ACTIV Financial offers fast access to market-leading financial
data with colocation and interconnections from Telx
As an emerging leader among mainstream market data vendors, ACTIV Financial needed strong differentiators to compete with players like Bloomberg and Reuters as well as sustain growth and business opportunities. ACTIV Financial relies heavily on its network speed and up-time to deliver its products and services, such as market data feeds, distributed data feed system software, trading workstation software, and related market content. Being able to ensure their customers fast data feeds, low- latency and maximum up-time would provide the needed advantage.
ACTIV Financial desired a colocation solution with a data center partner who not only is strategically located in the New York City financial district, but who can provide the network performance they required. By colocating its ticker plant and aggregated market feeds at the Telx 111 8th Avenue facility, ACTIV Financial is at the heart of the financial district, and has a direct network link to the Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI) Network and other major network carriers. The Telx facility also reduces network hops for ACTIV Financial thereby reducing latency by approximately 50%, enabling higher speeds for market data feeds as well as round the clock service reliability.
Maintain a competitive advantage by providing fast data feeds, maximum up-time and low latency performance for customers delivering market feed data to the financial industry.
By colocating their ticker plant and market data feeds to the Telx, 111 8th Avenue facility in New York City, ACTIV Financial reduces latency and speeds information by provisioning directly to customer locations, or to global customers colocated within ACTIV’s global facilities in Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Singapore, Toronto and Tokyo.
• Decreased network hops from five to two results in a decrease in round-trip delays from 512 microseconds to 2.6 microseconds.
• Overall roundtrip delays via ACTIV’s network can be up to 50 percent less than solutions that travel between New York and New Jersey facilities.
• Shorter, direct routes and fewer points of failure deliver increased service reliability
• Direct 50 micron multimode fiber connections to Secure Financial Transaction Infrastructure (SFTI) Network eliminate additional delays associated with media conversion
• Network neutral access to a variety of different carriers
• Accommodates current colocation needs as well as future growth; ACTIV is accessible by all Telx customers colocated in the company’s facility at 111 8th Avenue as well any other Telx locations in the New York and New Jersey metro areas.
ACTIV Financial Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of market data content and technologies to market makers, hedge funds, brokers and trading systems. The company provides managed low-latency and high-volume market data services to more than 300 customers worldwide with offices in New York; Chicago; Wheaton, Ill.; London; Cambridge, U.K.; Tokyo; and Singapore, with its New York presence being the first and most prominent. Smaller customers rely on ACTIV Financial for high-speed, competitive market information access without the investment of a dedicated direct feed infrastructure. Larger firms turn to ACTIV financial to reduce the cost of ownership associated with implementing a fully managed solution.
Since 2004, when ACTIV fielded its first commercial product, the company has enjoyed double-digit growth and gained recognition in the marketplace. ACTIV Financial realized early on that colocation and proximity to other networks with which ACTIV does business were increasingly important parts of their business model and unique value proposition. In fact, ACTIV was the first vendor in the market to offer customers colocation services at exchanges, with its first hosted colocation offering being made in Chicago at the CBOe.
The company colocates its ticker plant and market data feeds within Telx’s 111 8th Avenue, New York City facility in order to have close proximity to a wide variety of other financial service networks, a direct link to the secure financial transaction infrastructure (SFTI) network, and close proximity to the metro regions concentraton of costly market liquidity pools.
providing Low-Latency and Higher Data Speeds
As an aggressive player in the market data feed industry, ACTIV Financial competes against larger and more well-known businesses, such as Bloomberg and Reuters, whose “household name” brands engender trust and drive business. ACTIV Financial is younger in the market data provisioning space, needed unbeatable competitive differen-tiators in order to fuel continued growth, in order to compete in this marketplace. Since these larger competitors traditionally have their own data centers located miles from key customers and data feed locations, ACTIV Financial knew that colocation – which offered an immediate community of interest to which services could easily be sold – would provide their market advantage.
For companies delivering market feed data that drives critical trading decisions, speed and up-time are the most critical factors for customers. With much of market trading now being automated, traders want market data at their fingertips and as quickly to the moment the data is published as possible, without fear that data may be inaccessible due to a network outage. Any advantage that ACTIV Financial could gain by offering low latency, higher data speeds and increased service reliability would enable them to deliver key information quicker and continue to remain competitive.
To ensure fast data feeds to customers and maximum up-time, ACTIV Financial required a data center in which to house its ticker plant and aggregated market feeds. The partner needed to prove a history of guaranteed up-time, show a strong plan for business continuity and disaster recovery, and most importantly, provide low latency traffic patterns to other critical financial network nodes.
In addition to these basic business requirements, ACTIV Financial wanted to forge a relationship with a data center partner who could help corporate executives understand the details and nuances of how New York data centers were built, especially those that focused on financial service networking; as well as the underpinnings of the secure financial transaction infrastructure (SFTI) network, so that ACTIV could leverage this knowledge to its best advantage.
Avenue: The Key to the Kingdom
Most network fiber carriers don’t run direct fiber connections between Manhattan buildings due to the extreme complexity and resulting costs. As a result, only three buildings are fully wired to serve as fiber “hubs” for the rest of the borough. Telx, a world-class leader in providing interconnectivity solutions through their network- neutral colocation facilities, has presence in two of the three buildings, 60 Hudson Street and 111 8th Avenue, which is the largest and most strategically located to the
Based on this “hub-and-spoke” network configuration for the city, major exchanges such as NYSe move their market data from their own ticker plants to the three main hub locations. Data is then dispersed to data vendors like ACTIV Financial, whose data centers are scattered across the greater New York metropolitan region.
