118 billion messages a day. That’s over 1.3 million messages a second. 24 hours a day. That’s huge volume, and we do all that completely seamlessly without any data loss.”
RBC is far larger than most people realize. The company has over 80,000 employees, with 7,000 in the Capital Markets division. The firm’s high-frequency trading technology was featured in Flash Boys, a book by Michael Lewis (who is also the author of Moneyball and The Big Short). As Joshua Carroll of RBC Capital Markets put it, “some of the underlying technology [featured in the book] was actually Solace.”
For some interesting context around those numbers: WhatsApp and text messaging combine account for about 80 billion messages each day. And consider that text messages are relatively light on data when you consider a text such as “I’ll meet you around the corner.” Even the largest possible text message checks in at less than 200 bytes. In comparison, a single message running through RBC Capital Markets averages about 1 kilobyte, far larger than the average text message.
Around 2010, RBC Capital Markets was looking to move away from incumbent vendors. They had a variety of messaging systems deployed across hundreds of servers, but it was impossible to seamlessly make a change to one environment without impacting the others. The result was a ton of manual labor, downtime, and the need to prioritize when changes were made (typically on Saturdays).
Flash-forward ten years, and RBC has over 50 Solace event broker appliances deployed to act as the message bus of their low latency trading platform (and of course these replaced the bank’s existing message buses). The appliances are deployed across Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, New York and Toronto.
Solace technology ensures RBC’s rapid, reliable data flow — and does so across 25,000 application connections. Today, they publish over 5 billion messages each day, fanned out to over 60 billion subscribers (this includes about 900 million guaranteed messages each day).
RBC Capital Markets has deployed Solace PubSub+ appliances to act as the message bus of their low latency trading platform.