NYSE taps Juniper for 10G Ethernet network

Minimizing latency cited as key differentiator in buying decision by stock exchange

Juniper Networks has landed perhaps its most significant enterprise customer to date, as the New York Stock Exchange plans to deploy hundreds of the company's switches for a time-sensitive, low-latency 10Gbps Ethernet network.

The network will connect two NYSE data centers -- one in New Jersey and the other in London. NYSE officials say it will be among the fastest trading networks in the world, with latency in the 50 microsec to 150 microsec range.

NYSE will deploy 20 to 40 Juniper EX 8216 switches in its core and "a couple hundred" EX 2500s in the access layer of the network, NYSE officials said. The EX 2500 is a 10Gbps Ethernet top-of-rack data center switch that Juniper OEMs from a third party, possibly BLADE Network Technologies -- it does not run the company's JUNOS operating system.

Juniper has plans to eventually outfit NYSE with a fully JUNOS-based network, says David Yen, executive vice president and general management of Juniper's Data Center Business Group.

In addition to the switches themselves, latency gains will be derived by eliminating a layer of switching and routing in the NYSE network, officials say. The exchange flattening its network into a two-tier architecture from a three-tier construct, officials say.

"You can't get to the latency and jitter numbers [we want] with a three-tier architecture," says Andy Bach, NYSE senior vice president for network communications. "We've had lengthy discussion in-house on the pros and cons" of each.

NYSE is implementing the new network next year, at which time it will be "the premiere place for conducting trading on the planet," says Steve Rubinow, CIO of NYSE Euronext. "We're as fast as the fastest" trading network in the world, he adds. "No one else that we know of is doing anything like this."

NYSE has no definitive timeline for upgrading the network to 40/100G Ethernet but will move quickly when standards and products are firm, Bach says. He also says the network will achieve latency levels in the low 10s of microseconds over the next several years.

The exchange evaluated "all major and some minor" vendors for its 10G/low latency project, officials say. They found Juniper to have the more favorable products and road map.

NYSE will be an early adopter of Juniper's next-generation data center fabric, currently being developed under the Project Stratus code name, Juniper officials say. That effort is expected to include a significant 40/100G Ethernet component.Also this week, NYSE says it implemented middleware from Infiniband switch vendor Voltaire that accelerates the performance of automated trading and market data applications on 10G Ethernet. NYSE and Voltaire say the middleware helps the exchange achieve average latencies of 25 microsec at rates of 1 million 200 byte messages per second per core.

NYSE also deploys a 100Gbps optical network using equipment from Ciena.

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