Case Study

CITIC Securities – Trading System

China’s largest full-service investment bank relies on Stratus® ftServer® to ensure continuous securities trading

Headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, CITIC Securities Co., Ltd. is China’s largest full-service investment bank. The company offers securities brokerage, trading and underwriting, as well as investment banking, asset management, wealth management, and investment advisory services. Established in 1995, CITIC Securities was listed for trading on Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2003 and 2011 respectively. Through the years, the company has earned a strong brand reputation in the domestic market, winning accolades and awards from respected institutions including Asiamoney, Financial Times, Forbes, and the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.

The challenge

CITIC Securities’ comprehensive trading system, which consists of proprietary, asset management, and other systems, receives transaction requests from client institutions for the purchase or sale of securities and sends these via an SQL database server to the to the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Once the securities are purchased or sold on the SSE, the trading results are sent back to the SQL database, where the client transaction records are stored.

All transactions are written to the SQL Server in real time for immediate transaction processing. In today’s fast-paced world of micro-second trading, any delays can cost investors huge amounts of money, impact corporate capital, and put the CITIC Securities’ reputation at risk. With so much on the line, the company set out to eliminate a single point of system failure with a proven continuous availability solution capable of delivering the downtime prevention, minimal processing latency, and unmatched performance its business-critical transaction database demands.

The solution

CITIC Securities conducted an in-depth evaluation of various high availability hardware and software solutions on the market, creating a short list of best-fit options and comparison testing the top contenders. After assessing the test results, the company selected the Stratus® ftServer 4810 system—a fully integrated hardware, software, and services platform that keeps critical applications running without risk of downtime or transaction data loss.

The fault-tolerant ftServer is a single system with two identical hardware modules—each with its own processors, memory, and storage. Redundant field programmable gate arrays, data paths, and lockstep firmware provide the processor syncrhonization, data replication, and logic needed for always-on availability, even in the event of a hardware component failure. This unique fault-tolerant design, backed by automated self-monitoring and management, prevents downtime, instead of recovering for it, by detecting potential problems and proactively taking. In addition, the ftServer system accelerates processing speed by improving network I/O latency, bandwidth, and message rate for exceptional performance.

The powerful, reliable ftServer system, deployed in the CITIC Securities’ Beijing data center, is well suited for the dynamic securities industry, where system downtime, latency, or data loss can have significant financial impact. In addition, the system is easy to deploy, operate, maintain, and manage— without the high cost and complexity associated with other high availability solutions. For example, CITIC Securities did not have to modify its applications or network to run the transaction database on the ftServer platform.

“When it comes to high-stakes securities trading, there is no room for system downtime, processing latency, or transaction data loss. CITIC Securities chose the Stratus ftServer system for its proven ability to deliver 5 nines availability for always-on trading, along with the rapid deployment and ease of operation our company expects from its technology solutions. We have been extremely pleased with the ftServer’s continuous availability, high performance, and operational simplicity.”
Liu Ninglei 黎小龙
lnl@citics.com, Lixl@citics.com 支付系统管理运维经理
Payment System Management & Maintenance Manager
CISAI Tech

The results

Since deploying its transaction database on the ftServer system in April 2019, CITIC Securities has enjoyed continuous trading with zero interruption of transaction processing and zero transaction data loss. The ftServer system not only protects against customer dissatisfaction and losses associated with trading system downtime, but it also enables the company to meet the stringent requirements of the China Securities Regulatory Commission for high system availability.

Fast, easy deployment allowed CITIC Securities to achieve instant continuous availability without having to make changes to its SQL database applications or write complicated failover scripts. The ftServer platform’s operational simplicity— delivered via self-monitoring hardware, automated parts replacement, and customer replaceable subsystems—saves time and money, while freeing the company’s IT staff to focus on other strategic priorities.

With the ftServer system keeping the transaction database up and running with optimal processing performance, CITIC Securities is able to better continuously facilitate securities trading for satisfied customers and sustained growth.

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