Trade Floor Desktop Service Migrates

Finance

RedPixie was engaged by an Investment Bank to carry out a detailed analysis of the potential impact of moving the workstations used by trade floor staff from a data centre in London, to another data centre further afield.

By Head of Desktop Services, Investment Bank

Challenge:

The Investment Bank needed to plan for the migration of a number of systems to a new data centre. The London data centre housed hundreds of blade workstations used by trade floor staff. The blade workstations were part of a trader virtual desktop solution that could deliver the rich experience that trade floor staff demanded. The IT team at the bank wanted conclusive evidence that the blade workstation infrastructure could be migrated to the alternative data centre without a performance penalty and therefore a degradation in the trader’s experience.


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“RedPixie provided empirical evidence that we could move the traders desktop service to a data centre further away without any performance impact. I was amazed how clever and creative their analysis was.”


Solution:

We met a number of representatives across the technology group including the owners of trading applications and services. During these workshops we were able to create detailed application topologies to visualise trading environment hardware, applications, inter-dependencies, interfaces and data flows.

RedPixie:
• Created a trader workstation environment that emulated the production set up
• Built an in-line network emulation model that allowed us to inject network latency to model the impact of distance to all trading applications
• Automated the launch of a number of trading applications including those with real-time feeds
• Collected performance metrics for analysis
• Captured video footage to show the end users experience as latency was injected into the trading applications in scope.

 

Method:

In a relatively short period of time RedPixie had to understand the following:

• The various applications used by the trade floor staff. This included getting a handle on the various interfaces, data feeds and workflows
• The longer term plans for the applications that ran on the trader workstations needed to be understood
• The technologies that the bank considered strategic rather than tactical
• The network architecture to a detailed level
• The banks goals in providing business continuity to trade floor staff
• Any limitations or constraints that would influence the recommendations made
• The tolerance or lack of tolerance that trading applications and workstations might exhibit when moved further away from the users of the system
• What scientific and empirical evidence had to be produced to allow the bank to make an informed decision.

 

Experience:

Empirical evidence was gathered to demonstrate that the bank could progress with their data centre plans, inclusive of the trader workstation platform, without concern and with the confidence that there would be no impact to the traders overall experience of the solution. We were able to demonstrate that in the case of a number of trading applications, the experience would be improved by moving to the alternative data centre. The project was complete on time and within budget with all agreed outcomes having been delivered.

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