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NYSE Technologies Announces Community Platform; IaaS Play for Capital Markets

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With the announcement today of its Capital Markets Community Platform, NYSE Technologies is bringing cloud computing into the world of electronic trading and low latency. Well, kind of.

Already an established provider of hosted, managed services, such as its Superfeed data feed, and its Risk Management Gateway for pre-trade risk controls, the vendor – a unit of NYSE Euronext – is now providing infrastructure-as-a-service on which trading firms can run their own applications. Both dedicated infrastructure – including servers and storage – as well as virtualised infrastructure – aka cloud – is being offered, with low-latency access to NYSE real-time and historic data, and transaction services.

Responding to an ever increasing business need for trading firms to both leverage opportunities and reduce costs, Stanley Young, CEO of NYSE Technologies, says that the Community Platform is not just about technology, but rather about “IT enabling new business models to evolve in capital markets.” Cloud technologies, which are maturing, are now appropriate to deploy, he notes.

While a cloud approach – essentially the rapid provisioning of infrastructure as needed, on a pay-for-use basis – isn’t being pitched at high performance, low-latency trading, it is being positioned as appropriate for a raft of related applications, including providing on-demand services for hedge funds, delivering large quantities of data for regulatory needs, back-testing of trading strategies, and scalability testing for custom applications.

NYSE Technologies has teamed up with cloud heavyweights EMC and VMware to build the platform. The two companies are providing a combination of storage systems, virtualisation, management, security, and data caching software.

The initial roll out of the Community Platform will take place within the NYSE’s data centres in Mahwah, NJ, and in Basildon, near London in the UK, where it houses the matching engines for it various markets, as well as providing co-location services to market participants. NYSE is also encouraging other markets – such as dark pools and foreign exchange hubs – to operate from its facilities. Over time, the offering will be extended to further data centres – operated by other markets or third parties – that form part of what the NYSE terms its global Liquidity Center Network.

By combining managed dedicated infrastructure for those apps at the trading sharp end, with a cloud platform on which to run support applications as required, along with fast local access to both real-time and historic data, and global market connectivity for transactions, the Community Platform provides a higher performance, and more secure, environment, compared to the use of public clouds, such as those provided by Amazon and Google.

Already, two firms – Pico Quantitative Trading and Millennium Management – have been beta testing the platform, which is due to go live on July 1. Says Jarrod Yuster, CEO at Pico, the offering “immediately delivers valuable flexibility and rapid responsiveness in technology management,” adding that it provides “access to a full suite of data products without making big investment.”

Young believes that the offering will appeal to many of 600 sell-side and 650 buy-side firms that are presently customers. As an example, he suggests that the Community Platform could be a good option for some 40 firms at which NYSE Technologies currently manages ticker plants located at their own data centres. Expect some announcements on that subject soon, he suggests.

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