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ICE Mortgage Technology Chooses Qumulo and HPE to Create Critical Savings for Lending Customers

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The cloud-based platform provider for the mortgage industry employs automated infrastructure to save more than 300% of physical disk space and store billions of files, gaining valuable cost and time savings for lenders.

ICE Mortgage Technology handles nearly half of all U.S. mortgages as a key solution for the American real estate industry—from banks to lenders and financial firms. Founded in 1997, they focus on automating the residential mortgage process to create time and money savings for customers; upwards of $800 dollars and nearly a week faster. “We’re the only option if you want an end-to-end product,” said Todd Richert, director of infrastructure for ICE Mortgage Technology.

With people’s home-buying goals on the line, stakes are high, loan origination is costly, and there’s stress to close loans quickly while managing financial information with care. “Everything in your financial life goes into a mortgage,” said Richert. One loan includes nearly 1,000 pages,  stored in five separate files for each page. This presents significant challenges for ICE Mortgage Technology, which stored 145 billion files across two data centers in 2021 with an average file size of 75 KB. Yes, that’s billions, not millions of files, and the data must be stored for the life of the loan plus seven years.

When the lowest interest rates seen in years created a cascading effect of refinances and a 30% increase in business, ICE struggled to support their high file volume and storage demands. Their legacy solution broke down regularly, had nearly 100 disk failures annually, and impacted more than the IT team’s effectiveness and ability to focus on other tasks. Upgrades lagged for hours and cluster enhancements took weeks. When they were completed, another upgrade was already needed, creating a vicious cycle where it was difficult to support the data volume and customers’ needs to close their loans quickly and on time. 

“Data wasn’t moving where it needed to go, causing the more expensive front-line storage to fill up because it took too long to get the data off; we were running in place.”

Storage breakdowns with any financial service solution can be the difference of staying in business, maintaining trust, and securing sensitive data to meet regulatory requirements. According to Richert, there weren’t many solutions that could support ICE’s sheer volume and effectively scale with business demands and growth.

ICE tried out the HPE and Qumulo solution, testing different factors and scenarios. How would they copy and store a five-node cluster? How long would Qumulo take to strike and rebalance a drive, and what was needed to store one terabyte of data? These were top-of-mind questions with the critical testing outcomes for ICE being:

  • Instead of 1 TB of data taking more than 3 TB of disk space, 1 TB took up only 1.07 TB of disk space on Qumulo—a 300% savings
  • 500 million files seamlessly migrated to Qumulo in a few days
  • IT was freed from storage issues to focus on new projects instead of having “all hands on deck” to tackle the storage breakdowns

With Qumulo and HPE, they found renewed confidence and the answers to both immediate business needs and further opportunities. There’s more than enough space with this new solution, and it creates better working conditions for the IT team who were accustomed to wasting time while waiting for support and answers their storage problems. “We need our systems to be fully operational 24/7 with people’s homes on the line,” Richert shared. And with Qumulo, constant customer support is available, but rarely used or needed. 

Qumulo only needs basic monitoring, and their staff are easily accessible to answer questions or troubleshoot. ICE has grown from 20 nodes four years ago to nearly 200 now and drive changes happen 90% faster. Now there are one-click upgrades and the longest it takes is ten minutes. 

“I don’t know how we could have served our lending customers without the solution from HPE and Qumulo in place…we know we’ll always have enough space,” said Richert.

Read the entire case study here

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