Data Providers Build Private Networks

Terry Flanagan

Market data providers are building their own private networks to speed information delivery in order to accommodate low-latency trading.

Activ Financial has launched ActivNet, a private network created to globally distribute Activ’s market data, giving users direct access to ActivFeed, its compressed, low-footprint data stream, as well as a variety of local and regional direct feeds depending on the user’s location.

The managed infrastructure allows users to access ActivFeed anywhere around the globe without suffering slow periods and bottlenecks that other multi-purpose networks often experience.

“Our decentralized design allows clients to get direct data as fast as possible, and away market data efficiently from other data centers,” Frank Piasecki, president of Activ Financial, told Markets Media.

Factors contributing to demand for Activ’s products, he said, include continued growth in the electronic and algo trading client base, a push towards international markets for U.S. customers, firms choosing to outsource to Activ parts of the market data function, and regulatory needs for fast, clean and derived data.

“Activ is seeing an increase in international data requests and intraday ‘snap’ requests for more timely P&L and risk calculations,” Piasecki said. “Both items are partially coming from the regulatory changes for our U.S. clients.”

ActivNet provides access to locally aggregated raw direct exchange feeds (via ActivFeed Direct) as well as globally aggregated exchange feeds (via ActivFeed and ActivNet).

Unlike competing global feed products, ActivFeed is powered from all of the ActivFeed Direct installations at the ActivNet data centers, Piasecki said.

A short time ago, Tokyo users of another vendor had problems with their data not showing up because it was routed through a Taiwan data center, he said.

“Other vendors often use a hub approach, which introduces more latency and can create fail points,” said Piasecki. “Activ does not do this, and instead has redundant ticker plants as close to the exchange and as direct to the client as possible.”

The network is supported by Activ’s 20 global data centers, including locations in Chicago, New York, Toronto, London, Frankfurt, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo. “Access to a reliable and fast stream of market data is the backbone of any trading operation,” said Piasecki.

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