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TPF and Financial Services

TPF and Financial Services

25 years and getting stronger

TPF (Transaction Processing Facility) is IBM's premier online transaction processing operating system for the IBM zSeries line of processors. TPF is the engine behind most of the world's largest airline and travel reservation systems as well as some of the largest global financial networks. Companies using TPF have come to trust their business and reputation on the speed, reliability and availability of TPF.

TPF has a twenty-five year history of meeting banking industry needs for high volume transaction processing. From the first TPF banking system in 1977, TPF has become the platform of choice for financial applications of four of the top eight commercial banks in the United States.

Two of the four major credit card companies also use TPF to power their global card authorization networks.

TPF's message rates have been measured at an existing user's site at over thirteen thousand messages per second while logging hundreds of thousands of records per second. This proven capability makes TPF an ideal solution for even the largest financial network.

Reliability, Availability and Speed

Of primary importance in the processing transactions in the financial services environment is reliability, availability, and consistently fast response times.

The TPF database management system is specifically designed for maximum reliability and throughput while maintaining maximum security. The fast I/O subsystem can log hundreds of thousands of records per second. Record duplication provides an extra level of high performance and reliability.

IBM's popular MQSeries is also included with TPF to provide fast and persistent messaging and data transfer between TPF and other platforms. TPF provides mission critical 24*7 worldwide operations to industries that demand the highest availability. Generally, TPF systems have availability ratings above 99.99%. Many TPF users measure their outage time (both planned and unplanned combined) in minutes per year. Should an outage occur, recovery of a TPF system to a fully operational state can be accomplished in as little as two minutes. Some users have gone for years without any outages at all, planned or otherwise.

With TPF, users rarely worry about response time. Most responses are returned in three seconds or less, many in less than one second. Because TPF is so efficient in its handling of transactions, users can configure and run their TPF systems at 90% or greater capacity; sudden peak demands are not an issue. It doesn't matter if the system is idling at 300 transactions per second or peaking at 10,000 transactions per second - the response times remain consistent.


As financial networks merge, consolidate, and integrate, the ensuing volumes are creating scalability issues for many non-TPF based solutions. TPF is a viable and attractive solution when networks start to encounter extremely high volumes, particularly at peak access periods. Not only is TPF capable and operationally proven at very high transaction rates, it also can provide the lowest cost per transaction at these volumes.

Many financial services networks began with one or two small fault-tolerant processors and have now grown to hundreds of processors incurring greater management complexity and diminishing returns on scalability. TPF can handle growth with a manageable approach. IBM zSeries processors can provide improved reliability, lower staffing requirements, and better economies of scale can be used with TPF to replace these extensive processor farms.

TPF runs on the IBM zSeries processor and can operate on the smallest z800 engine up to 512 z900 processor engines running in parallel against a single database.

Into the future

The financial services industry is expanding and moving into the e-commerce arena; web applications are starting to come online at an ever increasing rate. IBM's development commitment to TPF has kept it ahead of the financial industry's requirements. That level of commitment is continuing into the future as TPF moves into the e-business arena.

Along with the Apache Web Server, open protocols and tools such as TCP/IP and XML management are available with the TPF operating system today.

The TPF Internet Mail Server is an e-mail system with a design point of 250 million mailboxes - an ideal solution for secure document delivery of electronic statements and electronic bill presentment and payment.

TPF is supported by a worldwide team of highly experienced IBM consultants, service and support personnel who are able to take you through the design, development, integration and right into production.

In the world of financial services, system reliability, availability and responsiveness are all imperatives for customer satisfaction. Add to that the ability to handle high peak volumes and you have the perfect fit for TPF.