Pontus Vision

Formed in 2011, Pontus Vision is a regtech firm that helps financial and government organisations to optimise performance and effectively manage their large and often complex data requirements in an efficient, secure and GDPR compliant manner. We enable institutions to easily access standardised and complete data about their customers, delivering rich insight that can be used to transform the customer’s experience, effectively respond to information requests and ensure they meet their regulatory obligations under GDPR.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018 and impact every business that processes or collects data from EU citizens. The legislation will require firms to adhere to a multitude of new rules governing how their customers’ personal data is handled, processed and secured. To address these obligations and respond to information requests within the specified time limits, firms will need to ensure that their customer data is secure, standardised, complete and readily accessible.

 

Meeting these requirements presents significant challenges for a number of financial services organisations, including retail banks, insurance brokers and asset managers. Many of these firms currently store interrelated client data across multiple siloed databases in a wide variety of formats and the volume of new data being generated at an ever-increasing pace is only magnifying the problem. Tackling this challenge continues to create often manually-intensive, costly and restrictive  data management processes that themselves further complicate and frustrate efforts to address the regulatory obligations.

 

By streamlining and automating data management processes, Pontus Vision GDPR enables firms to considerably reduce the time and effort required to take the steps necessary to achieve GDPR compliance. This open source solution constantly extracts, tracks and catalogues all of the personal data that a business holds on its customers, without requiring firms to change their underlying legacy systems and processes. This empowers Data Protection Officers to easily collate and analyse all of the personal data relating to a particular client and quickly respond to GDPR related subject access and information requests, even when the raw data is stored in different siloed locations and in varying formats. The highly scalable and resilient solution offers GCHQ-level security, even when data is stored in the cloud.  

 

The ability to access customer data in a single view also provides firms with a rich source of client and business insight, which can be used to enhance the customer experience and create personalised opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

 

An end customer-facing ‘self-service’ option allows organisations to provide their customers with the ability to delete or update their own personal information, considerably reducing the additional time, effort and cost associated with manually processing requests of this nature.

 

PontusVision GDPR Open Source IT Solution

This is the PontusVision GDPR Open Source IT Solution.  The world’s first open source platform that helps businesses comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Open Source GDPR

PontusVision GDPR Open Source IT Solution’s beta edition was just launched on the 27th of October at the London Tech Day.  We will be updating this site and send out notifications via Twitter (@PontusVision) in the next coming days.

PontusVision GDPR Open Source

The PontusVision GDPR Open Source IT solution can help companies comply with GDPR in three  steps:

gdpr-extract  Extract – Enables c ustomers to extract personal information from a variety of different areas, including e-mails, MS Office documents, Relational Databases, CRM Systems, and Big Data Lakes.

gdpr-track  Track – Enables customers to track the origin of the data, including where the data came from, how to delete it, update it, and stores the data into a Graph database.

gdpr-comply  Comply – Gives data protection officers a web portal with a single view of the Data, including the ability to fulfil subject access requests, and data breach analysis (figure out which data was impacted by security breaches).

 

Why Pontus

PontusVision GDPR Open Source IT Solution is the only one in the market that combines the following features in one product:

Open Source – all Pontus Vision GDPR software has been open sourced.  The UK Government department where the platform was born has very progressive attitudes for using and producing open source software.   This gives customers a clear view of the code, and prevents vendor lock-in.

 Cloud Neutral – our solution does not rely on any cloud vendor-specific technologies.  The solution can be deployed on-prem, within any cloud vendor that supports Linux Servers, and even across cloud vendors for extra resiliency.

 Cyber Security – we have had to get our architecture and design revised by a number of accreditors including reviews from NCSC/GCHQ.  This enables customers to be reassured that the platform is as safe as their needs require.

 Scalable Automation – The Pontus Vision GDPR Architecture and design have as few manual steps as possible to enable vast quantities of data to be processed.  The solution is able to scale to 100s of billions of records.

gdpr-many-formats Many Formats – Pontus Vision GDPR was designed and built as a modular solution that is capable of taking data from hundreds of different formats.  We also include the ability to create bespoke sources and create a reusable library of components.

Architecture

Our architecture follows our simple three steps of Extract Track Comply:

Open Source GDPR Architecture

On the Extract part of the design, we are using a powerful open source flow management infrastructure (Pontus-NiFi) based on the Apache NiFi project; that enables users to convert data from a variety of platforms ready for the Track phase.

On the Track part of the design, we store data into a canonical format, and can run either Online Transaction Processing (OLTP), or Online Analytics Processing (OLAP) queries on the data to clean up the application.  We use a gremlin Tinkerpop 3.3.0 compliant graph database do front those queries, and store the data into Apache Hbase 1.3.1 and index it with Elastic Search 5.6.3.  We can also apply very rich redaction/filtering rules inside these stores to ensure that not even an administrator can see sensitive data.  All the data is encrypted both in-flight (TLS) and at-rest (using dmcrypt), with keys optionally stored in a Hardware Security Module (HSM).

