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Article Title: AXIS Overview for Technical Support
Article Type: General System  
Article ID #: 357
GGY Contacts: GGY Client Support (416-250-6777)
Last Modified: 22 Jan 14

Article Summary:

This document is designed to provide IT professionals with a brief introduction to some of the issues involved in installing and supporting AXIS. Where necessary, it also links to more detailed information on specific topics.

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Article Detail:

This document is designed to provide IT professionals with a brief introduction to some of the issues involved in installing and supporting AXIS. Where necessary, it also links to more detailed information on specific topics.  This document is broken down into the following sections:

  1. The AXIS Environment
  2. Supported Software Platforms 
  3. AXIS Licensing
  4. Installation Options
  5. AXIS Distributed Processing 
  6. AXIS GridLink Module 
  7. Suggestions for Handling Error Messages 
  8. AXIS Support Services

Section 1 - The AXIS Environment

The AXIS environment consists of AXIS EnterpriseLink, AXIS and (optionally) AXIS GridLink. From a systems perspective, AXIS EnterpriseLink is what users see when working with AXIS and its artifacts (as a "front-end" interface). AXIS GridLink is an optional back-end solution to run AXIS calculation jobs (both non-distributed and distributed) faster, without impacting other AXIS users. The AXIS system itself is the actuarial cashflow projection system installed in both areas.

AXIS EnterpriseLink server edition is a data management platform that incorporates a powerful suite of tools for an actuarial department or company while providing a secure and high performance enterprise level environment for AXIS model development, testing and processing. It is designed to support failover procedures and provides mechanisms for easy data migrations in case of Disaster Recovery or equipment upgrades. Powerful logging and auditing capabilities are at the core of the system.

AXIS EnterpriseLink solo edition is intended for installation on workstations or laptops, for a single actuary working in isolation. It does not contain the data management or model governance features of the server-based edition, but many of the other features related to AXIS model development, version control and change investigation are supported. Logging and auditing capabilities are at the core of the system, but apply only to the user in question.

Either edition of AXIS EnterpriseLink is required for recent versions of AXIS to run. A full breakdown of differences is contained in EnterpriseLink Solo Overview.

AXIS is a CashFlow projection system primarily used by actuaries at Life Insurance Companies. It is multi-purpose software that can be installed on either a PC or a server and can be used for all actuarial applications including Pricing, Valuation, Asset Liability Management, Dynamic Solvency Testing (DST and DCAT), Stochastic Risk Analysis, Earnings and Experience Analysis, and Evaluating Blocks of Business. We are continuously adding new features and fixes to the system to support the latest actuarial regulations, such as IFRS17 and LICAT.

From an administration perspective, there are two parts to administer: AXIS EnterpriseLink and optionally AXIS GridLink.

  1. AXIS EnterpriseLink server edition provides a single-platform solution for departments or companies to maintain and gives administrators the ability to perform maintenance in one centralized place. EnterpriseLink Solo edition entails a separate implementation for each actuary and requires local administrative rights for installation. Different versions of AXIS can coexist together on the same server or workstation without interference with one another. In this way, different functional areas of the actuarial department can be working on entirely different models without interference.
  2. AXIS GridLink provides a GridLink Utility that is used by administrators to manage, configure and troubleshoot GridLink. Administrators can use the utility to manage AXIS versions on the farm from one location. This utility can be installed on a machine that is separate from the farm in question. One utility can also manage multiple GridLink farms

AXIS EnterpriseLink (both editions) and AXIS make minimal changes to registry settings during installation. Use of EnterpriseLink server edition may require network changes to support connections to the server for your users, but should not impact network speeds severely. AXIS GridLink has separate hardware, networking and software requirements, which will impact the network the farm is installed on.

AXIS EnterpriseLink server requirements

AXIS GridLink requirements

AXIS Performance and Scaling

Section 2 - Supported Software Platforms

AXIS is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Windows currently supported by Microsoft, including Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server, Windows 2016 Server and Windows HPC Server. We have found them to be very stable and much easier to manage than previous versions of Windows.  

Details on Windows 10 and Windows 2016 Support

We do support Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows Server 2012, however, there are special considerations that apply to installing and running AXIS on these systems.

