Easy-Forex accelerates its online foreign exchange trading platform with Akamai

“We identified that congestion issues were impacting performance for users in Australia, the Middle East and China...The resulting slow page downloads and refresh rates had indirect consequences, in terms of deal closure and lost trade opportunities, for users located in these geographies.”

Uri Strauss , Head of Operations , Easy-Forex

The Situation

More than three trillion US dollars are traded daily on the global FX market. Since 2001, Easy-Forex has been revolutionizing foreign exchange (FX) trading in more than 150 countries worldwide. Developed to make online trading both easy and transparent, Easy-Forex’s platform gives traders direct access to global currency markets. Operating in real-time, the ‘no download’ FX web application – offered in 10 languages – lets users log in and start trading immediately.

The Easy-Forex platform contains a number of unique elements designed to help users make educated decisions in an otherwise complicated market. These include access to the most up-to-date market information and trading tools that enable fast reaction to rapidly moving market conditions.

With exchange rates changing at intervals of seconds, peerless website performance is central to the success of the online, global 24-hour FX marketplace, as Uri Strauss, Head of Operations at Easy-Forex, explains: “The consistent delivery of dynamic data to ensure users can trade at the best possible price, and the immediate execution of these trades, are both key. Any slippage has a direct impact on quote-to-trade ratios, and ultimately on the platform’s reputation with users.”

The Challenge

Satisfying the online trading expectations of users, regardless of where they are located, is a primary business requirement for Easy-Forex. However, the company’s monitoring of user web experiences revealed some troublesome website performance gaps.

“We identified that congestion issues were impacting performance for users in Australia, the Middle East and China,” says Uri Strauss. “The resulting slow page downloads and refresh rates had indirect consequences, in terms of deal closure and lost trade opportunities, for users located in these geographies.”

Maintaining the consistent web performance of its dynamic and highly interactive platform was just one element of the challenge. In addition to accelerating content and transaction performance to a growing global user base, Easy-Forex wanted to be confident it could maintain the availability and web performance of its platform, even during periods of high demand – something that is difficult to achieve given the unpredictability of the FX trading market. The company’s goal was to ensure a consistent and reliable web experience for users, whatever the eventuality and to do this it needed to build in scalability on-demand, without investing in costly infrastructure build-out.

With the imminent launch of a new improved web application platform – containing new innovative visual trading tools and rich content – on the horizon, the twin issues of latency and bandwidth were increasingly coming to the forefront as additional critical business priorities.

The Goal

Easy-Forex wanted to achieve:

  • Optimized web application performance, regardless of where users were located
  • Capacity on-demand to support peak Internet traffic periods
  • Instant web application scalability, without capital expenditure
  • Improved response times for highly dynamic and complex on-demand application delivery
  • A secure web environment for online trades

Why Akamai

Global reach, Superior Performance

“Using Akamai’s service boosted application delivery performance by 50%,” says Strauss. “What’s more, we gained the capacity to scale on-demand – even during extreme trading peaks. As a result, we’ve been able to support the increase in FX trading volumes precipitated by the recent global economic crisis.”

Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator service places a globally distributed highly scalable content delivery network (CDN) of more than 40,000 secure servers in over 1,000 networks across 70 countries at the disposal of Easy-Forex. Akamai’s dynamic mapping system directs user requests to an optimal Akamai server, and uses route optimization to identify the fastest and most reliable route to retrieve dynamic data held on Easy-Forex’s application servers in the US. This is very important because Easy-Forex’s trading platform is incredibly dynamic with prices that change every second. Akamai’s WAA service accelerates dynamic content over the public Internet and can make this web application perform like a locally based service. For an online FX trading platform, this boost in web performance has helped to promote user loyalty and sustain a growing customer base.

Mitigating Infrastructure Build-Out

Easy-Forex has become an established global web-based FX trading platform, and with customers in 150 countries, its winning formula has gained international recognition. As Strauss explains, partnering with Akamai has enabled

Easy-Forex to deliver the consistent response times and higher availability that helped to drive user adoption around the globe without any costly hardware build-out. “We’ve achieved a significant overall improvement in application performance, resulting in fewer dropped trades despite enhanced volumes – all of which has enhanced the reputation of Easy- Forex as a reliable online FX trading platform.”

“While performance was our first priority, with Akamai we gained the unexpected additional benefit of improved security against denial of service attacks, for example – all of which helps ensure we maintain uninterrupted service delivery,” he continues.

Delivering New Improved Services

Using Akamai’s Web Application Accelerator solution meant Easy-Forex could confidently forge ahead with the launch of a new Web-based trading platform containing significant new Web 2.0 functionality, rich content and media.

“Bandwidth was no longer such a major issue,” says Strauss. “With Akamai in mind, we’ve been able to refine the site and achieve the maximum page load possible.” Alongside online video tutorials, the new site contains market- leading visual trading tools that let users view deal structures in real time, build profit/loss scenarios, freeze rates for a few seconds at a time with no commitment to trade, and even gain insight into what others on the Easy-Forex platform are trading in real-time.

“The added functionality and transparency we are now able to deliver has significantly increased traffic to the site and boosted the customer base,” confirms Strauss. “We’ve achieved all this with no degradation of the end-user experience”.

About Easy-Forex

Easy-Forex has been operating since 2001 in more than 150 countries and is licensed in Australia, the EU and the US. Global headquarters are in Limassol, Cyprus and has nine physical offices around the world. To find out more go to www.easy-forex.com.

About Akamai

Akamai secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. Akamai’s intelligent edge platform surrounds everything, from the enterprise to the cloud, so customers and their businesses can be fast, smart, and secure. Top brands globally rely on Akamai to help them realize competitive advantage through agile solutions that extend the power of their multi-cloud architectures. Akamai keeps decisions, apps and experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats far away. Akamai’s portfolio of edge security, web and mobile performance, enterprise access and video delivery solutions is supported by unmatched customer service, analytics and 24/7/365 monitoring. To learn why the world’s top brands trust Akamai, visit www.akamai.com, blogs.akamai.com, or @Akamai on Twitter. You can find our global contact information at www.akamai.com/locations.