning.

2

User security for financial transactions

By splitting the whole problem into microservices, we can make sure that all financial transaction requests are authenticated, and we can make them idempotent.

3

High volume data

The cloud architecture must be designed in such a way that it can handle large volume of financial data.

4

High velocity data

The cloud architecture must be designed in such a way that it can handle a large amount of incoming financial data.

Table 4 Solutions to Key Characteristics

IV. Choice Of Cloud Platform And Data-Centre

For the given problem, we have decided to go with a hybrid IaaS design. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is one of the many service models of cloud computing. The service includes the provision of data centre infrastructure by a cloud provider. The resources are accessed via private or public networks. The components of the provided infrastructure include, for example, servers, computing and network capacities, communication devices such as routers, switches or firewalls, storage space, and systems for archiving and backing up data. The availability and fault clearance times of the infrastructure are regulated by service level agreements (SLAs) between users and service providers (Jamsa, 2012). The advantage for the IaaS user is that the billing is usually based on usage, and there are no investments to purchase the hardware. The resources can be flexibly adapted to the requirements and are quickly scalable during peak loads. Since the operation, maintenance, and care of the infrastructure are performed by the cloud provider; the user always has modern hardware and secure platforms at their disposal. The user is responsible for installing and maintaining the software. Infrastructure as a Service represents an exciting alternative to buying and operating your hardware for small, medium-sized, and large companies. IaaS offers enormous savings potential in many areas. Virtualization is often used to provide the infrastructure as a cloud service, but it is not mandatory. To ensure the infrastructure as multi-tenant, virtualization is one of several models. Hardware resources can also be reserved exclusively for the tenants.

The public IaaS Cloud provides users with services based on shared infrastructure in one or more of the provider's data centres. Access is usually via the public Internet. The cloud provider takes over the complete provision as well as the operation and maintenance of the hardware (Blokland et al., 2013). With a private IaaS cloud, the concepts of the public cloud are used in a private data centre. The company's IT department acts as a service provider to users. Individual departments can book resources, for example, via a self-service portal and then use them. As with a public cloud, services are billed internally based on usage. Service levels can also be defined between the IT department and specialist departments. The private cloud resources are exclusively available to in-house users and cannot be used by others. High-security standards can be achieved in a private cloud because the IT environment remains well controllable. The private cloud is ideal for companies that have high demands on their IT security and control (Saygili, 2017). A hybrid IaaS cloud combines private IaaS cloud and public IaaS cloud services. For example, the infrastructure can be provided on some servers in a private cloud and some servers in a public cloud. This allows the advantages of both cloud models to be combined. Companies benefit from good scalability in the public cloud but can also protect sensitive data in the private cloud.

V. System Architecture

As shown in Figure 1, we have segmented our IaaS cloud architecture into a public cloud and a private cloud. This makes our cloud implementation a hybrid implementation. The clients can interact with the services by the means of web-interface or mobile app. There is a scalable web-server cluster behind a load balancer reverse proxy to accommodate the incoming service requests for web-based services by the clients using their PCs or laptops or embedded browsers. There is also a scalable app-server cluster behind a load balancer reverse proxy to accommodate the incoming service requests for app-based services by the clients using the app on their mobile devices. Employees can interact with the private cloud via a VPN behind a reverse proxy to load balance the employee server cluster. Private cloud also houses the real-time data analytics system, static storage container and a data warehouse.

Figure 1 Cloud architecture

VI. Analysis And Reflection

One of the main goals of the problem was to implement the cloud services as securely as possible. To achieve this, we have segmented our IaaS cloud architecture into a public cloud and a private cloud. This made our cloud implementation a hybrid implementation. A hybrid implementation is immune to most security threats. It was required that the clients can access the services vis their browser and as well as mobile apps. This was achieved in the implementation because the clients can interact with the services by the means of web-interface or mobile app via means of a scalable web-server cluster behind a load balancer reverse proxy to accommodate the incoming service requests for web-based services by the clients using their PCs or laptops or embedded browsers and a scalable app-server cluster behind a load balancer reverse proxy to accommodate the incoming service requests for app-based services by the clients using the app on their mobile devices. The public cloud can interact with services of the private cloud, and the clients only interact with the public cloud. We need to provide employees a secure way to connect with the private cloud. This was achieved via a VPN behind a reverse proxy to load balance the employee server cluster. We needed to handle three different types of data real-time data, static data, and warehouse data. Therefore, the private cloud also houses the real-time data analytics system, static storage container and a data warehouse.

VII. Conclusion

This architecture was analysed and built about a FinTech company but because operations of most FinTech companies are overall similar, therefore variations of this architecture can be applied to other FinTech scenarios. We also conclude that IaaS is the most appropriate way to handle the cloud architecture of a FinTech company. Specifically, a hybrid cloud where a private cloud houses all those assets which are security critical and a public cloud which can be exposed to public at large. We also conclude that we need to store different types of data differently in relation to cloud architecture of a FinTech company we need to have a separate storage for real-time data, for static data and finally we need a data warehouse. We also conclude that we need scalable clusters when it comes to the client app server, client web server and the employee web server. Finally, we were able to accomplish this task satisfying all the requirements within specified constraints.

VIII. References

Arjunwadkar, P. . (2018). FinTech: The technology driving disruption in the financial services industry. CRC Press.

Blokland, K., Mengerink, J., & Pol, M. (2013). Testing cloud services: How to test SaaS, PaaS & IaaS. Rocky Nook.

Gupta, P., & Tham, T. . (2018). Fintech: The new DNA of financial services. De Gruyter.

Jamsa, K. (2012). Cloud computing: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, virtualization, business models, mobile, security and more. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Lynn, T., Mooney, J. ., Rosati, P., & Cummins, M. (2018). Disrupting finance: FinTech and strategy in the 21st century. Springer International Publishing.

Saygili, O. . (2017). Oracle IaaS: Quick reference guide to cloud solutions. Apress.

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