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Wachovia Banks On Grid Expansion

Wachovia Securities Inc.
is planning to expand its grid strategy to speed up risk assessments, seeking to avoid the expense of investing in a supercomputer.

Speaking at the Gt04 conference in Philadelphia, Wachovia IT architect Brad Shea explained that the company’s grid infrastructure currently consists of about 250 nodes, encompassing desktops and a mixture of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) Solaris servers.

The grid is used within the firm’s fixed income group for financial calculations and risk assessments. But, like all financial firms, speed is of the essence when completing these calculations, and the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank is planning to boost its processing capacity. This will involve expanding the grid infrastructure to 800 nodes during the course of this year.

Wachovia’s existing grid infrastructure has already enabled the bank to slash the time taken to complete many risk assessments from 15 hours to 15 minutes. But the next stage is to cut these times even further, with “near real-time” risk assessments now the goal, according to Shea.

He says, “I think that it’s very likely that we can do considerably faster risk assessments than we do today, because of the scale of the grid that we are planning.”

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