Windows 8, 8.1 and 2012 Considerations

New versions of AXIS do not run on versions of Windows that are no longer supported by Microsoft (these versions are classified as End of Life). These versions include Windows XP, Vista, NT or Windows 2000. Although older versions of AXIS will run on these operating systems, we can no longer fully support those operating systems since Microsoft itself no longer produces service packs for those older operating systems to fix bugs.

We strongly recommend using an up-to-date operating system (noted above) for the best possible results using AXIS.

A detailed discussion of AXIS hardware and software compatibility

Section 3 - AXIS Licensing

AXIS EnterpriseLink and AXIS uses software license keys that are associated with the AXIS user’s domain account. This allows users who work on multiple machines to easily move between machines in the same Active Directory (AD) domain (providing they have the same username), without registering an individual machine with our licensing system.

Further information on AXIS Licensing

Section 4 - Installation Options

There are two options to install and run AXIS:

Option 1: Install AXIS EnterpriseLink locally on end-user workstations

Install AXIS EnterpriseLink Solo on a workstation and use EnterpriseLink to install different versions of AXIS.

Detailed installation instructions

Option 2: Install AXIS EnterpriseLink on Terminal Server(s) or Citrix Servers

Install AXIS EnterpriseLink on a Terminal Server or Citrix server. Multi-server implementations are supported as long as all servers in the cluster are of the same type (Terminal Server or Citrix). The server cluster must be under the control of the central EnterpriseLink database or parameters and management records. All EnterpriseLink servers use a common library of AXIS versions installed on a network share.

There is no client side installation with AXIS EnterpriseLink (other than the generic Remote Desktop Client or Citrix client).

AXIS EnterpriseLink Server Installation Outline

We strongly recommend scheduling an installation session with our support team to review requirements and ensure that you get the best implementation for your needs

Section 5 – Standard Distributed Processing

Standard Distributed Processing allows many AXIS batch calculations to be parallelized on a local machine. Standard Distributed Processing is very simple to turn on and use. AXIS helpers are automatically started on a multi-processor core machine to take advantage of the extra cores. This feature is turned on automatically in EnterpriseLink Solo and is not recommended for Server implementations.

Further information on distributed processing in general

Section 6 - AXIS GridLink Module

AXIS GridLink is a Grid solution to managing the processor farm used for distributed processing of AXIS batch calculation runs. It offers a comprehensive set of tools that help you create and manage a more efficient and secure production environment.

With AXIS GridLink you can:

  • Control your farm without logging on to the farm servers. 
  • Initiate AXIS batch jobs from any AXIS workstation. 
  • When the job is submitted to the farm it is not running on the user's workstation anymore so it becomes free to do other work - even run AXIS and work in a different dataset 
  • Automatically start the appropriate Master and Helpers for the current job on the farm, and control the maximum number of helpers. 
  • Monitor the batch job running on the farm and the queue of jobs submitted by multiple users in multiple AXIS versions, from your local workstation or from home (using VPN). 
  • Move pending jobs up and down in the queue, or cancel them, if required. 
  • Review the history of runs with detailed documentation

Further information on AXIS GridLink

Section 7 - Suggestions for handling error messages

If you encounter an error while installing or updating AXIS or AXIS EnterpriseLink, there are several resources available on our website which may be of value:

  1. AXIS Installation Instructions - detailed installation instructions for AXIS EnterpriseLink, AXIS pre-requisites and program files.

  2. AXIS EnterpriseLink Alerts – alerts applicable to various releases of AXIS EnterpriseLink, which may affect your implementation

  3. AXIS EnterpriseLink Release Notes – release notes for AXIS EnterpriseLink

  4. AXIS Knowledge Base - a searchable database of articles that detail common problems and their solutions.

  5. AXIS Enhancements and Bug Fixes database - a searchable database of all bug-fixes and enhancements that have been introduced in various versions of AXIS.

  6. AXIS GridLink Release Notes – release notes for AXIS GridLink

Section 8 - AXIS Support Services

We have an AXIS Support Team that deals with a wide range of client/user issues. Questions vary from how to install AXIS to how a calculation is being done to the optimal setup of AXIS in a production environment with a processor farm. When necessary, other system and IT professionals at Moody’s Analytics AXIS Support are brought in to investigate and help solve a client/user problem.

Further information on our support services

Access the client portal and submit a support request

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