Launched in 1994, India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) is the largest stock exchange in India and the largest derivatives exchange in the world. It’s no surprise that the NSE index, the NIFTY 50, is used by global investors as a barometer of the Indian capital markets.
From the beginning, technology has played a central role in the organisation. The NSE was the first exchange in India to implement a modern, fully automated screen-based electronic trading system, which simplified trading and expanded access to investing across the country.
In 2017, the NSE launched a new technology initiative to align the organisation with the strictest international exchange standards. The leadership team also wanted to take greater advantage of modern apps (such as the clearing and settlement software used by NASDAQ) and create new apps—all to improve customer experiences.
But at the time, the NSE’s infrastructure was not yet ready for building or running state-of-the-art apps. The IT group needed to explore a new approach that could help the organisation transform its infrastructure.
To comply with strict government regulations for data residency, the NSE has long operated its own infrastructure. But as the volume of daily transactions grew, that infrastructure alone was not able to keep up.
“Any market movement or an event would lead to an unprecedented surge in the transaction volume,” says Shiv Kumar Bhasin, chief technology and operations officer for the NSE. “And more often than not, this would lead to delays in transaction execution time, which in turn hampered the quality of the customer experience.”
The existing environment was also unable to meet increasing demand from developers. Provisioning new developer resources was time consuming and ultimately delayed the rollout of new business-critical applications.
To start addressing the resource issues, the IT team decided to implement a hyperconverged IT infrastructure, virtualising compute, storage and networking. “The idea was that it would help in ensuring high availability of IT resources for our developers,” explains Bhasin.
To explore the exchange’s IT options, the NSE team worked with systems integrator Dimension Data and VMware. Together, the integrated teams concluded that the best path forward was to construct a hybrid cloud using VMware cloud and networking solutions. The hybrid approach enables the NSE to extend its on-premises data centre workloads to an AWS public cloud and meet resource scalability needs—while still maintaining regulatory compliance for data residency.
By building on VMware, the NSE has established consistent infrastructure and operations across private and public cloud environments. With VMware Cloud on AWS, for example, the NSE uses the same infrastructure in the cloud as it does on premises. Administrators didn’t need to learn new tools to manage the entire multi-cloud environment.
VMware NSX solutions connect all of these infrastructure elements while maintaining robust security. Meanwhile, VMware vRealize cloud management solutions help streamline administration of this multi-cloud environment.
Today 75 percent of the NSE’s workloads run in the multi-cloud environment. With a hybrid cloud approach, the NSE is now better prepared to handle surging transaction volumes as well as growing demand from developers. “We can operate resource-intensive applications with much greater scalability and flexibility,” says Bhasin.
Implementing consistent infrastructure and operations has also helped the NSE control costs and complexity. “Thanks to VMware solutions, we now have a holistic view of the entire IT infrastructure spanning across multi-clouds,” says Bhasin. “It has automated several manual processes for our IT team and has reduced resource provisioning from days to minutes!”
The new hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure enables NSE software developers to create cloud-native apps rapidly. As a result, the NSE can now quickly deliver top-of-the-line customer experiences.
With a flexible multi-cloud environment in place, the NSE is better positioned for continuous technology innovation. “This deployment will help us to stay at the cutting edge of technology for years to come,” says Bhasin. ▪