ACTIV Financial Gets Closer to its Community and Enhances European Reslience

Case study

Financial institutions around the world including Tier 1 banks, hedge funds, high-frequency trading firms and retail brokerages rely on managed market data feeds from ACTIV Financial. By installing a data collection and distribution point at Interxion’s London data centre, ACTIV has expanded the range of services available to London-based clients, enhanced near-real-time data acquisition, and increased the resilience of its European operations.

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The Challenge

ACTIV Financial works with financial market data from over 200 equity and derivatives exchanges worldwide. For a client looking for the very highest performance and lowest latency data feeds, ACTIV will manage a selected range of feeds specific to the client’s markets. It delivers the service by installing an API directly into the client’s racks to process the data and distribute it within the client’s organisation. It’s a service used by many organisations from the financial services community who colocate at Interxion London.

ACTIV can additionally provide consolidated market data feeds from any of the data centres where it colocates a collection, processing and distribution point — or PoP — for its proprietary platform. Spread across three continents, these data centres are connected by a managed low-latency backbone enabling high-speed data acquisition and delivery. ACTIV recently added a 17th data centre to its network by colocating a PoP at Interxion’s London facility.

“This PoP lets us meet the demand from financial institutions in that data centre for our consolidated global feed service,” says Ben Collins, Global Head of Sales at ACTIV Financial. ACTIV can now address a wider range of client requirements — for example, by providing a client with both direct and consolidated feeds to meet their primary and secondary market needs respectively.

Interxion was really the only option for our infrastructure, given its proximity to the City, its thriving financial community, and its good understanding of what that community needs.

Solution

When ACTIV was deciding where to install its new European PoP, Interxion London was the company’s first choice. “Interxion was really the only option for our infrastructure, given its proximity to the City, its thriving financial community, and its in-depth understanding of what that community needs,” confirms Collins.

“Because it’s a neutral space, it brings together all the players in that community — including exchanges and other data sources, platforms, distributors, vendors and data consumers — enabling companies to create complete solutions, wherever they sit in the value chain.”

A financial institution that colocates at the Interxion data centre and wants to receive ACTIV’s consolidated global feed can link its own infrastructure directly to the ACTIV PoP using a cross connect. “These high-capacity connections are simple and convenient to implement, so our clients can quickly start using our market data,” says Collins. “Equally, ACTIV can easily connect to a wide range of European exchange feeds, such as Euronext, the London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq OMX, that have PoPs at the data centre or are so close by that we can set up high-speed fibre links.” Companies outside the data centre can also connect to the ACTIV PoP to receive the consolidated global feed. Thanks to Interxion’s carrier-neutrality, there are plenty of providers to choose from to provide the high-speed leased lines an investment bank might require; or the Internet-based connectivity that will suit a small hedge fund with a limited number of instruments.

Installing a PoP at Interxion additionally enabled ACTIV to bolster the resilience of its European operations. ACTIV already had dual lines at its existing data centre but the data centre itself was still potentially a single point of failure. “Having two points of presence in Europe gives us a fully redundant setup that’s aligned with the US, Canada and Asia, and ensures consistent levels of resilience throughout our global operations,” confirms Collins.

Collins observes that the nature of the data feed business is evolving, and that technology — including cloud and virtualised environments — will have a big part to play in that evolution.

“Interxion are always open to discussions about new developments and they understand the implications of the changes that are happening in our industry,” says Collins. “This, combined with their ability to attract leading cloud and connectivity providers as well as key financial exchanges, makes us confident that Interxion will continue to meet our evolving needs and those of the wider financial community.”

About ACTIV

ACTIV is a global provider of real-time, multi-asset financial market data and solutions. ACTIV offers neutral, managed services for buy and sell-side firms and technology providers seeking a complete market data solution that encompasses both global content management and data delivery across the enterprise. With coverage spanning more than 200 equity and derivatives exchanges around the world, ACTIV is the only truly end-to-end, independent market data utility in the industry. Founded in 2002 by market data specialists, the firm is privately owned and has offices in Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London. www.activfinancial.com