All posts by Mike Mayhew

CIO

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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Informatica recognized TT as an
Innovation Award Finalist in the
Embedded Applications category.

Last week Informatica hosted its annual customer conference, aptly named Informatica World 2014, where TT was recognized as an Innovation Award Finalist. I was lucky enough to attend the conference and accept the award on behalf of TT.

Although these types of vendor-sponsored awards are typically just marketing exercises for all involved, this was a different experience in my opinion. After speaking with various groups within Informatica, including their marketing team, as well as other conference attendees, it was obvious there was a genuine interest in and recognition of the innovation going into the development of TT’s recently unveiled next-generation trading platform.

I didn’t expect people to be very interested in us because we’re not a giant global enterprise like the typical Informatica customer. Informatica provides data integration software and services to a client roster that includes some of the most widely recognized companies in the world. Their products include the Ultra Messaging (UM) product suite, which we’re using in the new TT platform. In retrospect though, I guess the response shouldn’t have been so surprising since the conference was heavily focused on cloud and big data. In particular, many discussions focused on the challenges of getting real-time data into cloud-based data warehouses; we faced similar challenges when designing the new platform.

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