Callcredit speeds credit checks with SQL upgrade


Callcredit speeds credit checks with SQL upgrade

Cliff Saran

Callcredit, the credit reference agency arm of Skipton Building Society, has doubled the speed of its credit checking service after ­upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server.

Callcredit, which collates credit reference information for UK banks from a database of 8.5 billion customer records, has migrated from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005.

It used to take four days to update the Callcredit database with new information from the banks every month, but data can now be loaded in two days, said Mark Davison, group technology development director at Callcredit.

"Financial institutes need the latest information on a consumer, and we can now load this data significantly faster," he said.

Callcredit recoded SQL Server code used for matching names and addresses in the database in the C# programming language to boost the performance of its database.

The company is also seeing the benefit of 64-bit computing, which is supported on SQL Server 2005. The database runs on HP x64 servers configured to maximum capacity with 128Gbytes of memory.

"The biggest benefit of 64-bit computing is that we can increase the amount of memory, which helps boost database performance," said Davison.

Callcredit ran a quality assurance programme for 18 months to migrate to SQL Server 2005.

It ran SQL Server 2000 and 2005 in parallel prior to the switch. When the time came to move over to SQL Server 2005, Callcredit switched its NetApp storage area network to the new database to go live.

Davison plans to evaluate Windows Server 2008 next year and will assess the business benefits of moving to the new operating system in the second half of 2008.

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