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Success story

E*TRADE boosts reliability and performance

Online trading firm E*TRADE was dissatisfied with the commercial message buses it was using in its crucial risk-computing platform. E*TRADE switched to an open source offering, Red Hat® JBoss® AMQ, to build a risk-computing platform for its high-volume trading products, achieving higher performance, greater scalability, and improved reliability at significantly lower cost.

Customer Since

2006

New York City, New York

Financial Services Industry

Objective

Achieve greater stability in a high-risk environment at a significantly lower cost.

Software and services

Hardware

  • Dell PowerEdge R610 multicore servers

In addition to reduced licensing costs, Red Hat JBoss AMQ delivered stability, scalability, and performance improvement. Now we know we can support transactions for our most valued brokerage customers.

Duc Doan, Director of Systems Engineering, E*TRADE

Simplifying a complex messaging stack

For brokerage firms, the revenue from margin loan income carries manageable risk—but only if the firm has resources and modern technology to monitor and manage those risks. E*TRADE had a risk-computing platform that it built in-house to collect and analyze market data using complex calculations in real time. However, the cost of licensing—along with the constant, painful upgrades—motivated the company to look for a message bus that could provide superior performance, scalability, and manageability at a lower cost.

“There are a lot of different messaging technologies out there, and we had to keep upgrading them to the most recent version,” says Duc Doan, director of systems engineering at E*TRADE. “We wanted to consolidate our messaging stack so one team could manage it.”

Consolidating platforms to achieve real savings

With its small footprint and flexible configuration, Red Hat JBoss AMQ helps enterprises such as E*TRADE build integration solutions rapidly. Organizations can respond to business events quickly, with intelligence and with high-quality answers, products, and services.

With Red Hat JBoss AMQ, E*TRADE was able to design a highly available, scalable, and high-performance architecture with multiple partitions. Each partition can accommodate up to 5,000 customer accounts with built-in redundancy for message persistence and high-performance caching. “We started building up the platform to support a small group of high-net-worth accounts and gradually ramped it up to thousands of accounts at very low cost,” said Doan.

Red Hat JBoss AMQ has a small footprint that makes it easy to implement with inexpensive hardware and limited IT staffing. Because it has centralized management, it's easy to configure, deploy, and manage customized brokers. And as an open source product, it's significantly less expensive than traditional stacks, making it practical to deploy broadly.

Attaining better performance, greater revenue

First and foremost, Doan saw a significant jump in performance. “For us, transaction throughput is very, very important,” he said. “The faster you can confirm a trade, the faster our customers get their money, which they can use to make even more money. The performance and stability of the message bus is critical to our line of business.”

Doan also appreciates the stability of Red Hat JBoss AMQ. “We had to keep upgrading SonicMQ and IBM WebSphere MQ, and upgrading commercial products is not an easy thing to do,” he said. “Now we no longer see the error alerts we were getting with the other message buses.”

Because E*TRADE uses Red Hat JBoss AMQ to consolidate formerly disparate message brokers into a single broker deployment, it can achieve unprecedented scalability. “We want to use a consolidated message bus where all of our service code stack can work together with the broker,” said Doan. “That way, any service can subscribe to any other service, effectively creating a giant social network where all services can talk to each other.”

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