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Emulex Expands Low-Latency Offerings

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Emulex isn’t the first company that comes to mind when thinking of low-latency network vendors, but through a series of actions it’s making an increasing contribution to the technology underpinning automated trading. The latest development was last week’s announcement that it is to acquire latency monitoring specialist Endace.

Founded in 1979 and with current revenue of $502 million, the company’s model of selling its network interfaces and adaptors through OEMs and distributors – the likes of Dell, EMC and IBM – is perhaps one reason why its name is not as familiar in the financial markets as it might be.

Perhaps the Endace acquisition – for around $130 million – will make Emulex more visible in the low-latency trading space, since Endace’s products are widely used for latency monitoring, microburst detection and to support analytic applications that leverage its packet capture technology. For its part, Emulex sees Endace’s business as a high growth opportunity.

Last month, Emulex partnered with Gnodal, marrying its ethernet adaptor cards with the latter’s GS 4008 10gE switch and pitching the combo at the low latency and low jitter requirements of high frequency trading.

Indeed, Emulex’s 10gE OneConnect adaptors are the result of a collaboration with Myricom, the latter providing its FastStack DBL kernel bypass software to boost I/O performance of TCP and UDP communications.

Clearly, Emulex is building its offerings in the low-latency space where it sees opportunity, though it faces stiff competition from the incumbent heavyweights. The Endace acquisition does however give it a unique story to tell.  So it will be interested to see how it unfolds. We’ll be watching.

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