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OptionsXpress Selects ACTIV MPU to Manage Rising Market Data Message Rates

NEW YORK – May 4, 2010 – ACTIV Financial, a leading global provider of fully managed low-latency market data solutions, today announced that OptionsXpress, a pioneer in equity options and futures trading and long-time ACTIV customer, will be upgrading to its ACTIV Market Data Processing Unit (MPU) to accelerate low-latency exchange feed processing and enhance throughput and performance.

ACTIV MPU is the first product to combine market data content and technology in a single FPGA-driven service offering. The solution will provide OptionsXpress with a robust, scalable ticker plant to manage skyrocketing data volumes, rein in out-of-control hardware costs and prevent service degradation. As a result, OptionsXpress can continuously meet high service level agreements (SLAs) and reduce trading system latencies in the face of massive message rate growth.
OPRA message rates are expected to rise by nearly 200 percent this year over 2009 levels, and options market participants are being challenged to maintain a performance-driven, yet cost-sensitive infrastructure to manage the growing data volumes. Leveraging ACTIV MPU, OptionsXpress will be able to reduce its market data infrastructure currently spread across three U.S. data centers while decreasing costs, switch count and potential points of failure.

“OptionsXpress’ customers – everyday investors who demand professional tools and trading technology – directly benefit from our innovation focused partnership with ACTIV. It provides a combination of high-quality, low-latency market data content and technologies,” said Benjamin Stein, EVP of technology at OptionsXpress. “ACTIV MPU keeps us ahead of escalating market data message rates and delivers significant latency and performance benefits.”

“We recognized early on that the explosion in market data message rates would overwhelm many of the technologies on the market,” said Mike Dunne, co-founder and CTO, ACTIV Financial. “From the beginning, we architected our software to capitalize on the latest technologies, including hardware acceleration, so we can provide the most innovative trading solutions and lowest possible latency.”


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