About Investlab

InvestLab, based in San Francisco and Hong Kong, is a financial services technology company focused on the global trading market. Founded in 2010, the company develops trading, market data, and social research products that enable individual investors and small to mid-size brokers to access global markets. Developers can take advantage of InvestLab’s open technology platform to create financial applications that work with InvestLab solutions.

The Challenge

The InvestLab vision—to deliver financial technology and trading solutions globally—requires fast, on-demand analysis of time-sensitive and volatile market data. Delivering data to users around the globe needs to be nearly instantaneous, and on a platform that is highly stable and secure. A key requirement is the ability to schedule resources on-demand or in less than five minutes in response to opening markets or to unexpected global events. The company began investigating solutions that could provide on-demand resources with the ability to handle unpredictable situations.

Why Amazon Web Services

“We determined early on that AWS was the direction that we needed,” says Tim Reynolds, VP of Information Technology at InvestLab. “AWS cloud architecture supports our ability to add capacity and services on demand, to bring up new environments in multiple regions, and provides us with the capability to push services closer to our customers.” Reynolds estimates that without AWS, InvestLab would have to invest in resources that would remain unused 80% to 90% of the time.

InvestLab uses AWS for front-end connectivity for brokerage administration, trading systems, market data, and InvestLab products. The company uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances in the US East, US West, and Asia Pacific-Singapore regions, and employs Elastic Load Balancing and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) to support InvestLab cloud server instances.

Distributing market data is a major component of InvestLab’s services. Previously, InvestLab used dedicated third-party connections to collect market data and then normalized the data for use in products and services. With AWS Direct Connect, the infrastructure for market data is already installed, simplifying the data distribution process. AWS Direct Connect provides a private connection between AWS and InvestLab environments, enabling InvestLab to manage trading and customer records securely.

The Benefits

InvestLab realized a 40% reduction in the fixed cost of launching a software product. “AWS saved us hundreds of development hours,” says Reynolds, “which put us eight to twelve weeks ahead of schedule. Now we can execute and realize a more aggressive product development strategy.”

InvestLab used AWS to deploy servers and services into the Asia Pacific region in a single day, speeding the delivery of global news services to customers. Reynolds comments, “Without AWS, we would have been forced to deliver these services from a source outside of the region, introducing network latency, performance degradation, plus the time and expense to build out the supporting infrastructure.”

Reynolds concludes, “We will continue to partner with AWS and look for creative and smart ways to innovate and use cloud services. AWS is at the center of our architecture and a key part of delivering our vision of providing global trading technology to clients and customers.”