Timekeeping a Chore in Cloud

Terry Flanagan

As financial trading firms consider cloud technology, legacy time synchronization systems are failing to meet performance requirements, as computing resources in the cloud often deviate from reference time by minutes per day.

“Legacy synchronization technology degrades radically in cloud environments, which makes managing the operating cost of certain computing applications difficult, if not impossible,” said Victor Yodaiken, president of FSMLabs. “In the cloud, whole operating systems are turning on and off and moving between hosts, and only highly sophisticated timing synchronization algorithms and compensate for these wild swings of frequency.”

FSMLabs has launched TimeKeeper Cloud in order to solve complex time synchronization challenges and empowering cloud infrastructure to handle big data analytics more accurately.

“Our customers are looking at cloud services both internally and externally, and TimeKeeper can keep solving their time synchronization problems as they extend their computing platforms into the cloud,” said Yodaiken. “Many firms have a private cloud now, but some applications spill over to a public cloud, such as Amazon. Clock errors within the cloud can reach as much as 10 minutes over the course of a day using legacy timing synchronization technology.”

TimeKeeper Cloud synchronizes a collection of cloud computing resources to one another and to an external time source. Users can set and cross-check time and scale usage rapidly based on current computing requirements – when demand increases or decreases – to better manage capital exposure, the company said.

TimeKeeper Cloud offers the same web-based configuration and management tools as TimeKeeper offers for dedicated hosts. Users can monitor performance, connect to time sources, validate configuration, select notification methods and trigger conditions, and produce reports.

“Timekeeper is pushing timing down below a millisecond in a deployed environment and well under a microsecond in a non-cloud environment allowing applications to reference auditable, reliable, high-precision time,” Yodaiken said. “As more financial services embrace the public cloud, we expect Amazon’s footprint to increase in this space and to see increased demand for TimeKeeper Cloud.”

Recently, Perseus Telecom received Markets Media’s Markets Choice Award for Most Innovative New Product for High Precision Time. “We are thrilled about this win for the Perseus High Precision Time™ Most Innovative Product,” says Dr. Jock Percy, chief executive of Perseus. “High Precision Time™ is gaining momentum as investment banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading firms seek to implement the strongest preventative risk controls.”

Perseus recently announced the High Precision Time product had been chosen by a leading tier one investment bank for a global deployment and CME Group.

High Precision Time includes access to a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-certified GPS antenna as well as Network Time Protocol (NTP) and Precision Time Protocol (PTP) connectivity with nanosecond accuracy to the Coordinated Universal Time UTC (NIST) timescale. The product complements the Perseus global network of ultra-low latency connectivity and the routes from London to Brazil (LiquidPath) across the Atlantic (QuanTA) and microwave access in London and Chicago.

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