I'm considering switching banks



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    Now what reason could there possibly be for online banking not to be open 24/7?



  • a nightly batch running transactions



  • @Pjotr G said:

    a nightly batch running transactions

     

    That takes five hours?



  • The cleaning services need to unplug the servers to use power outlets for the vaccum cleaners.



  • @rohypnol said:

    @Pjotr G said:

    a nightly batch running transactions

    That takes five hours?

    Easily. The financial institution I'm currently working for closes their system at 8pm and re-opens at 6am. Every instruction that is received between these times is held in a queue until the system opens again.



  • @rohypnol said:

    @Pjotr G said:

    a nightly batch running transactions

     

    That takes five hours?

    Do the math again.  It takes 19 hours.  From 6am til 1am

    My online banking is unavailable during the times noone wants to use it in the morning.  It wasn't until an insomnia-laden night that I discovered this.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Do the math again.  It takes 19 hours.  From 6am til 1am

    My online banking is unavailable during the times noone wants to use it in the morning.  It wasn't until an insomnia-laden night that I discovered this.

    It is [b]available[/b] from 6am till 1am.  Presumably the batch job runs when online banking is [b]un[/b]available, i.e. in the five hours from 1am till 6am.

    On the same topic, the Finnish state railways (VR Oyj) sells tickets through their website each day from 6am till 11:30pm.  Now what reason can [i]they[/i] possibly have to keep the service closed for six and a half hours per day?

    Somehow my bank manages to offer online banking 24 hours a day though. 



  •  Do the math again. The service is available from 6am til 1am (yeah, typo on purpose). This means that the nightly batch is running between 1am and 6am, which is causing the servers to be unavailable.



  • @tdb said:

    It is available from 6am till 1am.
    Dammit, one of these days I'll learn how to read.  I even read over the OP again before posting.  I blame ... uhh, lack of caffeine!  I'm sick!  



  • If any of you  have had the distinct (dis)pleasure of banking at ATB - you will not be suprised. It started out as a department of the province of Alberta Treasury, and now is "arms-length crown corporation." If you can imagine the level of ineptitude from government and a bank combining, you have ATB.



  •  What's ATB? Really, I live in Romania,WTF is ATB? Should I know?



  • @tdb said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    Do the math again.  It takes 19 hours.  From 6am til 1am

    My online banking is unavailable during the times noone wants to use it in the morning.  It wasn't until an insomnia-laden night that I discovered this.

    It is available from 6am till 1am.  Presumably the batch job runs when online banking is unavailable, i.e. in the five hours from 1am till 6am.

    On the same topic, the Finnish state railways (VR Oyj) sells tickets through their website each day from 6am till 11:30pm.  Now what reason can they possibly have to keep the service closed for six and a half hours per day?

    Here's another one: the electronic form-filing service for the UK .gov's companies registrar:

    [quote user="https://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk/"] 

    The service is available for the submission of data between 7am and midnight Monday to Saturday.

    [/quote] I thought batch jobs went out in the stone-age (OS/360). 



  • @DaveK said:

    I thought batch jobs went out in the stone-age (OS/360). 

    Ever worked at a bank or similar financial institution? They have to do batch jobs by definition at the end of the day. Account reconciliation comes to mind, I'm pretty sure there are many others. Usually banks choose an hour where only those who are sleep-deprived would use the online banking system, something like 1 or 2AM. It usually takes 1 hour or less.

    Note that this also applies to ATM's, as I found out during a late-night stayover at my former job.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Ever worked at a bank or similar financial institution?

    Actually, yes I have.  I did development work on the Online Banking app.  I can't think of single good reason for the service to be unavailable for that long of a stretch on a regular basis. 



  • @campkev said:

    I can't think of single good reason for the service to be unavailable for that
    long of a stretch on a regular basis. 

    [img]http://geekmatters.com/wp-content/07_ojecnd_nt.gif[/img]



  • @campkev said:

    Actually, yes I have.  I did development work on the Online Banking app.  I can't think of single good reason for the service to be unavailable for that long of a stretch on a regular basis. 

     

    I would tend to agree.  We have some large "batches" that have to perform all sorts of complex validation; the load is heavy enough to brick-wall a quad-core Xeon for a couple of hours, but there is not a single second of actual downtime.  The process runs on its own server, individual transactions are kept short, and any work that doesn't explicitly need to be performed by the database (i.e. anything other than reading and updating tables) is done on a mid-tier server.  There isn't even a cluster - it's one 3-year-old DB server handling all these requests.  It's really pretty amazing what modern DBMSes can do with a reasonably intelligent architecture - and I'm sure I still have a lot to learn about that.

    Okay, we're not a bank, but I think we've got to be close in terms of scale (billions of rows, hierarchically and temporally correlated), and if we can hack it on our tiny budget, I would think that a bank would have no problem with its gigantic clusters of blade servers.  There's no excuse for having to take the entire service offline for five hours.

