Chicago Exchange makes Linux call
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is moving to Intel-based servers running Linux
Computerworld - In a quiet corner office of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc., high above the steady roar of shouting traders on the exchange floor, Joseph Panfil, director of distributed computing, is focused on the smallest increments of time.
There is a direct relationship between system performance and trading volume at the CME, also known as the Merc. By reducing the amount of time it takes to process a trade, trading volume can increase. The more trades there are, the more trading fees the exchange collects.
Time is the bottom-line metric of Panfil's world. "Everything in the trading world is a matter of split seconds," he says.
Panfil is part of a team implementing system changes that have so far reduced round-trip trading times from about 1,800 milliseconds in 1998 to 350 milliseconds today. Five trades can now be conducted in the time it used to take to complete one.
To cut times further and reduce IT costs, the CME is pursuing a major IT overhaul that involves a gradual adoption of the Linux operating system on Intel-based servers while moving off Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris and Sparc hardware. The conversion began about a year ago and is now 30% complete.
The CME's architecture consists of three major technologies: Unix and Linux systems handle the input paths for orders and output paths for quotes. Hewlett-Packard Co. NonStop servers send out order confirmations and quotes. And IBM mainframes are responsible for "clearing," or processing, of all trades.
Joseph Panfil of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc.
Image Credit: Andy Goodwin
Customers want reliability and speed in electronic trading environments, says James Krause, the Merc's CIO. Balancing those two priorities means that the exchange, while interested in performance-improving technologies, isn't likely to be the first adopter of a new system. "Whatever we do, we have to make it work right and make sure it's fast," Krause says.
Trading times have been improved by making applications more responsive, upgrading server CPUs and undertaking architectural changes to reduce the number of hops in the path of a trade. For instance, the process previously used to include a disk write, but that has been moved out of the direct path of a trade.
The decision to use Linux and move to fast Intel Corp. chips also led to a
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Logicalis eBook: SAP HANA: The Need for Speed Without timely business insights, organizations today can suffer logistical, manufacturing, and even financial disaster in a matter of minutes
- Neustar 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report For the third consecutive year, Neustar surveyed hundreds of companies on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The survey reveals evidence that the...
- Acxiom Case Study This case study, which focuses on Acxiom, explores how the company was able to secure employee data, reduce migration costs and boost productivity...
- Windows® XP Migration: Protect and Secure Critical Data With the end of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system's lifecycle on April 8, 2014, businesses are faced with the decision to migrate...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Servers White Papers | Webcasts