Shawn Kaplan, Business Development, ACTIV Financial, recognized that 111 8th Avenue is a key network hub for financial service companies and exchanges, with more than 80 percent of all financial service traffic flowing through 111 8th Avenue. Financial
companies that locate network nodes in that facility have the advantage of proximity to NYSe and other major networks, which in turn reduces latency and speeds information provisioning to customers.
111 8th Avenue is
a key network hub
for financial service
more than 80 % of
all financial service
through 111 8th
“By colocating our ticker plant and market data feeds with a partner at 111 8th Avenue, we knew that we would reduce the time it takes for customers to receive critical market information,” said Kaplan. “As a result, this is clearly the best location in all of New York for a financial services company to host networks and information. Since we already knew the location was key, the most important task was choosing a provider inside 111 8th Avenue that would offer the up-time, business continuity plan, and value-added benefits we needed and wanted to help grow our business.”
Benefits of a Telx colocation solution were clear: take a hypothetical example of market feeds from NYSe as an example. NYSe locates its data center in New York City. For a company with a data center outside of Manhattan – in New Jersey, for example – NYSe’s data travels from its NY location to 111 8th Avenue and the SFTI network node for processing. From there, the data is captured and sent 15 miles away to a Northern N.J. data center for processing. Data makes a second u-turn and travels 14 miles back to 111 8th Avenue, and then one last hop three miles back to the client’s data center located in Manhattan. In this scenario, the data must travel 32 miles.
By contrast, customers receiving NYSe market data from ACTIV Financial see benefits of lower latency: ACTIV Financial captures and processes the data from the colocated NYSe/SFTI, then sends it back to the customer who is also collocated at 111 8th Avenue. With the ACTIV Financial/Telx network configuration, the data never has to leave the facility, reducing the network hops from six and traveling 32 miles to two hops and zero miles, for an approximate reduction of 50% in latency. Customers receive market data faster and can make trading decisions more quickly and accurately as a result.
Not just another great location: Telx Value-Adds
In addition to offering prime financial data center real estate within 111 8th Avenue, Telx offered significant other benefits to ACTIV Financial. Most important was a critical, network link that offered major reductions in latency and increased security for traders: Telx provided ACTIV Financial with a direct network link to the SFTI network enabling them to be the fastest in the marketplace.
SFTI provides a single point of connectivity with lowest-latency access to trade across asset classes and geographies. Through SFTI, financial service companies can access global execution venues, liquidity pools, market data, clearing applications and other financial industry participants. As such, it is a critical network for many financial service companies to access in as quick and secure a manner as is possible. Telx recently constructed direct fiber links between the SFTI network and its Meet Me area in 111 8th Avenue, so that customers can access the most direct possible connection to the SFTI network.
“When Telx’s engineers told me that Telx can provide a connection with virtually no latency to the SFTI network, there was no question that Telx was the right choice of colocation partner for ACTIV,” said Kaplan. “They are providing the fastest, lowest latency and most direct connection to the SFTI network currently available at 111 8th Avenue.”
In addition to the direct SFTI network connection, ACTIV appreciated the “network- neutral” colocation environment that Telx offered. With more than 400 carrier and customer cross connection options available through Telx, ACTIV also had the oppor-tunity to quickly and easily connect to the right carrier to provide national and inter-national connectivity between its offices worldwide. This immediate “community of interest” to which now has near-immediate access to ACTIV’s products and services has proven beneficial to ACTIV’s business goals.
Telx also offered the space ACTIV Financial needed to colocate its server; space which is at a premium in 111 8th Avenue. And with new expansion space soon becoming available for Telx customers in 111 8th Avenue, ACTIV Financial could rest assured that should growth require additional expansion within 111 8th Avenue, Telx could provide the necessary space.
In addition to offering space for ACTIV, Telx provides the same high-quality colocation space, interconnection services, and expertise to ACTIV customers and prospects that want to colocate in the same Telx facility as ACTIV.
“Telx has been very responsive to our customers, and that’s been very important to our service culture here at ACTIV,” said Frank piasecki, president and co-founder. “When customers want to colocate in order to receive our products and services more quickly and easily, I can rely on Telx to provide the same high level of quality that I would myself. Our customers get the colocation and interconnection services they need directly from Telx, while we remain focused on our core business. Having that level of attention to ACTIV’s clients has made the relationship with Telx even better than we’d imagined.”
“For ACTIV, Telx had a full complement of benefits that we required to choose a colocation provider,” said Kaplan. “A direct connection to SFTI and close proximity to many business-critical financial networks ensures low latency and faster access to vital industry information, network neutral access to a variety of different carriers to best suit different business needs, and necessary space to accommodate current colocation needs as well as future growth.
Tangible Business Benefits:
ACTIV Financial has achieved real benefits by co-locating its servers in Telx’s 111 8th Avenue facility. With the reduction in latency, ACTIV Financial can now offer customers market data feeds that, on average, reach customers 50% faster than with its previous data center solution.
In addition, ACTIV saves in reduced carrier and cross connection fees, since they can now choose from a variety of carriers to best suit the current business need, and cross connections from Telx are more cost-effective than pricing received from carriers. They essentially get 10 times the performance for 1/10th of the cost.
ACTIV also garnered an unexpected benefit of reduced network maintenance costs, since Telx’s data center is managed 24 x 7 x 365 and ACTIV does not require additional staff for network node management or security.
So all told, ACTIV will reduce its circuit and cross-connect costs by using a Telx colocation solution, and more importantly, ACTIV is now strategically located and earns a key competitive differentiator of incredibly low latency, allowing it to serve its customers more efficiently.
About ACTIV Financial:
ACTIV Financial Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of managed low-latency and high-volume market data content to over 250 customers worldwide including market makers, hedge funds, brokers and trading systems. As vendor of record, ACTIV also delivers consolidated, hosted and on-site ticker plant services for exchanges around the globe.