All posts by Mike Mayhew, CIO

CIO

When we started down the road of building a next-generation platform at TT just six years ago, we had a vision to bring forward new-to-industry technologies that would provide better tools, new offerings and efficiencies to our clients. We had high expectations to deliver on those goals. Many of us on the leadership team here have prior experience working at trading firms, as well as other vendors, and we know the demands of our sophisticated clients and the expectations of traders.

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We recently announced an agreement with Graystone Asset Management Partners to provide colocation infrastructure hosting utilizing our Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas) solution. In this instance, Graystone will be leveraging functionality of the TT platform in addition to TT infrastructure services, which makes the integration between the dedicated infrastructure and TT platform services seamless, provides an opportunity for service bundling, and gives Graystone one-throat-to-choke if there are issues. That’s fine with TT, because we know from experience that we can resolve problems much quicker when fewer third parties are involved. But there are lots of other benefits to getting your trading infrastructure services from TT.

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At TT, we take outages personally, and any time there is a major issue on any of our platforms, it’s “all hands on deck.” Still, we would much rather avoid outages and unplanned downtime altogether. So, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what we’ve done over the last few years to avoid system outages and how the TT platform ups the ante with respect to delivering superior system availability. And while much of this blog post relates to the newer TT platform, rest assured, we are committed to delivering the highest possible availability on all platforms: TT, X_TRADER® ASP and TTNET™.

Operating and maintaining a global trading platform is not a trivial endeavor and certainly not your typical IT operation. These systems are by their very nature complex—normalizing and bridging a multitude of different market and customer systems, each speaking a different language and each with different needs—and high availability is a must. Throw multi-region regulatory compliance, security requirements, performance and counter-party upgrades in the mix and it’s not hard to see how the systems get exponentially more difficult to maintain and operate.

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This is the second half of a two-part blog post based on my interview with FOW magazine regarding the growing adoption of cloud computing within finance and trading. If you read part one already, thanks for coming back. If you missed it, you can read it here.

FOW: What prompted the decision to move the platform on to a cloud-provision basis?

MM: We made the decision to leverage the cloud because of the many benefits it will provide to our users. One of the biggest benefits of cloud services is accessibility. Users can access the TT platform over the Internet through a browser, desktop or mobile device.

Distributing software via a cloud-provisioned platform also provides users with significant secondary benefits. In a SaaS model, the provider has direct control over the user experience. In our next-generation platform, for example, we are able to tune our application and infrastructure for the highest performance because we operate the solution end-to-end and across technology stacks.

Additionally, SaaS is more operationally efficient from the perspective of the service provider. SaaS allows for uniform service deployment and operation and direct visibility into the state of services. We directly monitor the application and infrastructure 24×7, which gives us deep visibility into system performance and helps us anticipate and prevent impending problems. When there are issues, we can roll out fixes to our global user base in a matter of minutes. This level of manageability and support is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve for an ISV supporting many bespoke on-premise deployments.
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Recently I was interviewed by FOW magazine about the growing adoption of cloud computing in finance and trading. As we are both a provider and consumer of cloud services, we have an interesting, credible perspective. 

Our next-generation trading platform, which we are simply calling TT, is delivered via software-as-a-service (SaaS) and underpinned in part by third-party cloud services. FOW’s questions were provocative and on point given the many conversations I and others at TT have held with our customers in preparation for launching our next-gen platform. I thought it was worth recapping the interview in a two-part post for our blog readers.

Part one is below. Look for part two here next week.

FOW: What demands are you seeing from clients that reflect the current trends/state of play in the market?

MM: Our customers continue to put downward pressure on trading technology costs while demanding expansion into new markets; these seem to be perpetual trends. Outsourcing of the trading infrastructure is now a more attractive option due to the lower cost of a shared solution and the reach of networks into global markets. Moreover, a larger pool of firms now sees outsourcing as an attractive option due to the ubiquity of low-latency performance, improved understanding of security in the cloud and increased reliability of cloud solutions.

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