With increasing quote rates and compliance guidelines, stock exchanges and trading floors have more data than ever before to save, store and easily account for.
No exception to this growing trend, the PHLX (Philadelphia Stock Exchange) addressed its escalating storage costs by deploying more cost-effective storage disk options tied together by Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. technology.
Currently, the PHLX is running a Brocade SAN (storage area network) architecture primarily built on two Brocade Silkworm 3900 fiber-channel switches featuring up to 32 ports and capable of working at 1 or 2G bps device connectivity.
However, the company is planning on upgrading to Brocades director-class Silkworm 48000 in April to completely connect all of PHLXs enterprise systems under one fabric, said Rich Ward, director of technical services for the PHLX.
"We currently have two SANs, the goal is only to have one. The 48000 class switch will give us the capacity and growth to be able to accomplish this," said Ward of his 400-employee Exchange organization.
Ward is using the Brocade switches and software to bind together all of PHLXs storage components and for its system backup operations.
Through its Brocade SAN, the PHLX no longer must back up data over the production network as the organization had in the past. It also eliminates reliance upon conventional DAS (direct-attached storage) and data warehousing technology to capture and store data flowing from the trading floor and electronic systems to be backed up at night.
The bladed architecture 4G bit Silkworm 48000 director-class switch, released last August, can go up to 256 ports in a single system. Each of those ports can be 1, 2 or 4G bps, according to Spencer Sells, director of product marketing for San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade. Brocade is planning additional software and operating system upgrades to its newest director.
Backup was just one area plaguing Wards IT administration efforts as his group was under pressure to consolidate various tape and disk systems into an organized storage pool to centralize multidevice management.
In addition, increasing records of trades and related issues mandated to be saved and stored for a minimum of seven years by the Security Exchanges Commission only compounded the problem.
"We were concerned with the escalating storage costs with the current storage solution we were using. We needed to find a way to find the functionality of the centralized storage model we enjoyed, but with a reduced cost," said Ward.
"[Compliance] is an issue that is seeing increases in rates at a linear scale. In the short-term, we see no relief in sight. This forces us to find creative ways to deal with this issue without having it result in serious increases in our cost to manage it."
According to Ward, PHLX was able to slash its data storage expense by 75 percent through Brocades products and recouped its technology investment in only three months.
Going a step further, he noted that Brocades technology has allowed the PHLX to present data more efficiently and use any array on its system, which reduces potentially hazardous downtime to install disks in various systems.
With its implementation, the Exchange installs the disk online, presents it to the desired host and begins using it.
For the PHLX, expansion of its enterprise storage capabilities is not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when." For example, whereas the Exchange featured 10TB of stored data only two years ago, its mushrooming volume of business will translate into a projected 46TB by the end of 2006.
"Data availability and data reliability are the lifeblood of our business. Having these two factors addressed by our technology allows us to focus time on other aspects of our business … we could not function if these areas were lacking," said Ward.