In 1992, Schlumberger Messaging Solutions (now Airwide Solutions) delivered the world’s first commercial short message. Today, one of the company’s key tools is the EIR (Equipment Identity Register).

An essential anti-fraud component for GSM networks, EIR allows network providers to switch off stolen mobile phones even if the SIM is changed. This capability helps telecoms companies to fight phone theft actively, deterring thieves and reassuring customers.

Schlumberger’s messaging solutions division recently chose to migrate EIR to CACHÉ post-relational database technology from InterSystems. According to Terry McCabe, vice president Schlumberger Messaging Solutions, Montreal Product Centre, the decision was taken because of the price/performance advantages CACHÉ will bring to EIR.

Power and speed

CACHÉ is a powerful, scalable solution, proven to be many times faster than other commercially available databases. It runs on a much reduced hardware footprint and is ideal for ‘lights out’ operations like EIR where low maintenance and limited database administration are key requirements.

“We were convinced that CACHÉ’s innovative technology would give us the speed we needed while enabling us to offer applications that are cost-effective and so highly marketable,” says McCabe.

Keeping costs to a minimum

CACHÉ’s multi-dimensional data structures mean applications do not need to reassemble data from fragmented tables. This eliminates processing overheads so applications run faster.

Because CACHÉ is so fast – tests show that it can deliver rapid in-memory search performance between 20 and 100 times faster than well-known relational databases – it uses less memory and supports more users on the same hardware platform, reducing cost per user.

This much-reduced hardware footprint ensures that solutions are cost-effective, so maximizing return on investment (ROI). “CACHÉ’s reduced footprint, using either UNIX or new telco-grade Linux systems, means that the price point falls, as does total cost of ownership, increasing the possibility of winning new initiatives,” explains Chris Norton, sales manager at InterSystems.

He adds that CACHÉ’s design offers clients the flexibility to interrogate and report on the data in myriad different ways. Consequently, it provides for as yet unseen future requirements such as using CACHÉ to present web-based information to customer service operatives.

Another critical factor in the decision was CACHÉ’s flexibility, in particular its ability to support EIR’s OpenVMS operating system environment. CACHÉ runs on most major platforms, including Windows, Linux and UNIX in addition to OpenVMS.

Schlumberger Messaging Solutions has now received orders for the latest version of EIR from a broad range of leading telecoms companies worldwide including Algerie Telecom, Orange (Botswana), Inmarsat (Holland), Vodafone (Spain), Finnet (Finland), DSTCom (Brunei) and H3G (Italy).

At InterSystems we believe that the growing demand for CACHÉ in the telecoms sector is inevitable, particularly in view of the rigorous market. CACHÉ enables extremely rapid application development and, as shown by its implementation at Schlumberger Messaging Solutions, lightning fast performance, making applications highly competitive and cost-effective.