ACTIV enriches London's financial services community with new services

Ben Collins, Director of Global Sales, ACTIV Financial

In his book 'Flash Boys' released last year, Michael Lewis sheds light on the importance of low-latency connections for the rapid acquisition and distribution of market data. Working for ACTIV Financial, I can testify to the criticality of low latency in helping us to provide our global clients — including Tier 1 banks, hedge funds, high-frequency trading (HFT) firms and retail brokerages — with the most up-to-date market data in near-real time.

But as well as the pure speed of delivery, there are two other significant challenges related to acquiring and distributing the data our clients depend on — the volumes of data we're dealing with, and the infrastructure footprint needed to receive, analyse and package the data feeds our clients receive from us. For example, the Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) updates up to 6 million messages every second, and associates a huge range of fields and reference data points with each record. Even a slight increase in near-future message rates — which are projected to rise to over 4 million messages per 100 milliseconds by 2015 for options data — will quickly exceed CPU processing power.

Dealing efficiently with vast volumes of data

To help ensure the reliable delivery of high-capacity data feeds and solve the cost challenges associated with infrastructure footprint, ACTIV pioneered a new generation of hardware solutions, incorporating FPGA processors. The massively parallel processing they're capable of helps to accelerate handling of vast amounts of data from many different feeds, while lowering demand on CPUs — and therefore reducing the infrastructure footprint.

In a world where microseconds matter, our clients can take advantage of our FPGA-driven solutions to get the lowest latencies combined with reliability and global scalability.

The benefits of colocating at Interxion London

Thanks to our latest point of presence (PoP) at Interxion's London data centre, we can easily connect to a wide range of European exchange feeds inside or close to the data centre, giving us straightforward access to more data sources.

We can also provide clients at the data centre with tailored, direct data feeds or with our consolidated global data feed — or both. Firms colocated at the data centre can simply cross-connect to our PoP; others can choose from the wide range of connectivity providers at the data centre to connect to our services.