GAIN Capital is an online trading company that does business in North America, Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia, with a particularly strong presence in China and Singapore. To do this, GAIN Capital offers a public trading platform on web infrastructure that allows investors around the world to trade different international markets such as currencies, equities, and commodities.
GAIN Capital partnered with Catchpoint to:
- Monitor their global online trading platform for speed and availability.
- Protect revenue streams and brand reputation.
- Ensure performance of third-party vendors such as DNS and content delivery networks (CDNs).
- Test their rest API and streaming HTTP service.
The worry with any of these monitoring or alerting tools was that they create more noise than problems that they solve. But we haven't had a single false positive, and for each of our few outages Catchpoint noticed immediately.
With global financial markets operating at all hours of the day and subject to real time updates, the need for GAIN Capital customers to have a great end-user experience is obvious. Live metrics have real life implications, and every second that the company’s trading platform is down has a direct impact on their revenue streams, as well as harming the brand’s reputation.
GAIN also offers institutions the ability to white label their trading platform with their own branding. This makes it crucial that any performance related problems must be caught early to prevent a negative impact on other companies which rely on GAIN.
To be confident of maintaining the high level of system health they require, GAIN needed an end-user experience observability solution with real-time analytics from locations all over the globe and a reliable alerting system when they are down.
The complexity of the GAIN Capital’s trading platform, which includes their API and streaming HTTP service to deliver real-time prices updates, requires a tool that is capable of handling complex scripting scenarios. This level of complexity meant that several of the EUM solutions that GAIN Capital looked at simply lacked the multifaceted functionality required.
With Catchpoint’s transaction, DNS, and API monitors offering Selenium scripting capability, GAIN Capital’s operations team can write their own custom scripts that get to the heart of their monitoring needs.
Furthermore, due to their global user base and emphasis on APAC markets, GAIN Capital benefits hugely from Catchpoint’s extensive global node coverage. This includes over 45 nodes located in mainland China (behind the Chinese firewall) and six in Singapore, where a large portion of GAIN’s business is conducted. With this infrastructure at their disposal, GAIN Capital can get the kind of high value performance analytics in these regions that are only available by testing directly from those locations.
Finally, the in-depth analytical capabilities and superior UI offered by the Catchpoint tool allow GAIN Capital to troubleshoot and pinpoint the root cause of any issues that arise with their third-party vendors like DNS providers and CDNs.
This is particularly important for their China-based CDNs, which function as backbone infrastructure to create a fast internet connection from China to London, rather than traditional content distribution.
Since switching to Catchpoint, GAIN Capital has been able to streamline their observability and operations initiatives into one cohesive initiative. The comprehensive nature of the Catchpoint analytics and alerting means that the operations team is able to schedule weekly drills to test the monitors and customized alerts that they have set up, as well as ensuring that all of their systems are operating at optimal levels.
The company has also seen a reduction in the number of false positives that they had experienced with their own internal observability.
"The worry with any of these observability or alerting tools was that they create more noise than problems that they solve. But we haven't had a single false positive, and for each of our few outages Catchpoint noticed immediately," said Edward Wilde, Gain Capital Technical Architect for Trading Systems.
GAIN Capital has been able to detect and diagnose a DNS issue that they were experiencing with one of their Asian-based CDN providers, alerting the vendor about the problem and sharing the Catchpoint data with them. This allowed the vendor to quickly pinpoint which server was causing the problem and correct it.
Catchpoint’s reporting and UI has also allowed the GAIN Capital IT team to place a greater institutional emphasis on the importance of end-user experience observability and analytics, sharing the metrics with the company’s board and increasing awareness throughout the organization. It has quickly become an important decision-making tool within the company.
"Catchpoint has allowed us to prevent minor issues from becoming bigger problems by catching performance issues early on. We have leveraged Catchpoint’s global node system to pinpoint specific problems across our global infrastructure, giving us more control. Simply put, it has been very effective," concluded Wilde.