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TTM Network Administration

Network Complexity and Optimization

Recommendations

Because of network complexity and the general problems associated with network interconnects, the flatter you keep your network, the lower the chance of experiencing trading outages.

For a successful TT network implementation, TT recommends the following principles:

  • Whenever possible, situate all TT Gateways and clients (X_TRADER, X_RISK, etc.) on a single network segment.
  • Do not situate your TT Gateway products in the network segment that hosts the electronic exchange's hardware. Instead, separate your “TT” segment from the electronic exchange’s network by a router, firewall, combination of the two (router and firewall) or dual-homed server. If you do not separate your network in such a fashion, you expose your enterprise-wide TT communications to the electronic exchange.
  • Keep the number of segments communicating by WAN Routing to a minimum.
  • Host daemons are more efficient at handling large numbers of remote clients, and the remote daemon is optimized to support a small number of WAN Routing peers, each of which services a large number of clients.
  • Keep the network configuration as simple as possible. Although for large institutional customers this can be difficult to implement, keep in mind that X_TRADER operating in remote mode can be an effective solution for widely separated client machines.

Optimizing your Network

When you optimize your trading network, you increase your network's flexibility and speed in responding to traffic. To optimize the network you use for TT trading systems, TT recommends that you observe the following guidelines:

  • Isolate (i.e., physically separate) your trading and office networks. Examples of office network functions include e-mail, billing systems, Human Resource systems, hosting file servers, etc.
  • Isolate (i.e., physically separate) your market data feeds from the trading network. Examples include third-party market data feeds, market analytics, streaming audio and visual media, etc.
  • Do not use hubs. When you use hubs, you slow down network traffic by introducing more latency. Such latency can cause traders to trade later than if hubs were not used.
    Note

    If you do use hubs, you must set your NICs to half-duplex and set the speed of the NIC to the speed of the hub.

  • Keep your network as flat as possible. Do not segment your trading network(s). Locate all TT clients and server on the same network segment.
  • Directly connect all TT clients and servers to the same switch.
  • Do not cascade your networks across multiple switches. If you must do so, use a gigabit backbone with fully duplex redundant connections.
  • Turn off link autonegotiation.
  • Manually set all NICs and end nodes to 100 Mbps (fixed speed).
  • Set all hardware to full duplex communications.
  • Disable flow negotiation.
  • Disable CGMP.
  • If you need a NAT barrier, use firewalls instead of routers.
  • Use as few firewalls as possible.
  • Always use high-end (i.e., premium or brand-name) LAN switches and intelligent routers.
  • Invest in:
    • Bigger pipes (data lines)
    • High-end workstations and video cards
    • High-end servers
    • High-end network hardware

    The total price tag of your hardware can depend on the degree of redundancy and high-speed networking that you need.

Monitoring Data Lines

As the volume of market data distributed by exchanges increases, TT recommends that you actively monitor your bandwidth usage. In general, TT recommends that you increase your bandwidth whenever line utilization reaches 70%. Proactively upgrading your network infrastructure helps minimize the risk of price latencies should network traffic exceed your available bandwidth.

When you monitor data lines, analyze line data using the lowest possible polling interval. Because averaging bandwidth usage over longer time periods can fail to identify issues, do not use large intervals (e.g., five minutes) when polling.

Because market data levels constantly change, TT recommends that you work closely with your TAM to identify and address current and future data line requirements. If traders subscribe to products containing large quantities of data, you must use high bandwidth lines (10Mbs or higher). Some exchanges have made public the details regarding their market data levels. Please contact the relevant exchange for specific data metrics and work with your TAM to determine whether your network is the proper size to support the flow of data that supports your traders.

However, data lines that work presently can rapidly become obsolete. Predicting bandwidth needs for the future is an imprecise science at best. Thus, to safeguard against spikes and potential increases in market data, TT recommends that you deploy data lines with double the capacity of your current line utilization.