Atreyu Group Builds Trading System on AWS to Help Investors Reliably Calculate Risk Faster
Financial traders need to operate in an environment that is secure, fast, scalable, and available. Through its trading system, brokerage firm Atreyu Group enables financial traders to execute trades quickly and reliably. Through the company’s APIs, customers can write the fully automated algorithms needed to execute high-volume, low-latency trades with minimal errors, violations, and malfunctioning algorithms. Given that market data can change many times per second, minimizing latency is a huge priority for Atreyu Group.
To better serve its customers, Atreyu Group sought a robust, scalable cloud-based solution to reduce latency as much as possible. Using several managed services from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Atreyu Group built a price-risking tool that helps traders calculate risk and make decisions with much greater speed and reliability than had been possible using its on-premises systems. By migrating to AWS, Atreyu Group has accelerated its ability to compute price risk for thousands of portfolios from 10 minutes to less than 2 seconds, giving broker dealers a critical performance edge. Atreyu Group now relies on AWS to support this pivotal application, which processes more than 600 million shares per month and nearly a million messages per day.
Amazon S3 is great for pushing out information in a secure fashion by using the different buckets and AWS IAM tokens. We can keep the data we share with our clients segregated and keep clients’ access limited to specific areas in Amazon S3."
Chief Technology Officer, Atreyu Group
Achieving Peak Performance and Scale by Migrating to AWS
Atreyu Group provides trade-execution services through major financial institutions. As a technology firm and as a broker dealer registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Atreyu Group focuses on managers who design trading models that produce returns based on expected movements in the value of a security or related indices. By connecting clients to its system, Atreyu Group uses automated processes with features that include high-speed throughput, position monitoring, risk surveillance, and billing.
Atreyu Group began its use of AWS by migrating its service from some collocated exchanges to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. The key advantages that motivated Atreyu Group to choose AWS over other available solutions were performance and scale. In an industry in which transaction speed is critical, latency is a major concern. So when evaluating cloud providers, Atreyu Group’s chief technology officer, Jogi Narain, first had to consider physical proximity to the world’s stock exchanges. Weighed by the maturity of its available solutions and the track record of support, AWS was the clear choice.
Scale was also critical. “We’re a small high-tech company,” says George Kledaras, CEO of Atreyu Group, “but we’ve processed billions of shares so far. A typical day is something like 20–25 million shares a day. And we’re processing more than 100,000 orders every single day, which puts us up there with some of the biggest firms in the space based on volume. We could never do this without having scalable systems, because the moment one thing goes wrong, hundreds of thousands of things will go wrong. That’s why it’s critical to be able to start from zero and to be able to scale our systems.” Other advantages that drove the decision to choose AWS were security, ease of migration—of particular importance to Atreyu Group’s lean 12-person team—and the well-documented history of reliable, predictable support for AWS services.
Expanding Its Portfolio of AWS Solutions
Atreyu Group has incorporated several additional AWS services to better meet the needs of its customers. “Originally, when we started using AWS, we were just using Amazon EC2 instances as proxies for simple machines,” says Narain. “As we progressed and as our confidence grew, the number of services we used grew, and we started building out a lot more on the networking side.”
Atreyu Group migrated its networking capabilities to Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), which enabled the company to provide secure services by provisioning a logically isolated section of the cloud in a self-defined virtual network and to pair virtual private instances with its collocated servers. “As we became more conversant with using AWS technology,” Narain says, “we started using the virtual private network customer gateways. Instead of having to run our integration points at collocated exchanges, we started moving them all across onto AWS. That gave us a lot more scalability in terms of having many more virtual private networks terminating there. Creating more VPCs and segregating all our environments helped us prevent contagion or leakage between environments.”
Atreyu Group’s increased use of Amazon EC2 instances created a need for a more robust database solution that required less time and effort to manage. Atreyu Group is now providing storage, with scaling and administrative functions, through the use of Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility), a fast, scalable, highly available, and fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads. “The built-in administration functions and the ability to call somebody up if we do have problems more than offset our desire to manage the database ourselves,” says Narain.
Another AWS service that is key to Atreyu Group’s customer solution is Amazon MQ, a managed message-broker service that translates a message from the protocol of the sender to the protocol of the receiver. Amazon MQ makes it easy to set up and operate message brokers on AWS for secure integration between Atreyu Group and its clients. “The endpoints are exposed externally,” says Narain, “but they can still be tightly controlled and can go into a particular VPC. So we can get real-time messaging between different entities. We use this with our partner, Axos Clearing, to manage real-time messaging between our two companies. That’s a pretty strong integration point for us.”
Axos Clearing, a subsidiary of Axos Financial, provides brokers and investment advisors with flexible clearing and custody solutions. Mike Barth, head of product development at Axos Clearing, is a strong advocate for the advantages afforded by its use of a solution provided by another Atreyu entity, Atreyu Group Technologies, LLC: “We had a prior third party that provided similar services,” says Barth, “but it had problems keeping up with risk calculations. It would calculate the tail risk on a portfolio only once a minute, and then it would calculate the risk per position only once every 30 seconds. With the Atreyu Group Technologies system, it’s instantaneous on every trade.”
The other customer-integration services that Atreyu Group uses from AWS are Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object-storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance, and AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM), which enables Atreyu Group to manage users and user permissions within AWS. “Amazon S3 is great for pushing out information in a secure fashion by using the different buckets and AWS IAM tokens. We can keep the data we share with our clients segregated and keep clients’ access limited to specific areas in Amazon S3,” says Narain. “Our clients can then write simple scripts to access their data as and when needed.”
Anticipating Future Expansion on AWS
Based on its positive experiences migrating to AWS, Atreyu Group plans to expand the AWS services it uses. For example, Narain has been exploring setting up a metrics dashboard for customers and rolling out price-risking systems for use by individual clients. “We’re going to rely heavily on our AWS-based infrastructure to be able to scale that out to everybody,” says Kledaras. “And this will be in real time. So we’re talking about lots of speed and lots of sophistication. We’re pretty excited to embark on that.” Whatever lies ahead, Atreyu Group will continue pursuing improvements for its ability to provide customers with fast price-risk tool that is highly secure, scalable, easy to use, and always available.
About Atreyu Group
Atreyu Group, a broker dealer registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, serves managers who design trading models. Through its institutional trading system, Atreyu Group enables traders to compute price risk and execute trades quickly and reliably.
Benefits of AWS
- Accelerated ability to compute price risk for thousands of portfolios from 10 minutes to 2 seconds
- Scaled up to process more than 100,000 trades a day
- Offered robust security while scaling up
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) is a service that lets you launch AWS resources in a logically isolated virtual network that you define.
Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)
Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) is a fast, scalable, highly available, and fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
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