HPE Servers Demonstrate Critical Speed for HFT Traders on STAC-N1 Test

By Bill Mannel, Vice President & General Manager – HPC Segment Solutions and Apollo Servers, Data Center Infrastructure Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

April 3, 2017

In the financial services industry, survival depends on the speed and efficiency of technology. The fast-paced world of high-frequency trading (HFT) is becoming even more competitive as firms strive to modernize their IT environments and accelerate the speed of operations.

Simply executing a trade is no longer adequate for firms to turn a profit. In order to succeed, IT departments are heavily investing in high performance computing (HPC) technologies to accelerate time-to-value and streamline data-driven decision-making—that is, streaming financial data from exchanges, performing Big Data analytics in real-time, and firing orders back to exchanges for processing. When saving even fractions of a millisecond on a trade can generate millions in revenue, speed is of the essence. In this environment, extremely low latency allows firms to process trades faster than their competitors, affording HFT firms a highly valuable competitive advantage and yielding tremendous profits.

Today’s traders rely on the fastest available hardware to execute thousands of calculations per second, making a powerful and reliable operating system essential to any financial organization. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is offering industry-leading HPC solutions which not only promote workload optimization but also expedite transactions between workstations and exchanges. These powerful server platforms are helping traders achieve the lowest possible latency and the highest possible clock speeds.

According to the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC), which provides research and testing tools to streamline technology selection and reduce sales cycles, overcoming latency is the greatest challenge facing the HFT sector today. A recent STAC Report revealed that HPE is leading innovation in the financial services industry, equipping customers with a flexible two-unit platform designed to scale for maximum power, density, and efficiency.

The HPE Apollo 2000 System paired with HPE ProLiant XL1x0r Gen9 servers and Intel E5-1680 v3 processors delivers a density-optimized platform in a traditional rack-mount form factor, and a chassis foundation featuring shared power and cooling among multiple servers. After measuring the performance of various network stacks (i.e. server, operating system, drivers, and host adapter), the STAC-N1 Test found that the HPE Apollo Trade & Match Server Solution achieved the highest performance of any machine.

HPE customers can choose from several configurations, right-sized for the standard power limitations of exchange co-location facilities. Options include a single unit with one Apollo 200 chassis and up to four servers, a small cluster with four Apollo 200 chassis and up to 16 servers, or a large cluster with nine Apollo 200 chassis and up to 36 servers.

Specific advantages of the HPE Trade & Match Servers include:

  • Lowest maximum latency at the base rate (100,000 messages per second) and the highest rate tested (1,000,000 messages per second)
  • Maximum latency at the highest rate was 18 microseconds, a 65% improvement from the previous leader’s best maximum latency of 51 microseconds
  • Lowest mean latency at the base rate and the highest rate tested
  • 10% faster data transfer rate, surpassing HFT competitors by 0.3 microseconds, or 30 million transactions every second

This robust infrastructure has been optimized for HPC applications performing at maximum frequency and with lower core count, reducing latency by 65% in order to deliver 12% overall improved data transfer speeds and accelerated time-to-insight. And when combined with 20% processing speed acceleration, HPE is empowering firms to boost processor frequency, or overclock the processor, for executing lightning-fast transactions. Furthermore, the HPE Trade & Match Server Solution works to eliminate memory bandwidth sharing issues, helping organizations to avoid overprovisioning, accommodate future data growth, and significantly improve ROI.

To keep pace with this ever-evolving marketplace, traders must invest in the right tools to support insight-based trading and higher levels of performance. HPE promises to deliver the fastest available hardware in order to rapidly convert data into actionable intelligence, streamline trading operations, and promote highly lucrative trades. Those who commit will have the ability to ensure long-term success and potentially dominate the HFT market.

To learn more about how HPE helps financial customers create an effective HFT strategy, I invite you to follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel.

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