    My guess is that they're probably screen-scraping or parsing PRN files or doing some other antiquated COBOL-esque junk.  Or they have accountants writing their software.



  • @campkev said:



    @danixdefcon5 said:


    Ever worked at a bank or similar financial institution?



    Actually, yes I have.  I did development work on the Online Banking app.  I can't think of single good reason for the service to be unavailable for that long of a stretch on a regular basis.
    Ah yes. But I meant about having batch jobs, not about a 5-hour downtime. Damn, if the bank I did work at had a 5-hour downtime, I guess they'd be broke by now.

    @Aaron said:
    I would think that a bank would have no problem with its gigantic clusters of blade servers.
    Hmm, actually banks offload all that stuff to the big iron; the big-ass System/390 mainframe(s) do all the number crunching. Then again, it only takes about 1 hour or less; and at 1am nobody cares.

    5 hours, however, mean some kind of front page material is running the backend, in which case I'd switch banks as soon as possible. ;)



  • @rohypnol said:

     What's ATB? Really, I live in Romania,WTF is ATB? Should I know?


    He answers the question in the same post.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Usually banks choose an hour where only those who are sleep-deprived would use the online banking system, something like 1 or 2AM.


    Or those who happen to be in a different time-zone



  •  Nice MFD reference.  You know, as much as they sucked, I actually miss them.



  •  Some databases actually need to clean up their indices and allocation tables (similar to de-fragmenting a file system), and doing so may take a long time.

    That was more common back in the days, but if the bank has a perfectly working AS/400 running their accounts, why would they replace it?



  • @amischiefr said:

     Nice MFD reference.  You know, as much as they sucked, I actually miss them.

    I miss all the reader cartoons. Some of those were hysterical.



  • @rohypnol said:

     What's ATB? Really, I live in Romania,WTF is ATB? Should I know?


    Let me google that for you...





  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    @Aaron said:
    I would think that a bank would have no problem with its gigantic clusters of blade servers.
    Hmm, actually banks offload all that stuff to the big iron; the big-ass System/390 mainframe(s) do all the number crunching. Then again, it only takes about 1 hour or less; and at 1am nobody cares.

    5 hours, however, mean some kind of front page material is running the backend, in which case I'd switch banks as soon as possible. ;)

    In this country, ALL banks do that - online banking is out from 10PM to 6AM. Which one should I switch to?



  • @Kyanar said:

    In this country, ALL banks do that - online banking is out from 10PM to 6AM. Which one should I switch to?

    I don't know, where do you live? I live in the UK and have an account at HSBC and their Internet Banking service is open 24/7, except for international payments.



  • @DrJokepu said:

    I don't know, where do you live? I live in the UK and have an account at HSBC and their Internet Banking service is open 24/7, except for international payments.

    New Zealand. But to be more specific, the online banking is open 24/7, but between 10PM and 6AM no transactions are permitted - they get held for the next business day. It's read only except for inter-suffix transfers (moving money between your own accounts).



  • @Kyanar said:

    New Zealand. But to be more specific, the online banking is open 24/7, but between 10PM and 6AM no transactions are permitted - they get held for the next business day. It's read only except for inter-suffix transfers (moving money between your own accounts).

    I think it probably has to do something with the regulations or the clearing system of your country. Here in the UK transactions were queued until the next workday and then it took about 2-3 workdays while they got processed until recently. About 4 months ago they introduced some changes so all transactions now take place real time 24/7 and get processed in 2-3 hours at most.



  • @bjolling said:

    @rohypnol said:

    @Pjotr G said:

    a nightly batch running transactions

    That takes five hours?

    Easily. The financial institution I'm currently working for closes their system at 8pm and re-opens at 6am. Every instruction that is received between these times is held in a queue until the system opens again.
     

     

    A queue you say? What bank is that, cause I'm
    interested in opening an account, and writing a script to deposit and
    withdraw $1 over and over again 2^32 times just to see what happens.

    ~Sticky

     



  • @DrJokepu said:

    I think it probably has to do something with the regulations or the clearing system of your country. Here in the UK transactions were queued until the next workday and then it took about 2-3 workdays while they got processed until recently. About 4 months ago they introduced some changes so all transactions now take place real time 24/7 and get processed in 2-3 hours at most.

    Damn you. Damn you all to hell.

    Stupid lazy-ass banks.



  • @StickyWidget said:

    @bjolling said:

    <snip>

    Easily. The financial institution I'm currently working for closes their system at 8pm and re-opens at 6am. Every instruction that is received between these times is held in a queue until the system opens again.

     

     

    A queue you say? What bank is that, cause I'm
    interested in opening an account, and writing a script to deposit and
    withdraw $1 over and over again 2^32 times just to see what happens.

    ~Sticky

    What would happen is that you'd get charged 2^32 * 5 cents for it. It's a financial instituation, not a bank.

    Sorry for my late reply


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