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NYSE Euronext fluffs financial cloud

Amazon for hedge funds

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The other benefit of a financial cloud, says Yuster, is that companies that want to get into the hedge fund or analytics rackets can deploy on virtual infrastructure managed by NYSE Technologies and use a pay-per-use model, much like Amazon has instituted for its EC2 compute cloud and related services. These companies will no longer have to shell out data to buy servers, storage, switches, firewalls, and such to get going. "The barrier to entry is gone," says Yuster.

And, with the Volker Rule limiting the amount of speculative investments that the big banks and insurance companies can do, Yuster says there will be an exodus of algorithm gamblers leaving these institutions to set up their own hedge shops.

Debate for yourself if this is a good thing or not for the health of the world's economies. NYSE Euronext is going to be there to service them – and make money doing it – with its cloud.

Finally, the other benefit that NYSE Technologies has with its cloud over customers who use EC2 (and many do) or hosting their applications at one of the major telcos (who are ramping up their cloudy efforts with acquisitions and internal investments) is that the 600 sell-side and 650 buy-side market players who already do business with NYSE Technologies over the SFTI network already know the exchange operator. It is a bit of a gamble breaking in any new service provider with a service-level agreement, and financial services firms like to gamble with your money, not theirs.

The Capital Markets Community Platform is a distributed cloud, just like Amazon's EC2, and has portions of it residing in the New York and London metro data centers operated by NYSE Technologies. Young says that the plan is to eventually put cloud extensions into the exchanges in Tokyo, Toronto, and Sao Paolo, and in other "liquidity centers" where proximity makes sense for its customers trying to run their latest "algos", to use the Wall Street lingo.

NYSE Technologies has chosen VMware's ESXi hypervisor and its vCloud Director cloud fabric, announced last August, for the Capital Markets Community Platform. Ken Barnes, vice president in charge of the SFTI network in the America's region, tells El Reg that the exchange operator has no plans to adopt Xen, Hyper-V, or any other hypervisor or OpenStack or any other cloud fabric at this time.

NYSE Technologies has also chosen EMC's VNX unified CLARiiON/Celerra storage arrays to host ESXi virtual machines and applications. NYSE Technologies did not want to divulge what servers are used in the financial cloud, saying only that they were blade servers based on Intel's Xeon processors, but Barnes confirmed to El Reg after the announcement that it has chosen Hewlett-Packard's BladeSystem blade servers for its cloud. Juniper Networks supplies a lot of the switching for NYSE Euronext.

At the moment, NYSE Technologies is using homegrown server provisioning tools that it created for its bare-metal systems to provision virtual servers. The creation of VMs is front-ended by the self-service catalog in the vCloud Director software, which kicks off provisioning of ESXi and then server operating system and application images onto those VMs for the cloud.

Millennium Partners and Pico Trading are the two public beta customers using the Capital Markets Community Platform; there are a number of others, but the exchange operator would not say who they are. The financial cloud will go live July 1. Pricing has not yet been finalized, according to Barnes, but the idea is that over the long haul, NYSE Technologies will be able to demonstrate lower total cost of ownership on its cloud compared to having financial firms buy and run their own equipment – plus give them faster access to data close to the exchanges. ®

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