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Optimizing HFT Workloads with HPC


In the fast-paced world of high-frequency trading (HFT), financial services organizations rely heavily on technology to increase the speed of operations. For today’s traders, simply executing an order as quickly as possible is no longer enough. HFT firms must process trades faster than the competition in order to turn a profit – speed and time-to-insight have never been more essential. 

To complete each transaction, financial data from exchanges is received and analyzed in real-time which instructs traders to buy or sell. Trade orders are then launched back to exchanges where they are rapidly executed. Firms depend on these vast quantities of Big Data to move at lightning speeds in order to achieve the greatest financial returns, and optimizing trading workloads is key.

Surviving in this ever-evolving marketplace requires firms to invest in the right tools to rapidly convert data into strategic insight. IT departments are looking to end-to-end computing solutions powered by the fastest available hardware to optimize this process, support quality Big Data analytics, promote insight-based trading, and mitigate latency.

While a split second of trade latency may seem insignificant, even a one-millisecond advantage has been known to boost a firm’s profits by as much as $100 million per year. To improve the speed and efficiency of HFT operations, many organizations are deploying high-performance computing (HPC) solutions to create a technology stack that not only facilitates data-driven decision-making but also expedites transactions between traders and exchanges.

Those who invest in high-performance systems will stand to gain valuable competitive advantage. For example, HFT firms reportedly have a 500-microsecond advantage for NASDAQ quotes over firms that do not use a direct feed from exchanges to quote prices.

Number of Devices in the Internet of Everything.png

Source: Market Watch, 2015

Minimizing delays is an on-going battle for HFT firms. Financial organizations operating on legacy IT infrastructures lack the connectivity and bandwidth necessary to complete lightning-quick transactions. In order to succeed, these organizations must invest in a powerful and scalable technology stack that provides rapid intelligence while also meeting storage requirements.

As data volumes continue to soar, many firms are adopting Trade and Match Server technology, expressly designed to handle explosive data growth and derive actionable intelligence in a microsecond. This high-density solution works to minimize system latency, optimize workloads, and co-locate easily in exchange data centers, all of which have become crucial to trading success.

HPC architectures are helping the financial services industry streamline HFT operations across the board. By accelerating time-to-action, firms can process millions of trades per second, making high-speed processing capabilities a “must” for all traders.

As HFT races from microseconds to nanoseconds, financial organizations must process and execute trades far beyond the realm of human capabilities. Adopting a powerful new style of IT is the first step to ensuring fast, efficient, and secure data transactions. Extreme computing power allows firms to capitalize on data-driven insight to fuel a growing business. Those who commit will have the opportunity to execute highly lucrative trades, and enable their traders to compete and potentially dominate the HFT market.

To learn more about how Trade & Match Server solutions can improve your business, follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel.

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About the Author


As the Vice President and General Manager of HPC and AI Segment Solutions in the Data Center Infrastructure Group, I lead worldwide business and portfolio strategy and execution for the fastest growing market segments in HPE’s Data Center Infrastructure Group which includes the recent SGI acquisition and the HPE Apollo portfolio.

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