AFTAs 2019: Best Infrastructure Initiative—TD Securities

TD-Infrastructure-AFTAs2019

TD Securities’ AFTA-winning infrastructure initiative, Hydra, is named after the multi-headed sea monster of Greek and Roman mythology. If you cut off one head, two more would grow in its place. This is at the core of TD’s aim for the project: to build a middleware framework where the bank could develop modular and independent applications and services, and put them online or take them offline without disrupting other core systems on its network, while creating Hydra-like resiliency.

TD developed Hydra to support real-time risk and P&L functions with a horizontally scalable middleware that hosts and manages applications and microservices, scheduling jobs, defining dependencies, and employing a state engine to manage resiliency for each application, as well as turning any on-site hardware into a virtual cloud.

Since then, Hydra has delivered uptime of 99.999%, and has enabled the firm to build its Eris distributed settlements engine from scratch in two months—compared to potentially taking years to implement a vendor product, pre-Hydra—and Echo, a report-building tool that allows business systems analysts to configure reports without needing development resources, speeding up end-of-day reporting by 95%.

The platform now serves more than 500 staff at the firm, including 150 front-office equities sales and trading professionals, as well as its entire back office.

“We wanted to manage more complex dependencies between services, and to do so more resiliently,” says Joe Scarfutti, associate vice president of technology solutions for TDS equities and the firm’s customized solutions group. “The alternative at the time would just have been to add more operations people—and it’s hard to know how that would scale—or more services. But in the current regulatory environment, we needed more than that; we needed streaming. Necessity is the mother of invention.”

In 2020, TD plans to make its market data services available via Hydra, to streamline data distribution and make it easier and faster to share proprietary pricing for equities, derivatives, rates, currencies, commodities and fixed income across different business areas.

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