Europe’s largest exchange uses 60 of Metamako’s K-Series devices in its datacentre in Frankfurt for improved data capture, superior network monitoring and high-precision timestamping.

The need

With the upgrade and redesign of their co-location network in 2017, Deutsche Börse needed to significantly enhance and strengthen its network monitoring capabilities to obtain full visibility by capturing every packet entering and exiting their network.

The challenges

Trading environments are becoming more challenging to monitor, thanks to ever increasing data volumes, improved determinism and latencies at nanosecond levels. Participants increasingly demand performance and transparency from the exchange. Additionally, network traffic can be extremely volatile with traffic levels dramatically rising during market moving events. The main solution criteria included:

  • Nanosecond-accurate timestamping of all customer traffic in and out of the exchange to determine the precise order of trading events, in particular for clients co-located in the Equinix FR2 datacentre
  • Ensuring fair market data distribution across all market switches by measuring the length of cables from customer’s racks to the access points in the network
  • Capturing the production data flow; reliably and in real-time; to assess the health of the network, ensure reliability and troubleshoot problems
  • Guaranteeing lossless capture during traffic bursts
  • Monitoring and measuring of latency data

The solution

Deutsche Börse rolled out 60 of Metamako’s K-Series devices in its datacentre in Frankfurt over a period of 6 months. The K-Series devices contain 32GB deep buffers, an embedded Xilinx Virtex® 7 FPGA and are running the MetaWatch application. All devices were upgraded with high-precision OCXO clock modules, which are synchronized by an external, high-resolution PPS signal for highly accurate and reliable synchronisation between devices.  

Why Metamako

Deutsche Börse decided to use Metamako for a number of critical reasons:

  • Lossless packet capture of a large number of 10 Gbit/s Ethernet lines
  • Nanosecond timestamp precision with resolution of only +/- 1 ns
    • Also read: STAC-TS Benchmarks: Measuring Timestamp Accuracy
  • Competitive cost
  • In-depth understanding of the industry and challenges faced by exchanges
  • Fast & efficient communication between Metamako and Deutsche Börse (compared to the competition)
  • Extremely responsive Tech Support

The benefits

Deutsche Börse has seen numerous tangible improvements to its monitoring and capture network and the quality of service it can provide to its clients on the co-location network. Notably, Deutsche Börse can now…

  • Offer its clients the most reliable, high-quality network to trade on by:

o   Obtaining full insight into the customer facing part of the co-location network

o   Reporting accurately on microbursts and traffic patterns

o   Conducting more precise future planning e.g. capacity planning 

  • Ensure fair and equal market access for all co-location trading participants by:

o   Precisely timestamp all network traffic (to nanosecond level)

o   Accurately determine the order of incoming orders/quotes

o   Ensure all market switches process messages in strict “first-in, first-out” order

  • See and analyse every, single packet crossing the network through lossless capture to diagnose or recreate any trading event


Want to test the Metamako K-Series devices running MetaWatch for 30 days for free?

Free evalution network devices


Further reading:

ASX uses Metamako for monitoring, timestamping & time synchronisation >> 

LMAX Exchange chooses Metamako for matching engine monitoring  >>