Chicago-New York Link Edges Closer to Speed of Light

Terry Flanagan

A direct high speed trading link between Chicago and New York will cut the round trip time by more than half a millisecond, to just under 15 milliseconds.

That’s a significant boost, given that it takes light 13.3 milliseconds to travel from Chicago to New York and back again.

The link, constructed by Verizon, will connect CME Group’s data center in in Aurora, Ill. to New York metro financial markets, offering an ultra-low latency round-trip route that bypasses traditional area “data hotels.”

The CME Group Aurora data center is home to the CME Co-Location Services offering, which caters to more than 100 direct customers, including global banks, hedge funds, futures commission merchants, proprietary trading firms, service providers and asset managers, who now have additional capabilities available for trading on CME Group’s platforms and exchange market data in a low-latency environment.

Craig Mohan, managing director of co-location, data center services, CME Group

Craig Mohan, managing director of co-location, data center services, CME Group

“Since we launched CME Co-Location Services last year, customers from around the world have been moving their trading infrastructure to our state-of-the-art data center in Aurora, attracted by the reliable and high speed connections,” said Craig Mohan, managing director of Co-Location and Data Center Services at CME Group, in a statement. “We’re furthering our commitment to give customers what they need by working with Verizon to invest in our infrastructure.”

The new service is part of the Verizon Financial Network which is used financial services companies to collaborate with customers and partners, consolidate market access, distribute services and information, and execute pre-trade, trade and post-trade transactions.

“We have made significant investments to improve latency between the CME Aurora data center and key New York data centers like Carteret and Secaucus,” said Chandan Sharma, global managing director, financial services marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “As part of this, we are creating a direct path between Aurora and New York that is bypassing traditional hotels in Chicago such as 350 E. Cermak.”

Originally designed to meet the data processing needs of the stock market, the VFN has evolved to become a vital communication network that can provide financial firms with low-latency access to market data and trading connectivity that they need in order to conduct business securely and reliably.

“We are offering a very high-touch support model, measured and monitored latency, and a dedicated operations, sales and support team,” Sharma said. “Beyond this low latency service, we have a cloud-based service, which our customers use for deterministic latency, market data delivery, order flow and trade types.”

The new VFN low-latency configuration will connect data centers in Chicago (DC3 and Cermak) to data centers in New York/New Jersey (Carteret, Halsey, Hudson, and Secaucus).

“This will provide financial customers with roundtrip latencies as low as 14.5 ms with the use of 10G low-latency connections,” said Sharma.

Verizon financial customers who have networking equipment located in either one of four NY/NJ financial data centers or on their own premises can connect to one of the two Chicago-based financial data centers, and financial customers located in either one of the two Chicago-based CME data centers or on their own premises can connect to one of the four NY/NJ area financial data centers.

The Carteret, N.J. data center, which runs the Nasdaq OMX matching engine, is operated by Verizon. “This particular solution [the Aurora to New York link] is agnostic in that it connects to our customers who are resident in Carteret, as well as to Aurora, which is managed by CME,” said Sharma. “So we are providing ubiquity in accessing different data centers across the continent.”

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