 

 

 

Lastly, the Comply part of the architecture is what gives users the ability to query the data.  We ensure that all users are authenticated by using a combination of either Apache Knox or Nginx as HTTPs Gateways, with KeyCloak to authenticate users and generate a JSON Web Token (JWT) that can then be used to track user queries throughout the system.  KeyCloak can authenticate users from a variety of external (OpenID, SAML, OAUTH2) as well as internal sources (e.g. Active Directory).  The user queries can be easily modified to cater for the user needs without any new code being created.

Try It

Here’s the link to our dockerhub image:

https://hub.docker.com/r/pontusvision/open-source-gdpr/

 

 

 

Thread Manager

PontusVision Thread Manager™ improves system performance by up to 270% without any changes to hardware or software. This patent pending technology simulates application behavior in any hardware platform, and provides optimised ways to pin software threads to hardware cores.

(See our how it works video here: How it Works)

(See a demo of our GUI here: GUI Demo)

The simulation results can be applied to any modern operating system, any modern multi-CPU server architecture, and any computer language.

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✓ 270% performance gains
✓ App tuning in minutes, not weeks
✓ No hardware changes
✓ No code changes
✓ Linux, Windows, and soon AIX
✓ Java, C, C++, .NET, Objective C, Assembly apps

 

HOW Does PontusVision Thread Manager ™  Work?

PontusVision Thread Manager ™  has two modes of operation:  Passive-modeling, and Self-tuning:

Passive-modeling Mode:

When running in modeling mode, thread manager requires three GUI-driven user tasks:

  1. Choose a target hardware platform
  2. Define the data relationship and performance characteristics of the software components
  3. Run the simulation

Pontus Vision Thread Manager modeling mode

Any server can be modeled, allowing users to run simulations without having the target hardware available.Through an easy-to-use interface, users can build a library of various target hardware platforms.

Software component templates can be easily configured and put in a library. Users can drag and drop pre-built components from the library into a canvas, and draw lines between them to indicate a data relationship. The simulator quickly narrows down the solution set and finds an optimized solution by using a patent pending set of algorithms.

After the simulation is run, the GUI shows the best cores to pin your application threads.  This works very well for systems that don’t change their loads significantly during the day.  However, for systems that change frequently, the self-tuning mode allows for the system to be continuously optimized.

Self-tuning Mode:

When running in self tuning mode, all the user has to do is run an agent in the target hardware, and point that agent back to the PV Thread Manager server.  The agent uses a regular expression to select which applications to pin, and automatically starts applying steps 1-3 above whenever it senses a significant enough change in the environment.  The agent is then capable of applying the tuning strategy in real-time, moving any threads in real-time (step 4).

self-tuning-mode

 

WHAT Happens Under the Covers?

Modern operating systems (OSs) are not very good at managing threads for performance. OSs are typically configured to balance the load across various CPUs rather than to focus on application performance. When dealing with latency-sensitive applications, balancing the load across various CPUs causes the latency to increase significantly.

As an example, in a Four-CPU machine where the OS just distributes the red threads across CPUs, the cost of moving data between the threads can be several times greater than in the system with the green threads. For many applications, constraining the threads to a single CPU can significantly increase performance, but only as long as the CPU doesn’t get overloaded.

That’s where the power of the PontusVision ThreadManager™ helps simulate the best thread pinning layout. PontusVision ThreadManager™ patent pending technology allows users to quickly come up with optimal thread allocation strategies within seconds. This saves weeks or months of test cycles to empirically try different thread allocation combinations.

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WHY Use PontusVision Thread Manager?

PontusVision Thread Manager™ improved a Tier 1 investment bank’s Foreign Exchange (FX) spot pricing system performance by 270%.

The graph below shows the latency of the system (the lower the line, the better the performance). It shows the impact of different operating systems, Java virtual machines, and the impact of PontusVision Thread Manager™ on the system.

The 270% performance improvement can be seen by taking the difference between the peak values for the red and yellow lines.

The only difference between these lines was the use of PontusVision Thread Manager™ results on the system.

Percentiles end to end latency

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pdfDownload Pontus Vision Thread Manager brochure

About

companyvisionCompany

Pontus Vision is a London-based RegTech company focused on enabling financial institutions and government organisations to efficiently and securely manage their large and complex data requirements, and reduce their Operational and Capital Expenditures in IT projects.

 

Pontus Vision Consultants have over 40 man-years of hands-on experience in the Low-latency Messaging Middleware market; we have worked directly with some of the biggest players in the industry, and retain key contacts with most of the major vendors (e.g. Tibco, Informatica/29west, Solace).

