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Cisco DAL Software Accelerates TIBCO and Wombat Market Data Environments


Cisco High Performance Solution Reduces Latency Up To 81% in Multicast Infrastructure for Automated Trading Applications

High Performance on Wall Street - NEW YORK, New York. - Cisco® today announced a new server host and fabric software, known as Datagram Acceleration Layer (DAL), designed specifically to accelerate multicast-based market data infrastructures for automated trading applications. When combined with Cisco InfiniBand Server Fabric Switches, the new Cisco DAL software will help customers to handle rising messages rates, while reducing the message delivery latency between server nodes. The result delivers a competitive advantage to capital markets firms, through greatly improved performance in determining the state of the market, and higher success rates in completing trades.

Increasing message rates and the continued growth of algorithmic trading, combined with new regulations such as the Regulation National Market System (RegNMS) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), require capital markets firms to look for the highest performing IT infrastructure and applications possible. Implementing a high-capacity, low-latency infrastructure designed to handle traffic spikes can provide the competitive advantages needed to excel in the capital markets industry, while meeting strict new regulations.
Datagram Acceleration Layer (DAL)

Automated trading platforms consist of trading applications with a middleware layer to communicate between the applications. A market data infrastructure with multicast traffic is used by the middleware layer to communicate between servers. Multicast market data traffic is transported transparently by the DAL software across the infrastructure. The Cisco DAL software is designed to significantly accelerate the applications and middleware without requiring any changes to a trading application. It accomplishes this by creating a user space library, which eliminates buffer copies and reduces context switches, the main cause of transport related latency, latency jitter, and low message rate capacity in automated trading infrastructures. The DAL software is available now as part of a select customer access program.
DAL Testing with TIBCO Rendezvous®

TIBCO® and Cisco rigorously tested the new DAL software on the TIBCO Rendezvous messaging platform to help ensure compatibility and benchmark performance of the solution. The TIBCO Rendezvous platform is comprised of two main components - the Rendezvous Application Programming Interface (API) and Rendezvous Daemon. Leveraging a distributed architecture, application information flows from the API to Rendezvous Daemon and then out to the network. TIBCO rvperf and rvlat utilities were used to benchmark the performance of the solution. Test results showed message rates improved by more than 300%, and latency was reduced by 38% on average. TIBCO customers using the Cisco DAL software will be able to improve both message rates and latency without having to modify their application or the TIBCO Rendezvous environment.

“TIBCO Rendezvous is able to support the mission-critical real-time messaging requirements of some of the most demanding customers in the global capital markets today,” said Jeff Kristick, vice president, Product Marketing, TIBCO. “By joining forces with Cisco to combine two industry-proven solutions, we are able to unlock more value for our customers with immediate performance gains that propel market data distribution and integration to new levels, without impacting existing technologies or implementations.”

“In developing the new DAL software, we started with the challenges our customers were experiencing, then concentrated not just on the engineering solution, but also on developing the technology relationships necessary to bring to the market fully validated and tested solutions that customers can trust,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, vice president and general manager of the Server Virtualization Business Unit, Cisco. “Tested solutions enable our mutual customers to deploy new technology reliably, quickly, and with easier implementation.”
DAL Testing With Wombat by the Securities Technology Analysis Center

An independent study conducted by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC) consisted of a rigorous benchmarking exercise with actual US options data from an OPRA feed played at accelerated rates to simulate the throughput demands customers will face in the near future. The tests used Wombat software with infrastructure consisting of Cisco low latency InfiniBand Server Fabric Switches and the new DAL software. STAC conducted the tests with standard Wombat tools and procedures and performed multiple runs to ensure repeatability of the results. STAC compared the performance of standard UDP/GigE to that of Cisco InfiniBand infrastructure with the new DAL software. The tests focused on a single server publishing data with an average message size of 197 bytes to several consuming applications. Test results showed that mean transport latency was reduced from 240 microseconds to 50 microseconds, an 80% reduction. Moreover, the variation in latency decreased by a factor of four, demonstrating the superior ability of Cisco InfiniBand and DAL to weather the traffic spikes common to market data. A full description of the test methodology and results can be found at

“Trading firms want to minimize the average latency at every step in their architectures,” said Peter Lankford, Director of STAC. "And in some cases they actually care more about minimizing the variation in latency. The DAL-based InfiniBand solution from Cisco showed very significant benefits on both fronts.

“When combined with a complete market data connectivity solution such as Wombat Platform, the Cisco DAL software provides an innovative means of further lowering system latency, and we are happy to be driving performance in the capital markets with Cisco,” said Conor Allen, Co-principal of Wombat’s Middleware division.
Cisco Server Fabric Switches for HPC Environments

Cisco Server Fabric Switches use standards-based InfiniBand technology to provide a high performance unified fabric for connecting servers together into grids of compute resources. Cisco Server Fabric Switches provide up to 288 ports of non-blocking, InfiniBand 4X that can operate in either 20-Gbps double data rate (DDR)) or 10-Gbps single data rate (SDR) mode for server and inter-switch connectivity. InfiniBand takes advantage of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) technology greatly reducing latency, latency jitter and CPU utilization while increasing the throughput and message rate capacity of automated trading environments.


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