Financial Firms Embrace SDNs

Terry Flanagan

Software-defined networks present unique opportunities for financial services organizations from speed-to-market to instant connectivity to innovation, according to Jake Loveless, CEO of Lucera Financial Infrastructures, a financial IT company.

“The network can be the silver bullet for finance; a solution for safe, faster and more reliable electronic trading,” Loveless told Markets Media. “Some of our most innovative customers are looking at SDN-based kill switches, where in the event of an error you can react by stopping the applications from sending outbound trade requests yet still receive inbound market information.”

SDN-based analytics are redefining operations, allowing business units to react in real time based on network level information. “We at Lucera have always believed that the network is often the fastest source to tell you something is wrong — that in the event of a failure on a client or exchange system, the network health will tell you something is afoot long before you see an error on the market data stream, Loveless said.

From an operations and risk standpoint, the SDN can also be the last line of defense against a technological failure or glitch. “That is a powerful value: to be able to stop dead in its tracks a client, an application or an exchange flow,” Loveless said.

More than half of U.S. businesses surveyed by Juniper Networks plan to adopt SDN, of which 74% say they plan to do so in within the next year, and 30% indicate they plan to make the move within just one month.

SDNs decrease on-boarding time, increase customer reach, add reliability via application-aware ‘failover’, and in the extreme can decrease operational risk. “If you can spin up compute capacity in a few seconds, consume storage at petabyte scale on demand – but if you can’t connect your application to your customers, what’s the point?” said Loveless. “SDN solutions like Lucera Connect are putting that control directly with the line of business.”

One of the major challenges is actually a cultural challenge, namely the concept of inversion of control. SDN technologies elevate the network to the application level, and allow business heads to directly control, provision and scale their network requirements in real time.

“For many organizations this is jarring as it breaks the traditional silos of networking, application development and operations,” Loveless said. “But the benefits are staggering. At Lucera we are seeing our clients build tightly coupled, well defined and controlled systems — OS, application and network — as a cohesive unit. Performance analysis, redundancy and operational efficiency are more obtainable, easier to measure and faster to implement.”

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Qtguy00 under creative commons

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