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2010 Year in Review: Low Latency, Data Volumes Drive New Technologies

Inside Market Data

Market data message rates continued to soar in 2010, creating data peaks that challenged even the largest servers, driven by low-latency trading.

St. Louis, Mo.-based hardware ticker plant vendor Exegy’s MarketDataPeaks portal recorded 3.25 million messages per second on Monday, June 29, surpassing the previous high water mark of 2.81 million mps reached during the Flash Crash on May 6. Derivatives market data volumes in the US and Europe also continued to hit new peaks, despite a decline in derivatives trading (IMD, March 22).

In response, the industry continued to increase capacity. The Securities Industry Automation Corp. (SIAC), the Securities Information Processor for the Consolidated Tape Association feeds of quote and trade data, will more than double the capacity of its feeds in the first half of 2011, as part of a series of initiatives to reduce data latency of the CTA feeds (IMD, Dec. 6).

The rising volumes also led firms to examine new technologies, such as hardware-accelerated messaging layers from the likes of Solace Systems and Tervela, and prompted continued adoption of technologies such as Field-Programmable Gate Arrays—XtremeData developed a new FPGA-based card for data distribution between applications (IMD, March 15), while Activ Financial expanded its use of FPGAs in the latest version of its MPU hardware ticker plant (IMD, Nov. 22).

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