Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Enabling bare metal VDI for the trading floor with HPE Moonshot: Unchaining traders from desks

Traditional virtual desktop infrastructure sometimes strains to handle the heavy data needs of traders. HPE offers a high-performance, workload-optimized solution that can improve space utilization and reduce carbon emissions.


By Mathai Philip, HPE Edge Compute Sales Manager, EMEA

As we move from the react phase to the recovery phase of the pandemic, financial services firms are looking at how they can realize real estate savings and have a flexible workspace to do phased return of employees. They are looking for ways to expand their remote workplace solution so that it can scale to the requirements of the front office users: traders, developers, and quants.

The traders have complicated requirements for several screens, and they have a lot of in-house apps that are mostly single-threaded (based on Excel) and therefore don’t perform well in a traditional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. The profile of these users means that traditional VDI models are either exorbitantly expensive or unable to offer the performance that is required to do the job.

In most firms, the traders' needs are met with high-end tower PCs. Often situated right next to the trader, they take up desk space while generating heat and, in some cases, an off-putting amount of noise. In addition to having the user hardwired to a physical desk, this creates challenges in terms of desk moves, business continuity, and maintenance. Fixed desks have been a huge challenge for implementing safe distancing for return-to-work initiatives. PCs also tend to be less secure than resources hosted in a data center, which benefit from stricter access control and automated systems management.

The current pandemic amplified the inefficiency of the deskside model. In the words of the CTO of a large bank, “Our expensive trade floors in the middle of London and NYC now resemble a datacenter, as there are no people but just physical PCs, and a cleaner can accidently knock out a connection.”

How does HPE Moonshot solve this challenge for the trading floor?

HPE offers a unique solution: HPE Moonshot Server, which has a non-shared architecture (i.e. dedicated CPU, GPU and NVMe storage) per user. This resembles the opposite of taking a large server and sharing it among multiple users, as with traditional VDI.

HPE-Moonshot-VDI 1.png

HPE Moonshot removes the need for sharing by miniaturizing compute, storage, and network with small but powerful blade servers which can be dedicated to a single user, and thereby removing the noisy-neighbour and application-compatibility challenges for these users. These are the same systems used by Formula 1 teams (6 out of 10 F1 teams) to optimize the performance of the cars. You can see below a typical setup where HPE Moonshot is installed in the datacenter and is accessed from the main office or home using a thin client. You can use an existing PC as a client or use laptops to access the HPE Moonshot workstation through your existing Citrix/VMWARE Gateway.

HPE-Moonshot-VDI 2.PNGThe key benefits:

• Improve space utilization by 30% per user by enabling traders to move to free desks
• Reduce carbon emissions by 50% by moving compute from office floors to datacenters
• Remove the need for expensive desk moves, as users can access their desktop anytime, anyplace
• Increase ability to respond to hardware breakdowns and cyber security incidents
• Reduce office locations required for business continuity planning (BCP), as users can work from home (location independent)
• Remove specialized mechanical and electrical (M&E) for heating and cooling of trade floors

Watch the video below for a quick overview on how traders can now cut the tie between their personal workstations and their desks with  HPE Moonshot and HPE Edgeline new bare metal VDI solutions.

For more on HPE Moonshot and how it provides the best computing experience for traders and financial services institutions, visit:

mathaisynergy.jpgMeet Compute Expert blogger Mathai Philip. Mathai leads the Edge Compute Business for EMEA. Prior to that he led the Global Financial Services Business within the Moonshot & IOT & Converged Systems Business inside Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is passionate about the future of work and how technology is democratizing opportunities for the many. Prior to HPE Mathai spent 10 years at IBM in Operations, Strategy & Marketing.  Contact Mathai on Twitter: mathaiphilip01. Or connect with him on LinkedIn:

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