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Low Latency and Windows – Strange But True?

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Reading through the latest from TS-Associates, it was interesting to learn that their Application Tap function now supports Windows, from the makers of Xbox.  It got me thinking about how widespread the adoption of Windows is for low-latency applications, so I asked the company’s CEO Henry Young for his thoughts.

“There is a surprising amount of Windows out there, and low latency is not the only thing that drives the need for precision instrumentation,” says Young, who adds, “Two of our largest customers for TipOff make significant use of Windows, mainly for legacy reasons,  i.e. that’s what their trading platforms were originally developed on.”

And there’s more: “Generally, green field systems designed from the outset for low latency get dropped onto Linux or even more extreme OSes, but there is a huge amount of legacy stuff out there. Remember that the whole of the London Stock Exchange used to be on Windows .Net.”

Plus – given that platform moves can be pretty costly and difficult to pull off – “maintenance and instrumentation is sometimes a tactical way forwards for move in a low-latency-ish direction.” So that’s the reality – another take on investment versus business benefits.

Young says that the Windows version of the Application Tap was developed in response to requests from three customers, and one is now live.

So, who out there is selling or deploying Window-based systems for low latency apps? Come on – own up!

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