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Exchange Co-Lo Update: CME, Nasdaq

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The last week or so has seen significant action in the world of exchange co-location – a space (excuse the pun) that as a whole is hotter than ever – with happenings at CME Group and Nasdaq OMX.

The news – though there was no actual news release – from CME Group was the planned Sunday, January 29th opening of co-location facilities at its newish Aurora, Il data centre – located some 40 miles west of the windy city.

Around half of the 428,000 square foot facility is earmarked for co-lo use, with 12.5 megawatts of power available for the first phase of the roll out. More than 100 customers are currently installed, and more want in, says a CME spokesperson.

As well as selling co-lo facilities directly, the CME has approved a number of service provider partners to manage and offer space. These include BT Radianz, CFN Services, Fidessa, Fixnetix, Interactive Data 7ticks, Need To Know News, QuantHouse, Savvis and Thomson Reuters.

Notably missing from that list are Equinix and Telx, which operate out of 350 East Cermak Road in Chicago proper, where the CME data centre was once located. In fact, CME customers can still access its Globex trading system from that facility, which remains a popular proximity data centre.

Connectivity into Aurora is via a sanctioned list of providers, including Anova Technologies, AT&T, Hudson Fiber Networks, Sidera Networks and Verizon. Not on the list is Spread Networks, which continues to connect into 350 East Cermak with its ‘fastest’ connection to Carteret, New Jersey – a building just across from Nasdaq OMX’s data centre.

Speaking of which … Nasdaq just announced upgraded services for its co-lo customers, located in a facility where the exchange group is the major tenant of Verizon – it has around 200, 000 square feet right now, with an option to take 30,000 more.

Nasdaq’s co-lo customers can now feed a whopping 17 killowatts into the new Super Cab offering – up from 10 killowatts for current cabinets – which provides an “innovative cabinet cooling design that draws the hot equipment exhaust into a custom cabinet chimney for maximum power at a high efficiency level.”

In other words, customers can now fit more equipment – servers and networking – into a single rack, and can install multi-socket servers that suck up significant power. This allows for more complex applications to be run, with lower latency between servers. And fewer cabinets also means an overall latency reduction for complete systems.

Coming in April – subject to SEC go ahead – is 40gE connectivity into Nasdaq’s trading systems and information feeds. The upgrade from the current 10gE should knock about seven microseconds off round trip times into the exchange’s matching engines.

Customers will also be able to use the upgraded connectivity to access all data feeds offered in the data centre, from Nasdaq and from other exchanges.

In order to offer 40gE connections, Nasdaq will be upgrading its network equipment, though it’s not saying who its current or future vendors are or will be. That’s in part because those vendors are engaged in ‘leap frog game’ in terms of reducing latency, and the exchange “chooses who is best” at any particular time, says a spokesperson.

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