BankAmerica Corp. is to install 12 additional relational data base servers from Sybase Inc. to support an expected tripling in trades of interest-rate-related products such as swaps.
The banking company, which was formed Sept. 30 by the merger of the old BankAmerica with the former NationsBank Corp., plans to adopt proprietary software built by NationsBank during the past four years to support such trading.
The software currently runs on 20 Sybase servers and handles 25,000 trades per day made by 2,000 users. With the additional servers, the merged company said it expects to be able to support double the users. The trading is done on three continents.
"We liked the openness of Sybase in a heterogeneous environment," said Gregory A. Barnard, vice president and senior data base administrator at the former NationsBank. He retains those posts at BankAmerica.
The new company is installing the latest release of Sybase's relational data base server software, version 11.9.2. The three- to six-month installation will require no modification of existing applications, Mr. Barnard said.
The goal is to reduce contention that arises when several users want to gain access to the same data, slowing the system. With three tests completed, he said, more than 70% of issues are resolved.
"This is solving our issues of volume and contention of data," Mr. Barnard said. "We've just touched the surface with our new capabilities, but we have better throughput and response time."
In addition to enhancing its Sybase server software, the bank is also upgrading its Hewlett-Packard Co. hardware. This upgrading will enhance back- and middle-office processing.
"If we want to keep our customers, we need to move forward," said Mr. Barnard. "It's critical to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and that means spending money."
Separately, Sybase last week opened a resource center in Manhattan, aimed at showcasing new software applications. Current and potential clients will be able to examine software for risk management, home banking, self-service automation, and credit card fraud protection.
"Banks know us as a data base and development tool company," said John S. Chen, president and chief executive officer of Sybase in Emeryville, Calif. "They will gradually notice us as an applications server firm."