05.08.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Nasdaq Boosts Latency Monitoring Service

Nasdaq OMX has enhanced QView Latency Optics, a web-based tool designed to give customers a view of their firm’s trading activity, which will now provide performance measurement details and diagnostic tools in the form of on-demand historical packet capture files, or PCAPs, where they can be used to provide performance measurement details and diagnostic tools.

“The overall goal in Access Services is to be the first, as well as best in class in providing technology and tools that will continue to assist market participants and make our data center and our markets the preferred liquidity hub,” said Stacie Swanstrom, head of access services at Nasdaq OMX.

QView, which was launched last year, is a web-based tool designed to give a subscribing member the ability to track its order flow on Nasdaq, and create both real-time and historical reports of such order flow.

Using QView, subscribers can track all of their trading activity on NASDAQ’s markets through detailed order and execution summaries available real-time or as historical reports, Swanstrom said.

QView also includes ranking and market share statistics, routing and order summaries, port attributes and analytics such as time at the inside, fill rates and price improvement statistics.

QView subscriber may subscribe to the Latency Optics add-on service, which is a web-based tool accessed through QView that provides the ability to monitor the latency of order messages through a firm’s ports on the Nasdaq system in real-time, analyze the latency of messages sent to the Nasdaq system, and compare its latency to the average latency on the Nasdaq system at any given time.

The diagnostic data is powered by Corvil, a provider of high-velocity data acquisition and analysis platforms that capture and transform data in-motion into real-time operational intelligence.

Most network monitoring systems don’t analyze the behavior of traffic or the network at the timescales relevant for low latency.

“In all parts of the network, transient congestion is the largest potential contributor to latency,” said Donal O’Sullivan, CEO of Corvil. Low-latency performance requires that dynamic congestion conditions can be detected and eliminated.”

Corvil addresses this by using an event-triggered packet capture facility which automatically records details about just those packets involved in unusual latency, loss, or network load events.

“This approach enables detailed analysis of anomalous conditions, without inundating users with irrelevant data,” O’Sullivan said.

Event-triggered capture retains a configurable amount of data from each packet during an event, as well as a nanosecond precision timestamp and per-packet measurements including loss, latency, and bit-rate.

Corvil packet captures are exported in the form of on-demand historical packet capture files, (PCAPs), to Nasdaq’s QView Latency Optics.

“When market participants are experiencing latency issues, one of the biggest questions is whether there’s a temporary congestion occurring during the transfer of information through different parts of the infrastructure, most importantly the gateway,” O’Sullivan said. “The gateway supports many simultaneous sessions, and one of the key indicators is the speed and performance of the sessions on the gateway.”

Using QView Latency Optics, customers receive an overview of measurements in microseconds for the entire roundtrip of an order as it travels through the NASDAQ network. Firms may view overall session latency for the current trading day, detailed timetables with interactive graphs for a more granular examination of session flow, and percentile charts for each measurement category for a holistic view of the day’s trading.

The tool may be used for diagnostics data as firms have the ability to compare their latency to that of their peers for a given connectivity method. In addition, firms may analyze trends utilizing latency categories by percentile and further specify by time interval.

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