Hold Brothers Online Investment Services Selects NETSCOUT Solutions To Stabilize WAN Costs and Improve Trader Access

16 Jul 2001

Per Year, Maximizing Return on Investment

WESTFORD, Mass., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- NetScout Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTCT) today announced that Hold Brothers Online Investment Services has selected NetScout's nGenius Real-Time Monitor (TM) and nGenius Capacity Planner(TM) performance management solutions to monitor wide area network usage and evaluate overall WAN performance. One of the fastest growing direct access trading companies in the United States, Hold Brothers estimates its resulting savings and return on investment at more than $1M per year in unnecessary bandwidth purchases for its seventeen remote offices.

Hold Brothers, which handles trades of up to 60 million shares per day, uses nGenius solutions to improve infrastructure performance, to conserve bandwidth and to maintain the very high standards of performance its traders require to successfully participate in trades on NASDAQ and multiple Electronic Communications Networks (ECNs). The company provides its proprietary trading software to more than 300 professional traders across a high-speed, wide area network. This network connects Hold Brothers' remote, main and backup sites where NetScout's WAN probes monitor the company's desktops and servers.

Using NetScout's port mirroring function to copy and collect switch data at a single integration point enables Hold Brothers to better understand and measure WAN latency, improve visibility into server and application response time and increase the reliability of trader access to the ECN.

Connecting to its remote offices with two point-to-point T1 lines or, in other cases, frame relay, Hold Brothers has deployed NetScout WAN probes in the company's main and remote offices. A 4-port LAN Probe in its central site monitors clients and servers from their Cisco 6509 core switches.

With the cost of running application software over its branch network exceeding $80,000 per month, Hold Brothers found it essential to understand and control its use. Hold Brothers deployed NetScout's nGenius Real-Time Monitor to continuously monitor how the WAN was being used and by whom. By instantaneously breaking down WAN usage by host, Hold Brothers discovered its LAN-based software was inefficient. As a result, Hold Brothers re-wrote applications to increase their efficiency. They also relocated some remote servers to avoid using WAN links. Hold Brothers implemented data multicasting in each of its seventeen remote offices to send only one copy of quote data over the WAN link at any one time.

These changes saved so much bandwidth, Hold Brothers found it no longer needed to add a third or fourth T-1 link per office, saving the company more than $6,000 per month, per office, or $1,100,000 a year.

"By instantaneously breaking down WAN usage by host, NetScout's nGenius Real-Time Monitor has enabled us to better understand how our WAN links are actually being used. For example, we can now see when someone is downloading from the Internet and saturating the WAN link or running an application that hogs bandwidth," said Chris Lukas, CTO Emerging Technologies, Hold Brothers.

Moreover, the nGenius solution showed that Voice over IP (VoIP) used almost no additional bandwidth at all system-wide, which validated the VoIP solution for the company.

"By using nGenius Real-Time Monitor we avoid over-provisioning, our applications work more efficiently and our application developers can immediately see the impact of their changes and design accordingly," added Lukas. "The NetScout solution has given us unprecedented network visibility, improving network performance dramatically, which directly impacts our profitability. In fact, in terms of return on investment, the NetScout solution paid for itself in only three months."

The ultimate success of Hold Brothers is enabling its traders to execute trades quickly. By connecting directly to NASDAQ and the ECNs, investors can see trades as they happen rather than after they have already occurred.

"The NetScout solution allows us to detect ECN problems before our traders do and saves a lot of problems with trades that don't execute quickly. This can be a major source of frustration to our traders, who trade in and out of securities quickly and can't wait even a few seconds," adds Lukas.

"By taking responsibility for infrastructure productivity -- planning, justifying and managing IT costs and requirements -- IT e-business environments save money now and plan more efficiently for the future," said Michael Szabados, NetScout's senior vice president, product operations.

"nGenius Real-Time Monitor supports the infrastructure's return on investment with real data and ensures the network is able to fully support the time-sensitive needs of its customers."

About Hold Brothers Inc.

Hold Brothers, www.holdbrothers.com, Jersey City, NJ, is a rapidly growing direct access trading company committed to providing the fastest and most sophisticated software technology in the industry. Founded in 1994, it achieved revenues of $134 million in 2000 up from $61 million in 1999, making it one of the fastest growing direct access trading firms in the United States. Over 300 full-time traders at Hold Brothers locations nationwide trade up to 60 million shares a day. Hold Brothers was the first direct access trading company to offer mentoring programs for entry-level traders. Hold Brothers operates 17 U.S. locations and has plans to significantly expand its business with additional offices and a new emphasis on attracting the active offsite trader. It is the only direct access trading company to make the Inc. 2000 list of the 500 fastest growing private U.S. companies, ranking number 152.

About nGenius

NetScout's nGenius (TM) Performance Management System is a market-leading suite of monitoring and reporting applications that draw on rich, integrated performance data generated by NetScout's application-aware probe suite, advanced intelligent software agents, and network devices. The nGenius System helps organizations increase their return on infrastructure investments by optimizing the performance of their network and its ability to deliver applications and content to end-users and consists of the following components:

    -- nGenius Real-Time Monitor (TM)
       Proactively detects, analyzes and rapidly resolves network and
       application problems from the Web site to the back-office

    -- nGenius Capacity Planner (TM)
       Profiles and predicts application, network and device traffic patterns
       to establish future network resource requirements

    -- nGenius Application Service Level Manager (TM)
       Delivers application and network service level reporting that reflects
       actual business processes

    About NetScout Systems

NetScout Systems, Inc. is the leading provider of infrastructure performance management solutions for leading companies and service providers worldwide. NetScout serves approximately half of the Fortune 500 and counts among its customers 3M Corporation, Amazon.com, AT&T Wireless, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cable & Wireless, Cisco Systems, Computer Sciences Corporation, Exenet Technologies, Fidelity Investments, Intel Online, MCI, Reed Elsevier, Sprint, Sun Microsystems and Webhire. NetScout is headquartered in Westford, Massachusetts and has approximately 360 employees, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. Further information on the company is available on the World Wide Web at www.netscout.com.

NetScout is a registered trademark, and the NetScout logo, nGenius, nGenius Real-Time Monitor, nGenius Application Service Level Manager and nGenius Capacity Planner are trademarks of NetScout Systems, Inc.


SOURCE NetScout Systems, Inc.
Web site: http: //www.netscout.com
CONTACT: Peggy Flynn NetScout Systems, 978-614-4113, flynnp@netscout.com; or Dustin Smith, or Dan Sarro, both of Schwartz Communications, Inc., 781-684-0770, netscout@schwartz-pr.com