NYSE Euronext Copes with Booming Traffic

NYSE Euronext, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, is already using 100-gigabit optical network connections for real work and may be close to deploying pre-standard 100-Gigabit Ethernet just to keep up with booming demand for rapid communication.

By Stephen Lawson
Thu, February 04, 2010

IDG News Service — NYSE Euronext (NYX), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, is already using 100-gigabit optical network connections for real work and may be close to deploying pre-standard 100-Gigabit Ethernet just to keep up with booming demand for rapid communication.

NYSE Euronext has one of the most time-sensitive businesses in the world, carrying out trades, delivering stock quotes and providing real-time information about market activity. It operates several exchanges around the world and competes against other exchange companies to make trades. The first one to carry out the trade wins the business, which creates special challenges for Andy Bach, NYSE Euronext's senior vice president and global head of communications.

"Our sales cycle is one millisecond," said Bach, who gave a glimpse into his world at the Ethernet Alliance's Technology Exploration Forum in Santa Clara on Tuesday. He has to design NYSE Euronext's network to minimize any delays the network might introduce. "Anything I can do to shave below a millisecond is a wonderful thing," he said.

In May, the company announced it would work with optical network vendor Ciena (CIEN) to set up 100G bps (bit-per-second) connections on its optical fiber network. Ciena's technology allows the NYSE to carry 100G bps of traffic on a single fiber, and it now has 44 fibers carrying 100G bps each on its production network, Bach said Wednesday.

Those links don't use 100-Gigabit Ethernet, which hasn't yet been standardized, but that may be the next step for the NYSE. For the purpose of speed, the NYSE strategically locates its data centers to be as close as possible to those of its customers. It also hosts customers' systems in its own data centers so they can be even closer.

The need for speed is so great that the NYSE is nearly ready to work with a router and an optical vendor to deploy the technology in pre-standard form, he said.

"If I could have 100G Ethernet up and running today, I would take it, because I have customers that would be happy to connect to me with 100G Ethernet," Bach said.

Outside its data centers, the company operates an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network, primarily using its own fiber. That network has to both provide the platform for trades and send real-time data to news outlets and other consumers of market information. Almost all that traffic runs on multicast instead of TCP/IP. The original distribution of the data around the NYSE's network takes up about 7G bps to 8G bps, while its multicast transmissions out to the Internet add up to about 2T bps.

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