HPE ‘Trade & Match’ Server Tops STAC N1 Test

By John Russell

October 10, 2017

An overclocked trade & match server from Hewlett Packard Enterprise using a Mellanox network stack has delivered the lowest mean latency to date on a STAC N1 test, according to a report posted by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC) yesterday. Minimizing latency is a key component in highly competitive securities trading.

“The STAC-N1 Benchmarks exercised two of four HPE ProLiant XL170r Gen9 Servers in a 2U HPE Apollo r2600 Chassis, a component of the HPE Apollo 2000 System. Each server was configured with one Intel E5-1680 v3 processor, one HPE Ethernet 10/25Gb 2-port 640SFP28 network adapter, which is a rebranded Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx adapter, and eight 16 GiB DIMMs. The chassis was configured with two 1400W Power supplies,” according to the report (HPE170814).”

The CPU clock rate was boosted to 4.5 GHz. The test was conducted last week. The STAC-N1 test measures the performance of a host network stack (server, OS, drivers, host adapter) using a market data style workload. “Compared to all other public STAC-N1 reports of Ethernet-based SUTs (stack under test), this SUT demonstrated:”

  • Lowest mean latency at both the base rate and the highest rate tested.
  • Lowest max latency at the base rate.
  • Lowest max latency at or above 1 million messages per second.
  • Highest max rate reported: 1.6 million messages per second.
  • 9999th percentile latency (six nines) of just 5 μsec at the base rate and 6 μsec at 1.6 million messages per second.

The Mellanox components included: “ConnectX-4 Lx, rebranded as the HPE Ethernet 640SFP28 Adapter, is Mellanox’s recommended Network Adapter Card for High Frequency Trading, supporting both 10 and 25Gbps Ethernet with the same hardware. ConnectX-4 Lx allows applications to achieve ultra-low latency at all message rates, either through the kernel, using socket based kernel bypass (VMA), or using the Verbs/RDMA APIs. In addition, the ConnectX-4 Lx Network Adapter Card supports highly accurate time synchronization, and high resolution timestamping, which are critical for meeting regulatory requirements.”

Link to STAC report: https://stacresearch.com/HPE170814

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