Last week I discussed general latency issues that affect all kinds of businesses, but the ultra-low latency space within financial services is its own animal. And it’s a real beast, too…mere microseconds can cost companies and their clients countless dollars. So you’ll have to excuse the architects tasked with squeezing them out of the system for being downright pathological about latency.
When people talk about ultra-low latency in financial services, they usually mean front office market data delivery — the elapsed time between a buy or sell occurring and a trading application becoming aware of it. Here the laundry list of issues boils down to extreme focus on just a few:
There are other issues, but those are the big ones for the front-office of a financial firm. True algorithmic trading latency has to include discussion of trading execution speeds, but I’ll save that for another day.