Improving Application Performance for E*TRADE Australia

With thousands of online orders taking place over the Internet daily, E*TRADE Australia needed to address bottlenecks in the company’s database before they became a problem. To ensure customer orders got to market just as quickly as they were placed, E*TRADE Australia turned to VERITAS Software for help in identifying the root causes of performance issues in its complex e-commerce applications.

“The efficiency of our database engine is critical to our business, and we were having ongoing problems that we were unable to solve,” says E*TRADE Australia Technology Manager, Harry Brigden. “We were dealing with repeated bottlenecks that were causing a cascading effect: a request was queued on the database and everything else was backing up behind it.”

The challenge for E*TRADE Australia, an online stockbroker which facilitates trading in equities, managed funds, and options over the Internet, was to rectify a performance issue by identifying and releasing bottlenecks in the driver of the business – the company’s database.

The technology environment used by E*TRADE Australia included the SQL Server management suite but this was lacking in granular data, essential in identifying what was causing the bottlenecks and where they were occurring. “We had suspicions, but we couldn’t tell,” says Brigden.

During the trading period, there was not enough time to redress the problem, and when the market closed, there was not enough historical data with which to work. These bottlenecks were causing delays for customers to get trades to the market.

“It was a performance issue,” says Brigden, “we had limited tools and we didn’t have data to go back to. We kept killing processes and restarting but the next day we’d have the same problem again. We were never getting to the core issues.” Time – a crucial aspect of the business in which E*TRADE Australia operates – was the enemy. “In a true environment, we need to get orders to the market as soon as we can,” says Brigden.

The solution to E*TRADE’s dilemmas was VERITAS Indepth for SQL Server, which improves the performance of business applications by capturing historical data and providing a holistic view of performance across the enterprise using correlated data. E*TRADE Australia agreed to a week’s trial.

The software not only clearly identified and enabled E*TRADE to rectify the ongoing issues, but it also highlighted further problems such as the creation of numerous temporary tables. Not only did this alleviate a lot of the problems the firm was having, but it allowed it to delve deeper and fine tune further.

The additional benefits for E*TRADE Australia included an increase in trading volumes, a decrease in calls to the Customer Service Centre, a boost to staff morale and more time for the executive team to concentrate on developing new products and services.

“The efficiency of our database is crucial to our business success and to our ability to constantly develop new products and services for all our customers,” says Brigden.

“VERITAS Indepth for SQL Server is a tool that enables us to identify problems and to make sure the E*TRADE Australia product stays lean. That means happy customers, more trading, and a smooth running business.”

Australia: +61 2 8220 7000, 1800 222 587
New Zealand: +64 9 486 0116

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