NYSE Updates Server Farm to Keep Pace

Improvements allow NYSE customers to trade up to 1 million shares per order online, keeping pace with the demands of new investor strategies.

The New York Stock Exchange has switched the backbone of its NYSE Hybrid Market online stock trading system to Hewlett-Packard ProLiant servers, the company announced Dec. 11, and expects the step to increase the speed and accuracy of its online transactions.

NYSE upgraded to ProLiant from a bank of HP NonStop and HP-UX and Midrange servers to take advantage of the power in the new equipment, especially processor speeds, NYSE officials told eWEEK. The HP DL585 and DL685c have improved I/O, memory footprint, power and cooling, and management, as well as dual-core AMD Opteron chips, an HP representative said.

"The NYSE is really under pressure from its evolving client base and regulations, and also going through a huge change with mergers and acquisitions," said Simon Freeman, worldwide director of financial markets for HP Financial Services Industry. "It needs to understand how it is going to deliver on the promises."


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HP has added NYSE to a list of stock exchange customers that include the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and the Singapore Exchange.

Each day, the NYSE Hybrid Market system routinely handles more than 500 million messages, according to Paul Miller, vice president of Enterprise Servers and Storage for HP. In addition, trading volumes routinely peak or spike and must be managed without execution delays.

With the new improvements, NYSE Hybrid Market customers can automatically trade up to 1 million shares in a single order, rather than adhering to the previous limit of 1,099. "There has been a change in the nature of investing and the sophistication of the investor," Freeman said. "The direct market investors have increased the flow of buys so that online trading transactions occur at an ever increasing speeds."

In addition, the improved NYSE system adheres to the Securities and Exchange Commission-governed Regulation National Market System, an initiative that aims to modernize the national market system for equity securities.

"During the past several years, the requirements of investors and securities companies have significantly changed," said NYSE CIO Steve Rubinow. "Although order commitment reliability is certainly paramount, users want a trading platform with flawless execution and transaction speed."

The exchange used rack-based HP ProLiant DL585 servers, HP ProLiant BL685c server blades and HP Integrity NonStop servers in the upgrade. The system also utilizes HP StorageWorks XP12000 storage arrays, which connect to the servers to ensure availability of real-time data.


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