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Cisco Eases the Upgrade to Infiniband for Market Data Feeds

There's no question switching from a one gigabit Ethernet network to Infiniband can dramatically improve the speed of multicasting -- sending market data from feed handlers to multiple trading desks. Several tests conducted over the past year by the Securities Technology Analysis Center have proven this. Faster multicasting leads to improved ability to conduct algorithmic trading and better compliance with Reg NMS and MiFID. The question is, how do you m

There's no question switching from a one gigabit Ethernet network to Infiniband can dramatically improve the speed of multicasting -- sending market data from feed handlers to multiple trading desks. Several tests conducted over the past year by the Securities Technology Analysis Center have proven this. Faster multicasting leads to improved ability to conduct algorithmic trading and better compliance with Reg NMS and MiFID. The question is, how do you make existing multicast applications work with Infiniband?Cisco introduced its answer to this question this morning, by rolling out a new server host and fabric software called Datagram Acceleration Layer (DAL) that's designed to accelerate multicast-based market data infrastructures for automated trading applications. When combined with Cisco InfiniBand switches, the new DAL software should help customers handle rising messages rates while reducing the message delivery latency between server nodes.

An independent study conducted by the Securities Technology Analysis Center used U.S. options data from an OPRA feed played at accelerated rates to simulate the throughput demands customers will face in the near future. The tests used Wombat software with infrastructure consisting of Cisco InfiniBand Server Fabric Switches, the new DAL software and standard Wombat tools and procedure. The tests focused on a single server publishing data with an average message size of 197 bytes to several consuming applications. Test results showed that mean transport latency was reduced from 240 microseconds to 50 microseconds, an 80% reduction. The variation in latency decreased by a factor of four.

"Trading firms want to minimize the average latency at every step in their architectures," said Peter Lankford, director of STAC. "And in some cases they actually care more about minimizing the variation in latency. The DAL-based InfiniBand solution from Cisco showed very significant benefits on both fronts."

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