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Mortgage Company Cashes in on Web Services: Page 9 of 16

The company also distributed its development operations beyond its headquarters and has begun to employ developers in other cities to force itself toward a more distributed architecture. This lets it tap into other labor pools around the country and hire the best developers possible.

Finally, Freddie Mac moved from building its own applications to buying the best-of-breed packages from third parties and integrating off-the-shelf components. This change took the longest to inculcate into the corporate culture, but now is accepted practice to the point where they are widening the kinds of applications supported and considered. The company did this to help cut costs and shorten the time to develop applications.

Redundancy And Security To The Max

Freddie Mac's mainframe architecture is a conventional one with two data centers located about 10 miles apart in suburban Virginia. Once the Web came into play, the company had to restructure this environment and still provide the same level of reliability it got from its IBM big iron. The company takes redundancy--and security--to the extreme, given its circumstances. "We don't need 24/7 reliability all the time, but when we need it, we need it big time," DeLeo says.

First, Freddie Mac uses three Internet service providers--and is considering adding a fourth later this year. Each ISP goes through a different central office and has as little duplicate path as possible for the D.C. area.