Yuanta Securities saved $20 million with all-flash architecture

Yuanta Securities saved $20 million with all-flash architectureTo cope with the growth in stock trading volume and the need for a simplified data management, Yuanta Securities (Hong Kong) Company Ltd (YSHK) upgraded its IT infrastructure to NetApp’s all-flash architecture.

As a subsidiary of Taiwan-based Yuanta Financial Holdings, YSHK is a brokerage firm offering brokerage services, corporate finance and asset management services to institutions, corporate customers and individual investors across Asia.

Difficulty in managing legacy architecture

The brokerage firm first started using NetApp’s converged infrastructure in 2014 to replace its complex IT legacy architecture. Its legacy architecture included 200 servers with hard disk storage devices that were purchased from various server and storage vendors, creating pain points in IT management.

“In the past, we deployed 200 servers for different uses like developing, testing and running applications and storing our databases. Managing them, particularly in server maintenance or replacement, was extremely painful for us,” said Bro Huang (pictured right), head of IT at YSHK.

The introduction of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX) in November 2014 led YSHK to review its IT architecture. YSHK needed a platform that could scale up and scale out to meet its changing needs.

Converged infrastructure with hybrid storage

After evaluating offerings from several suppliers, the brokerage firm finally bid farewell to its legacy architecture and turned to NetApp’s FlexPod in 2014. As a converged infrastructure, FlexPod consists of Cisco servers, network switches and NetApp hybrid storage array with 2TB flash.

FlexPod was pre-validated by Cisco and NetApp, therefore YSHK did not need to do proof-of-concept (PoC) prior to deployment.

“As FlexPod had already been certified by Cisco and NetApp, it saved our time in evaluation and carrying out PoC. We just spent two to three months to migrate our legacy architecture to FlexPod,” he noted.

According to NetApp, FlexPod creates an agile and scalable platform for hosting applications certified by NetApp and other FlexPod offering suppliers. Since all the components of FlexPod are designed with usability and flexibility, it simplifies managing a growing and ever-changing infrastructure. It enables YSHK to quickly expand its infrastructure such as adding new flash storage or servers.

Following the success of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, HKEX launched the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect in December 2016.

Stock Connect is a securities trading and clearing links program developed by HKEX and the Stock Exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, enabling mutual market access by investors in the three markets.

Upgraded to all-flash array

Since the launch of Stock Connect, YSHK expected tremendous growth in the daily trading volume and the need for more effective data management. The brokerage firm decided to upgrade its IT infrastructure by adding NetApp’s all-flash storage array at the end of last year to facilitate a faster trading platform.