Customer Stories

Charles Schwab grows margin lending while reducing intraday trading risk in real-time

The results

400%

faster throughput

90%

TCO reduction

250M

transactions per day

$10K

saved per day
About the Company

Charles Schwab is a top three global brokerage firm

Known for its robust online and mobile trading platforms and commission-free trades, Charles Schwab offers full-service investment management, online trading and banking services to clients around the world with total client assets north of $3.5 trillion, was growing over 10 percent annually and had also recently acquired a competitor.

Challenge

Consistently deliver performance, scalability, and flexibility

Charles Schwab had to rethink its infrastructure in order to scale without barriers, provide superlative customer experience, and continue to introduce new, engaging mobile applications.

Reliability
RDBMS and RAM-based cache with traditional mainframe databases were unable to consistently and reliably support ever-growing workloads during trading hours.
Caching solution quickly became overloaded, rendering it unable to scale during high-volume trading days or handle new applications without serious latency issues and system outages.
System restarts took as much as an hour to complete and the firm's reliance on RAM made data loss a serious problem.
SOLUTION

Requirements met with Aerospike

The company’s IT department explored a number of options and quickly realized that Aerospike was the only solution that could provide the required performance due to its unique hybrid architecture. Rather than use expensive yet unreliable RAM, the firm preferred Aerospike’s ability to leverage solid state drive (SSD) flash technology.

Making real-time customer portfolio data available to drive margin loans

Set up Aerospike clusters and built an Aerospike integration layer, which talks to the systems of record whenever the legacy applications are writing to the database.

Implementing a new intraday operational data store

Aerospike layers get data at the beginning of the day, the site application reads and writes the data into Aerospike within the same transaction and then posts a message into the messaging queue.

Empowering new capabilities by providing easy access to vast amounts of data

With Aerospike as the system of record, there is real-time access to all data, making it easier to scale and manage and giving the firm the opportunity to leverage backup and recovery capabilities.

Solution areas

Benefits

Delivering better business results

Even with the increased load during the COVID-19 crisis, the brokerage has been able to meet and exceed customer expectations and there has been no disruption in Aerospike’s stability, latency and performance. Aerospike is referred to as “the secret sauce” when it comes to low latency for the organization.

Extreme performance

Perform over 13 billion queries per day with 99.9% requests returned in sub-milliseconds.

Hardware footprint reduced

From 150 RAM cache servers to a 10-server Aerospike cluster, while simultaneously improving performance.

Batch to real-time

Migrated end-of-day batch system to real-time, customer facing solution significantly improving customer satisfaction while saving $10,000 per day with mainframe offloading.

Improved performance at scale

400% faster throughput with 300% larger object store.

Additional resources

Learn more about Aerospike