Benefits of having MT5 Access Servers
As a technology and hosting provider, we are helping numerous financial brokers with hosting their MT5 trading infrastructure and building a powerful and suitable network infrastructure. In previous posts we have discussed at length what can influence the load of an MT5 main server and what are the important considerations when choosing a hosting provider. One of the points we touched upon was referring to MT5 Access Server components. In this article, we will share some of the benefits of having dedicated MT5 Access Servers as part of the MT5 trading infrastructure and include some security improvement suggestions that can help brokers in strengthening their server protection.
What is the MT5 Access Server used for?
In MetaQuotes own words, Access Servers are proxy servers and platform firewalls. They are responsible for the following:
- Processing of incoming client connections
- Packing authorization requests and sending them to the trade server
- Checking activity of client connections protecting the trade server from attacks and overload (antiflood control)
- Saving history data, depth of market and news, and translate them to clients, thus reducing the load of the history server
- Caching and providing Live Update to client terminals
Potential connectivity and security issues for brokers
In our previous blog, we have discussed how brokers can optimize their network infrastructure. However, customers can be geographically apart, in various regions of the world. Additionally, some locations have challenging connectivity constraints, which can lead to unreliable connectivity and possibly unsuitable for trading.
Furthermore, since any connection that goes outside of the main trading infrastructure is in the public environment, and the trading environment must be accessible from everywhere externally, this means that, by default, the broker’s MT5 main server location and IP address can be exposed to the public, making the brokers vulnerable to cyber-attacks, such as DDoS attacks and other malicious exploits.
Therefore, in order to combat these potential issues, a broker can make use of one or multiple MT5 Access Servers.
Enhance Infrastructure with MT5 Access Servers
By placing MT5 Access Servers closer to the main hubs of customers, the connection from the customer’s trading terminal and the MT5 main server can be optimised: the client terminal will connect to a closer location (i.e. the MT5 Access Server) and then the connection between the MT5 Access Server and the MT5 main server (which can be controlled by the broker) can be optimized for optimal path and bandwidth. Such connections can be via dedicated lines, with dedicated bandwidth, so private connections not influenced by Internet traffic, and on optimized pre-selected routes.
As there is no limitation to the number of access servers of a setup, multiple MT5 Access Servers can be deployed in different geographical regions, to serve different pools of customers, as shown in the image above.
In the case when a broker’s customer base in a particular location is very sizable and having just 1 access server is not enough to handle the load, the broker can choose to deploy more than 1 access server in the same location, to balance the customer connections between the access servers and optimally serve its customers.
The client terminals will be able to learn about all the deployed MT5 Access Servers and use a built-in mechanism that helps to choose the best route automatically, at any given time, subject to the lowest latency, load of access servers and the priority settings configured.
Enhance Security with MT5 Access Servers
Another great use of the MT5 Access Servers is that the exact location and IP address(es) of the MT5 main server infrastructure can be hidden from the exterior, protected, and unreachable. The broker will only make publicly available and advertise the locations and IP addresses of the MT5 Access Servers. In case of cyber-attacks, such as DDoS (which is unfortunately a more and more common attack on brokers) only the Access Servers’ IPs will be attacked. The hosting provider will obviously have DDoS mitigation solutions deployed, but most importantly, since the MT5 main server is not publicly know and reachable, it will not be affected by such attacks, and the broker may choose to easily deploy new Access Servers and redirect their customers to the new servers, while mitigating the attack.
Reduce MT5 Main Server Load with MT5 Access Servers
The MT5 Access Servers can also be used to reduce the load of the MT5 Main Server. In case when a standalone Access Server is used, as it handles the connections with the client terminals, buffers the history data, depth of market and news, and sends these to clients, as well as packing requests for the trade server, all these helps reduce the load on the MT5 Main Server. Therefore, especially in the case of larger MT5 trading setups, the performance can be improved by the use of one or several dedicated MT5 Access Servers. As these servers can easily be deployed progressively and seamlessly, at any given time, more and more MT5 Access Servers can be deployed at the needed time, when the broker’s setup grows and in line with the business expansion to new regions.
As we have seen there are only benefits to having dedicated MT5 Access Servers as part of the MT5 trading infrastructure, ranging from security, better connectivity for clients, helping to expand to new markets and achieving better performance by keeping the load of the MT5 main server lower. There are even additional benefits that we have not covered in detail here, when it comes to the business continuity of brokers setups, when switching from the MT5 primary main server to the MT5 backup main server, etc.
It is therefore recommended that MT5 brokers deploy one or more dedicated Access Servers on their trading infrastructure. And as these components can easily be deployed, at any given time, a broker can decide to add MT5 Access Servers progressively to their setup, as it grows and business expands to new markets.
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