Common Sense Advice for High Availability IP Trading Communications

Time for a brief review for those trading floor technologists who may be preparing for a migration from TDM to IP trading communications platforms.

As more and more trading floors begin to deploy Internet Protocol (IP) based trading communications infrastructure and reap the rewards that these  systems and networks offer, it is an opportune time to talk about the major differences between TDM and IP platforms and how to ensure that your traders enjoy the same reliability and performance they have been accustomed to.

Out of the Voice Silo | TDM-based turret systems exist in their own world. This “quarantine” of static trader voice systems is inefficient, inconvenient and expensive but has an upside. It can contribute to maintaining a high level of reliability, quality and consistency of the user experience because voice services cannot be compromised “competing” with other applications on a converged network. In the brave, new world of IP, trader voice systems are almost inevitably going to be deployed on a converged network.

Key | Creating a redundant, resilient LAN infrastructure with logical separation using a virtual local area network vLAN and Quality of Service (QoS) is standard procedure and helps to assure that the latency-sensitive voice application maintains priority on the network and that network availability meets trading floor standards.

Resilient System Control | In TDM world only the largest financial trading enterprises have the money, staff and infrastructure to deploy resilient trading communications systems. It is safe to say that beyond say, a UPS, a majority of firms deployed the “strategy of hope” when it came to business continuity for trading turret systems. IP technology has reduced the “big iron” to standard servers and inherent networking capability enables these servers to be not only installed in a data center but networked. This has eliminated the three major hurdles to a truly resilient trading communications infrastructure.

IP networks (shared) and technologies offer tremendous benefits but do not have the same characteristics of TDM-based (dedicated) environments. Availability, resilience and flexibility all have the potential to actually increase in an IP world, but the design of the network and platforms is critical to making this happen.

Key | Create resilient, high-availability trading communications environments by taking advantage of the native networking and failover capabilities of IP platforms and their ability to be deployed in a distributed topology.

Alternative/Resilient Network Connectivity| Now that you have a bullet-proof LAN and resilient trading communications platform don’t get tripped up on the third pillar of a bullet-proof infrastructure. The same lessons apply to PSTN and ring down connectivity. Most carriers offer  dynamic rerouting services for T1 PRI as well as fault-tolerant SIP Trunking and ringdown services. These services enable vital trading connections to be rerouted to a back-up platform or at the very least forwarded to mobile devices in the event of an outage or dreaded cable cut. Another basic approach is to have some POTS lines and single-line phones to receive incoming calls to the main number and make critical outgoing calls in the event of  PRI or SIP trunks become unavailable.

Key | Work with carriers that have a demonstrated track record and domain expertise in providing highly available network services backed-up with premium service level agreements for real-time trading environments.

Summary | IP-based technologies are now the standard offering for voice trading communications suppliers. All research & development resources are being spent in this area and with each passing day, customers can expect TDM-based platform support will be phased out. By following some simple guidelines, IP trading communications platforms should match or exceed the high availability and performance standards of TDM-based solutions and at much lower life-cycle costs.

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Date: Thursday, 9. June 2011 13:36
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Buying A New System, Disaster Recovery, The Turret Market

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