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High-frequency Trading Firm Yields High-flying Results with Igneous Solutions

By Tammy Batey on July 11, 2017

One less thing to worry about. That’s one of the most satisfying gifts you can give a busy IT manager, says Igneous Systems Field Product Engineer Andy Pernsteiner.

It’s a gift he’s been excited to offer one of our most longstanding customers – a New York City-based high-frequency trading company. While most of our customers make the Fortune 500, some smaller companies face similar infrastructure challenges and can benefit from an Igneous secondary storage solution.

Take animation studios and high-frequency trading companies like this one. When the firm deployed Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud more than a year ago, it intended to use Igneous cloud as an object store for one of its applications dedicated to high-frequency trading.

The success of that deployment led the company also to adopt Igneous for the backup of a NetApp file server that contains home directories of 150 employees. The firm has two copies of the data at its New York City and Chicago offices and wanted a third “just in case,” Andy says.

Switching backups from “old world” and time-intensive tape to hybrid cloud backup, via Igneous Backup, freed up time for several people at the company, including the IT manager.

“If his life is easier, it’s easier for him to offer more services to his community,” he says. “If the developers are more productive at this company, the company makes more money. Infrastructure as-a-service frees up their systems so they can work on things that are more critical.”

This customer story illustrates a few of the biggest benefits from using Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud and its services - Igneous Storage, Igneous Backup and Igneous Archive – to store, backup, archive and restore unstructured data.

Igneous Benefit #1 - Help rather than hound business users

The high-frequency trading company first deployed Igneous in April 2016 because executives liked the idea of storage that the company’s IT team didn’t have to manage. A solution for an overloaded Isilon scratch cluster led to two more projects.

The company’s software developers used a large Isilon scratch cluster to store temporary data for their testing, with each developer allocated a certain amount of space. The problem is that the developers often forgot to remove the data when no longer needed for testing. About 500 terabytes of forgotten data almost filled the Isilon cluster to capacity.

Two of the company’s choices? Add expensive nodes to the cluster to expand its data capacity or ask developers to remove their data and hope they followed through. Instead, the company opted for Option #3  – automatically archive the data with Igneous Archive and delete it from the Isilon cluster.

“They freed up nodes,” Andy says. “They won’t have to add more nodes. They won’t have to call users up to delete data. They can archive data that’s not in use.”


Igneous Benefit #2 - Enjoy peace of mind with scalable storage

150 employees. 40 terabytes. 250 million files. The home directories of business developers and software developers involved a huge amount of data and it’s growing all the time.

“Instead of them having to configure a bunch of things, having them take snapshots, we handle it for them,” Andy says. “The customer doesn’t really have to do anything and we backup this data automatically.”

Our customer indicated which NetApp file server to backup and Igneous took it from there, taking snapshots to ensure that the data isn’t changing during backups. Our user-friendly search interface makes it easy for the customer’s employees to find and restore data. And perhaps most importantly, Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud offers a highly scalable solution that will grow with the customer.

Scalability is a big driver of a trend highlighted by a 2016 survey of 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance members. Of the 647 enterprise technology and IT professionals surveyed, 35 percent said they’re considering cloud-based storage for immediate purchase.

When asked the key advantages of cloud over on-premises storage, 62 percent of respondents said that cloud storage is easier to scale up and down based on enterprise needs.


Igneous Benefit #3 - Escape the trials of tape

Before adopting an Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud solution, this high-frequency trading customer backed up its NetApp filer to tape. Like many organizations that use tapes for backup, this company grew frustrated with the time involved in managing backups and the delay for getting restores, Andy says.

“For a lot of customers I talk to, tape is an old-world way to do things,” he says. “But also it’s a system that they have to continue to maintain and manage.”

While most organizations that rely on tape for data storage will buy a tape robot or a tape library, they then have to maintain a library and maintain a tape drive.

Also, much like old cassette tapes or VCR tapes, tape quality degrades over time so organizations that use it must constantly cycle through tapes and write data to new tapes to ensure that data isn’t lost. The tapes are stored offsite, meaning the time between an employee’s data restore request and the receipt of that data could span a week.

For this particular customer, Igneous’ modern alternative to tape is freeing.

“[Backups] are one less thing on their list that they have to deal with,” Andy says. “Because we’re good at managing the backups for them, it makes it so they don’t have to worry about it anymore.”


Check out our Product page for details on how Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud helps organizations store, backup, archive and restore unstructured data to realize incredible benefits, including freedom from tape and infrastructure management stress.

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Tammy Batey

Written by Tammy Batey

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