Eris Innovations – Connamara, AWS, and Bloomberg Case Study

Eris Innovations migrates to AWS and achieves reliable data delivery and up to 50% savings by leveraging Connamara Systems and real-time data from Bloomberg

Executive Summary

By migrating its virtual machines (VMs) from a locally-hosted data center to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Eris Innovations (Eris) increased platform availability and reduced monthly costs. Eris worked with its software solutions provider, Connamara Systems, and data offering provider, Bloomberg, to successfully migrate their platform. The new platform was completed in less than two months. It succeeded in increasing availability, enhancing security and redundancy, adding speed and functionality, and reducing costs up to 50% per month.

Problem at hand:  Platform availability and monthly costs

The Eris Innovations platform generates real-time derivative valuation and analytics, supporting the operations of a leading global futures exchange. When its data center provider experienced yet another extended outage, Eris realized it was time for a change. The outage made the primary data center unavailable for the day, followed by a week of degraded services. That was unacceptable for a business that promises real-time access to data and analytics.

“With that kind of instability, we realized the solution we had in place wasn’t viable,” said Laurence Brazeau, Director of Operations and Technology at Eris Innovations. “We talked to our DevOps team at Connamara, and given our needs and their experience with the solution, knew it was a no-brainer to migrate to AWS.”

Working side-by-side with Eris, Connamara Systems leveraged their agile project management and deep capital markets engineering expertise to optimize their AWS environment. “We were able to test Amazon EC2 instances for responsiveness using the load balancer —all in real time during scheduled calls with Eris,” said Daniel Curry, Connamara’s Head of Business Development. “We conducted this real-time A/B testing to choose configurations that provided significant savings in both developer and compute costs. With optimizations Eris was able to save 50% each month.”

Moving to AWS ensures reliability and expands flexibility

Migrating to a more stable environment was crucial for Eris if it was going to maintain customer confidence. Proven reliability and scalability made AWS the obvious choice. Eris’s previous data center provider experienced outages when load was added to the system, and expanding capacity came at a price.

The flexibility and scalability of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) allowed Eris to easily auto-scale the environment. Its previous environment had no such flexibility. “Provisioning for scale was more complicated in the old environment and required signing a long-term contract,” said Brazeau. “With AWS, we can easily size up or down with no performance impact.”

In order to deliver mission-critical analytics, Eris must also reliably consume volumes of real-time market data from sources like Bloomberg B-PIPE. The AWS solution seamlessly integrated Bloomberg’s data, allowing it to be easily accessible through AWS PrivateLink and AWS Direct Connect.

Built-in security and redundancy protects data and IP

With AWS, it’s easier to protect Eris’ IP and guard against hackers. In the previous environment, Eris needed to add firewalls in order to enhance security. Running on AWS, it is simple to isolate with Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). Rather than limiting the number of shared roles to control the Virtual Machine (VM) Host, Connamara assigned AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles to individuals and was able to track and identify what was changed, and, by whom, via Amazon CloudWatch logs.

AWS also made it easy to structure for high availability and disaster recovery. Eris decided to deploy a hot cluster in one region, with a live database replica deployed in a separate region, which provides geographic redundancy. Its previous data center provider could only locate the redundant VM on the other side of the country, delaying access to data. Every second counts when delivering real-time data. Thanks to faster Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, a faster feed also means more accurate data for customers.

Migrating to AWS has significantly enhanced speed, capacity, and flexibility, allowing Eris and Connamara Systems to collaborate on additional functionality. With easy-to-build automations, the team is creating an alert-based automation for failover. In the previous environment, a failover would take at least ninety minutes with a cumbersome four-page manual. With AWS, this process will take less than 20 minutes.

A streamlined migration with clear savings in time and money

Now that Eris is up and running with its environment on AWS, it can focus on enhancements and fine-tuning. But what did it take to get there? Not much time at all, it turns out.

“Migration to AWS was made easy,” said Brazeau. “We had access to a library of training tools and videos which allowed us to clearly understand the environment and have complete control over building, managing, troubleshooting, and triaging.”

Eris was operating in its new environment in less than two months, then decided to run parallel processes for another two months before the final cut-over.

Not only is Eris delivering mission-critical data in a more stable, secure, and reliable environment, the company is seeing time and cost savings as well. With the previous data center provider, Eris was spending at least 30 minutes each day resolving replication errors. Using the Amazon Elastic File System, that task is now fully automated. Eris also documented one-third cost savings per month over their previous environment, even while operating at an intentionally larger scale than it will ultimately need. After implementing cost optimizations recommended by Connamara, they expect to save an average of 50% per month.

In a business that generates real-time swap derivative valuation and analytics that support the operations of a leading global futures exchange, there simply cannot be downtime. By operating in a more reliable, secure, and redundant environment, Eris Innovations delivers on its mission and is able to invest in enhancements that will benefit customers and the bottom line.

“Traders depend on Eris to provide real time data and analytics. With Connamara’s expertise on AWS and seamless integration with B-Pipe, we have a more resilient and scalable offering for our customers with a lower operating cost.”

– Michael Riddle CEO

Eris Innovations

Why AWS

The ultimate benefit of cloud computing, and AWS, is the ability to leverage a new business model and turn capital infrastructure expenses into variable costs. Businesses no longer need to plan and procure servers and other IT resources weeks or months in advance. Using AWS, businesses can take advantage of Amazon’s expertise and economies of scale to access resources when their business needs them, delivering results faster and at a lower cost. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of enterprise, government and startup customers businesses in 190 countries around the world.

About Connamara Systems

Connamara Systems builds exchanges, matching engines, trading platforms, execution and order management systems, trading user interfaces, risk systems, data aggregators, and a host of other custom applications. Since 1998, Connamara has delivered software solutions and software engineering services to capital market participants with innovation and integrity.

About Bloomberg B-PIPE

Bloomberg is a global provider of business and financial data, news and insight. The Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE) enables global connectivity to consolidated, normalized market data in real time, with delivery options including cloud-native connection through AWS PrivateLink.