For some time, users of our risk modelling software RiskAgility Financial Modeller (RiskAgility FM) have been able to use the power of distributed processing technology through either an on-premise High Performance Computing (HPC) grid or through Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Both approaches have delivered improved computational performance but require on-premise infrastructure supported by an IT provider, including services from Microsoft. Growing regulatory demand is driving tighter reporting timelines; this is placing pressure on users of our software to find new ways of scaling their computational grids.

As a solution we have developed vGrid, an efficient, scalable and pay-as-you-go Software as a Service (SaaS) virtual grid solution for financial modelling challenges. Delivering this grid solution as SaaS means that RiskAgility FM users can quickly gain access to scalable grid resources with no more than an internet connection, no longer needing to concern themselves with maintaining complex and, in most cases, expensive computational grid infrastructure and all that entails, such as purchase, refresh and maintenance of hardware, disaster recovery etc.

HPC and Azure options are suited to clients who have or are planning to build their own computational grid capability, either using Microsoft HPC on-premise with their own infrastructure service or via an on-premise Microsoft HPC Head Node scheduler to an Azure infrastructure via their own Microsoft account. vGrid is an alternative which removes the need for any on-premise infrastructure other than the PC on which RiskAgility FM runs and any on-premise storage services used for model and associated data.

vGrid adds much more control for the end-user through:

  • New web portal to manage vGrid: The Portal enables access to all the necessary controls needed to manage their SaaS computational grid experience.
  • Easy to integrate with RiskAgility FM: Simply download the vGrid RiskAgility FM keys from the Portal once signed in, and link to them through RiskAgility FM.
  • Roles-based access:
    • vGrid is a pay-as-you-go service where a portal provides visibility of consumption and spend over extended periods to facilitate forecasting.
    • The scale of pools can be individually changed by a manager according to certain team peak demands.
  • Access to scale on-demand : With access to scale when required, modelling teams can run workloads in parallel rather than queue, thus reducing timeframes.
  • Highly available with integrated support: vGrid is available 24 hours day, seven days a week and supported by experts who are integral to the development of RiskAgility FM.

Through the easy to use interface, users can review historical utilisation to enhance planning efforts and to ensure their computational grid is optimised for peak demands. The dynamic scheduling capability allows RiskAgility FM to control the scale of the computational pool during a run to ensure unused compute resources are turned off to better manage costs. In short, vGrid provides flexible scale to match the power of parallel processing in RiskAgility FM.

Key benefits of vGrid

Fully integrated with RiskAgility FM

  • Scale on-demand
  • Secure and compliant
  • Reduced complexity with greater visibility of cost
  • Controlled and managed by users
  • 24/7 Willis Towers Watson support
  • Highly available
  • Pay only for what you consume
  • Security

Summary

Whether a new customer or an existing Wills Towers Watson RiskAgility FM user, vGrid provides a cost-efficient, scalable, no-nonsense option for distributed processing, as an alternative to purchasing and maintaining an on-premise computational grid.