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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-04-24 Print this article Print

For his part, Larry Tabb, CEO of the Tabb Group, a financial markets research and consulting firm, said the Wall Street trading environment currently faces a lot of challenges, especially the need to manage high-speed small transactions on a huge volume basis. There is also a great need for agility at speeds never seen before, with some 20 firms trying to put out customized trading models to meet the needs of their customers, he said.
"So, it becomes an arms race for the brokers to develop the most sophisticated systems and get those out to market really quickly. They cannot just go out and create this from scratch every time, and they need an open core set they can leverage," he said.
For every trade executed on Nasdaq in August 2005, there were 16 cancellations, a figure that is set to rise to 60 cancellations for every executed trade this year, Tabb said. The number of quotes per trade is also set to rise from 36 in 2005 to 63 in 2006. "This is an enormous amount of data," he said. Open-source trading standards are at the root of this, not on a code basis but around the underlying standard that allows users to communicate consistently. This is largely due to The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) Protocol, a messaging standard developed specifically for the real-time electronic exchange of securities transactions, and its penetration on both the sell and buy sides of the business. "Open source and FIX are also the salvation as they allow a standardized infrastructure so firms can focus on the value-added states; it jump-starts initiatives. FIX also does not stop vendors from competing in this space," he said. "Linux has also been a tremendous boost to the trading environment as it enables greater control of the server operating system, allows easier clustering and grid marshalling, and lets users leverage less expensive hardware with greater throughput," Tabb said. Linux and open-source technologies are here to stay, and customers need to leverage what is available today but also contribute to the existing pool. "Also, know where open source fits and where it doesnt, and focus on the value-add," Tabb said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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