By: Alex Demitri, Daniel Richardson

At Edelman Financial Engines, we have a vast array of platforms and servers. Our infrastructure is rather elegant but at the same time complex, making the need for reliable replication paramount. The challenges associated with maintaining an immutable infrastructure, also pose questions of scale and security.

While it is obviously crucial for us to maintain our infrastructure replicable and codified, we also want to

make sure we are able to consistently test and ship security remediations in the fastest and most reliable way possible.

In AWS (or any cloud provider for that matter), it all…

By: Shashank Anumula, Amit Naik

At Financial Engines, we are big fans of AWS and the “Serverless Paradigm” where we do not have to provision servers, in the form of EC2 instances, in order to get all the benefits of the cloud, such as on-demand scaling and per-call pricing.

DynamoDB is a popular NoSQL database offering from AWS that integrates very nicely in the serverless eco-system. It is a fully managed, auto-scaling, serverless NoSQL Database based on Amazon’s 2007 Dynamo paper [1].
An additional bonus is that it integrates well with AWS Lambda and S3, making DynamoDB the default choice…

by Ivonne Roberts

AWS has announced support for SQS triggered events on AWS Lambda. For companies embracing a serverless architecture this opens up new possibilities for event-driven architecture, streamlining batch infrastructure and much more.

Before the feature launched, if you were a serverless shop that needed to process SQS messages, the only option was to use CloudWatch to trigger a Lambda function, that polled for messages and then either fanned out workers or chewed threw batches of SQS messages. While this worked, it was prone to error. A Lambda function can only live for 5 minutes, at which point it…

By Shrikant Kathane


For a few years now, Financial Engines product engineering teams have been on the journey of migrating their applications and infrastructure from the on-premises data center to the AWS Cloud. Earlier this year, the Data Engineering team at Financial Engines successfully migrated the Enterprise Data Warehouse from on-premises instance of Netezza to AWS Redshift in the cloud along with modernizing the entire guts. It marks the first significant milestone in our journey of modernizing the Data Analytics Platform, as we execute towards the company’s strategic goal of servicing 10 million clients.

All modernization efforts are a time-bound…

By Ivonne Roberts

As you have probably noticed, debugging and getting latency data for your microservices can be painful if they interact with multiple distributed services. For these types of microservices, you are usually forced to build your own performance testing application, add an inordinate amount of log statements, or simply crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. From one of AWS’s posts on the subject:

“Traditional debugging methods don’t work so well for microservice based applications, in which there are multiple, independent components running on different services.” — AWS Lambda Support For AWS X-Ray

As a result, AWS…

By Akila Balasubramanian

What is RestKit?

RestKit is an Objective-C framework that simplifies interaction with RESTful web services. It combines a clean, simple HTTP request/response API with a powerful object mapping system that reduces the amount of code you need to write to ‘get stuff done’. RestKit does a lot of the heavy-lifting (integrated network operations, JSON/XML parsing, object-mapping, etc.) for you while allowing you to think more in terms of your application’s data model and worry less about the details of sending requests, parsing responses, and building representations of remote resources. Additionally, it has a powerful wrapper for Core Data.

At the…

By Paul Gibson


Financial Engines recently celebrated the 20th anniversary since the company was founded. Those two decades reflect our growth en route to becoming the largest registered investment advisor in the US.
During those same two decades the technology industry has changed profoundly and we have adjusted along the way. One change we completed earlier in 2016 was moving our disaster recovery footprint to a hybrid cloud solution using AWS. This document describes that effort in more detail and the results we achieved.

Moving to IaaS

Our offerings have been web-based since inception. For hosting these web experiences we utilized top tier…

By Ivonne Roberts

Take a spin around the technical universe, and you will see that serverless computing is all the rage these days. Serverless computing doesn’t mean that there are no servers running your code. In the most popular use of the word, it simply means that you, the developer, don’t have to worry about it. Someone else has, and will monitor your service and make sure you have the right infrastructure and scalability in place.

Public Cloud providers like AWS and Google are simplifying the process for developers to leverage this architectural design concept. …

By Fritzi Borja

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is changing the way engineers develop solutions. It is so easy to prototype and have a scalable architecture with very little hand holding from the Office of the CTO or Systems Engineers. This, in turn, fosters the DevOps culture within the organization.

One of the prototypes we’ve tried is to integrate AWS with Twilio, Slack and Intel Edison + Grove IoT device. We cannot take all the credit here because this was inspired by a recent trip to AWS’s San Francisco pop-up loft. They had a zombie apocalypse themed workshop but we took…

By Craig LaSalle


circuit breaker

Building software is often compared to building homes, and in building a home you don’t let a faulty circuit burn down the house. Decades of learnings in the home building industry have shown that one small device, the circuit breaker, can protect an entire house.

Financial Engines is on the microservices journey for what are the typical business and architectural motivations. Basically, the cost of ownership of a monolithic system is growing due to the monolithic nature of the stack: code, releases and teams are coupled together. …

Financial Engines TechBlog

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