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Q&A: Bay Microsystems’ Gerry Jankauskas on Wide Area Network Latency Optimisation

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As trading firms roll out their operations across geographies, connectivity and associated latency considerations move focus from local network fabrics to wide area ones. And that presents many new challenges. IntelligentTradingTechnology.com connected with Gerry Jankauskas, CTO at Bay Microsystems, to find out what part his company plays in the solution.

Q: When was Bay Microsystems founded, and what is its focus?

A: Bay Microsystems was founded in 2000 with a focus on high performance network processing integrated circuits followed by networking systems and optical network ICs. Since that time, we have been supplying WAN optimisation platforms into private and US Government “large-data” networks.

In January, 2012, Bay introduced its new family of Intelligent Bandwidth Exchange product line as IBEx. The IBEx family combines application independent WAN optimisation and a service provider gateway with modular security and application acceleration capabilities.

IBEx is able to seamlessly extend enterprise Ethernet, lossless Ethernet and InfiniBand fabrics allowing the enterprise to operate globally, well beyond a single data/computing centre, while maintaining the performance as in a single site.

Efficiently utilising the wide-area optical connection to their fullest extent, IBEx eliminates the largest contributor to latency within the wide-area transport.

With the wide array of interfaces, protocol support, performance and capabilities, IBEx is synergistic with large array of data/computing centre environments with most of the various WAN services.

Q: What problems are you seeking to solve related to data delivery via wide area network? And why would these matter to trading firms?

A: The challenges for trading firms are multi-faceted. These firms need to arbitrage across multiple exchanges, distribute and receive massive amounts of time-sensitive market and pricing data, perform various risk and volatility analytics, place trades on a varying number of exchanges, and catalog all activities. These traditionally local operations are now a global operation and depends on a reliable, highly efficient and deterministic infrastructure. The Bay IBEx allows the most efficient use of all available bandwidth at sustained and micro-burst events in a fair and lossless manner in all conditions with the lowest latency in the industry.

Q: And so what do your IBEx products actually do?

A: The Bay IBEx is a WAN Optimisation gateway that sits between the enterprise and the wide-area service provider. The enterprise could include an exchange, trading firm, data centre, market data distributor, or content delivery centre. The IBEx platform established a lossless end-to-end fabric capable of application utilisation nearing 100% of the available user bandwidth.

As a service provider gateway, IBEx is capable of enabling full management and performance visibility of the enterprise connections.  With its full suite of traffic engineering and network tunneling and interworking capabilities, IBEx can be integrated into most any service infrastructure while actively managing the available bandwidth. IBEx also aggregates physical and logical, VLANs and InfiniBand VLs, at rates varying from sub-1Gbps, to 10Gpbs and 40Gbps today and will introduce the 100Gbps platform in the coming months.

IBEx is in a compact 1RU form factor and uses the power of an incandescent light bulb. The feature sets are expanding to include end-to-end AES secured tunnels and a suite of application-level accelerations.

In WAN situations where single high-bandwith connections are not physically or economically available, IBEx I-series can multiplex across multiple WAN connections and still provide the lossless efficient fabric attributes of  a single WAN connection. The IBEx I-series manages bandwidth where an enterprise may start with one or two WAN connections and incrementally add WAN connections, or in the case where diverse fibre routing is required, IBEx will equalise the various optical delays and provide the capability to only degrade throughput where one or more connections is lost.

The IBEx metro-series is capable of natively extending enterprise infrastructure over an Ethernet or traffic engineered IP/MPLS WAN achieving sub-micro second equipment latency for tunneling, routing, fabric management and traffic management.

The IBEx global-series connects to any SONET/SDH or DWDM OTN service provider network and has a complete set of forward-error correction and testing facilities usually found in the most advanced optical transport equipment.

Q: Is there an option for both ethernet and InfiniBand users? Can this be used to bridge different network technologies?

A: In short, yes. IBEx is designed to aggregate and extend Ethernet, lossless DCB/converged-type Ethernet and InfiniBand local networks in an application independent manner. For the highest performing networks, applications using hardware accelerated RDMA exhibit especially high performance where all end-to-end elements are capable of operating in the most efficient manner. IBEx can natively extend InfiniBand and RoCE subnets, maintaining performance and lossless-ness to distances of 20,000 kilometres with round trip delays, or latency, calculated by only the optic distance.

IBEx provides for aggregation of mixed LAN network types for transport over the lossless WAN transport.

Bay will be rolling out IBEx fabric routing, application acceleration, accelerated multicast, and protocol interworking and bridging in follow-on releases.

Q: What kind of performance have you demonstrated to date, in terms of distance, speed, capacity, latency, jitter, efficiency

A: Our customers have 100s of petabytes of storage distributed around the world for direct distance based access available 24/7/365 constant operation for six plus years. The optimised links are running over a 10Gbps DWDM network at near 100% constant operation using our previous generation of product. The connections connect Asia, the US, and Europe with the longest connection being about 19,000 Km.

We have worked with customers and also have demonstrated 40Gbps operation transporting 11,000 Km fibre miles RDMA InfiniBand utilising a sustained 97% of the available bandwidth with near-zero jitter and only the optical latency at SC’11 in Seattle. We also demonstrated a similar capability using video and 11,000 Km this last month at ISC’12.

Each M-series IBEx adds less than one micro-second of delay, or less than a total of 1/3 of a Km of fibre delay per link. The G-series adds about the equivalant of 1/2 a Km of optical delay. Compared with transmission distances of 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000 Km, IBEx and all its capabilities, has the best equipment characteristics in the ultra low-latency space in the industry.

We talk about the important metric of ‘first byte sent to last byte received’. With the near 100% utilisation, the latency is deterministic based on physical delay under any condition.

Q: What do you see as the next developments in this space?

A: Network optimisation is just now being understood to be a major area of focus. While WAN acceleration optimises the actual traffic by manipulation and reducing the actual user traffic, Bay is focused on using all available bandwidth in the most efficient manner. While we have made significant advances in fabric extension capabilities and hardware architectures addressing complex networking with minimum latency.  The next developments will move the bar to 100Gbps and beyond. Advancing traffic-flow security, enhancing the capabilities for using multiple WAN spans addressing availability and economics, and growing the suite of acceleration techniques are on our plate right now.

For sales inquiries, contact David Steinman – david@baymicrosystems.com.

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