With the help of various contributors from top tier banks in the financial services industry, Pontus Vision was founded in the UK in 2011 by Martin Raumann, Leonardo Martins and Deepak Aggarawal, specialists in hardware, middleware consultancy and deployment management respectively.

Team Members

Pontus Vision was founded by Leonardo Martins, Deepak Aggarwal and Martin Raumann with the help of various contributors from top tier banks in the financial services industry.  Here’s a quick summary of our key team members:

 

LEONARDO MARTINS – FOUNDER

Mr. Martins has over 18 years of experience in architecture, development and support of message-oriented middleware systems, and has worked at number of Tier 1 investment banks (e.g. Barclays Capital, HSBC, Credit Suisse), as well as for middleware vendors such as TIBCO Software and Talarian.

Mr. Martins has recently architected and deployed Informatica / 29west’s UMS, UMP and UMQ products at HSBC, and prior to that, he architected and implemented the adoption of Solace Systems as a key middleware supplier to Barclays Capital.

As a result of experience as a vendor and customer in the middleware industry, Mr. Martins has very close connections within TIBCO, Informatica, and Solace Systems.  Mr. Martins received a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Colorado Technical University, and his Executive M.B.A. degree from London Business School.

Previous companies include: Talarian, TIBCO, Credit Suisse (Consuting), Barcap & HSBC

DEEPAK AGGARWAL – FOUNDER

profileMr. Aggarwal has over 20 years of experience in building front, and back-office applications for a number of tier 1-investment banks (e.g. Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Citibank, ABN, Standard Chartered).

He has vast knowledge in C/C++, and has architected front office systems within Equities, FX, and Fixed Income with hands on approach to development.

His expertise lays in low latency implementations and is also well versed in Websphere MQ, TIBCO RV, and Solace Systems.  Mr Aggarwal has worked on a number of IT Start up companies specialising in Order Management, Distributed Systems and FIX.

Previous companies include: Citigroup, Credit Suisse, ABN & Standard Chartered

 

ROBIN HARKER – HEAD OF SALES

robin-harkerMr. Harker has 30 years of technology sales experience. He is also an accomplished inventor of the blade server in 1999 (UK and USA patents awarded), along with other patents on resilient computing. His sales experience ranges from hardware (e.g. DEC Mini-computers, Sun, NetApp, and several networking technologies), to High Performance Computing (HPC) software tools. Mr Harker’s Experience selling experience has taken him into many areas of HPC, including the following: Financial Services, Oil & Gas, Automotive, Defence/Aerospace, BioTec & Pharma, EDA, as well as Government and Academia. He has strong connections with Tier 1 vendors such as, IBM, Dell, Intel and Fujitsu, and has also been involved in multiple high-tech start-ups from the US, Canada, Israel and Continental Europe.

 

DAVID MCGRATH – STRATEGIC ADVISOR

David McGrath_w- tieMr McGrath is a senior international executive with over 25 years of experience across the digital, technology and communications sectors, where he has focused on innovation, strategy and new venture development. He is an acknowledged thought leader and speaker on innovation, commercialisation of technology and the techno-economics of strategy. Mr McGrath’s experience includes roles as the Head of Ignite EMEA (Strategic Innovation and Digital business transformation) at Salesforce.com, Head of Digital Identity & Trust at Nokia Corporation, and Head of Business Innovation & Consulting at Motorola (now a Google company) plus strategic consulting with KPMG and PwC. Mr McGrath holds an Executive M.B.A. degree from London Business School, a BSc in Information Technology, in addition to Electrical & Electronic Engineering.

 

MARTIN RAUMANN – FOUNDER / ADVISOR

martin-raumannMr. Raumann has over 17 years of experience in high-level system design and sales, including over 12 years of digital ASIC/FPGA/uP architecture and implementation.

Prior to founding Pontus Vision, he was the Sales Director for Europe and the Middle East, and Worldwide Technical Manager at Achronix Semiconductor.

He also held various sales, field application, system design, and management roles at Actel Corporation, Santel Networks, Iospan Wireless (acquired by Intel), and Alcatel.  On weekends he enjoys teaching Computer Science fundamentals at a local college in Northern California.  He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering at the University of the Pacific and his M.B.A. degree from Santa Clara University.

 

Partners

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We use RedHat’s operating systems to develop and test PVTM on Linux; RedHat is usually the first Linux platform we port PVTM to when releasing new features.

 

informatica-logo

We have worked alongside Informatica in a few Ultra Messaging accounts to reduce latency of LBM applications.

 

azul_logo_horiz_200We have worked alongside Azul in a number of accounts, and our technologies are very complementary; both are essential for most Java users interested in performance.