Metamako enables cost-effective access to exchanges at nanosecond levels – saving the algorithmic asset manager close to 300 ns when sending trading messages from trading server to an exchange and allowing it to gain a competitive edge in providing clients with superior investment decisions and excellent ROI.

The need

Mana Partners was looking to replace its standard Layer 3 OEM switches, which were too slow for making and transmitting nanosecond investment decisions, with specialist ultra-low latency network equipment. They were looking for a cost-effective solution, using a commercial, tried and trusted configuration – a ‘plug and play’ approach.

The challenges

In electronic trading, responding quickly to market events is critically important. Reducing the latency in the network links which connect firms to exchanges is key. A dedicated exchange connection for each server, however, is prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, using traditional switches to share a connection introduces significant latency.

Selection criteria

  • Faster, more cost effective exchange connectivity
a. Ultra-low latency market data fan-out
b. Ultra-low latency order aggregation / cross-connect sharing
  • Easy integration with existing infrastructure and technologies such as Enyx
  • Out-of-the-box approach with little to no need for customisation or application-level changes
  • Easy set-up, usability and ease of management
  • Innovative industry partner with a strong reputation

The solution

The infrastructure team at Mana Partners performed detailed market research and talked to various Layer 1 technology providers. Metamako came highly-recommended and after shortlisting and testing a Metamako device as well as another competitive offering, Mana Partners decided to roll out Metamako’s Layer 1+ network devices across its co-located trading sites.

Mana Partners introduced several Metamako low-latency, FPGA-enabled devices running the Metamako MetaMux application. The 48-port switches are designed for the most latency-critical networks, such as trading environments, and allow for data fan-out in 5 ns as well as data aggregation/multiplexing at double-digit nanosecond level (aggregation latencies depend on the device series in use*). 

The Metamako switches are deterministic, with virtually undetectable jitter for Layer 1 links, and can utilise 100% of the available bandwidth. Moreover, they include a host of usability/management features such as:

  • Dynamic patching 
  • Media conversion 
  • Ad-hoc tapping without rewiring 
  • Complete packet statistic for all ports
  • Flexible SFP/SFP+ support
  • BGP/PIM support
  • Precision timestamping for compliance/network monitoring
  • Telemetry

Why Metamako

Mana Partners decided to use Metamako for a number of critical reasons:

  • Lowest latencies on the market: data fan-out at single-digit and data aggregation at double-digit nanosecond level (exact figures here*>> How to measure the latency of a 4ns switch
  • Extremely feature-rich devices

  • Strong industry reputation

  • Highly-responsive technical support

  •  Solid product roadmap and commitment to continuous innovation

  • Ability to evaluate Metamako in a real environment before making the purchase decision >> 30 day free Trial

The benefits

Mana Partners has seen vastly reduced latencies, improving their speed from trading server to exchange by approximately 300 nanoseconds. This resulted in faster order execution and improved investment decisions.

Mana also leverages several additional device features such as the ability for ‘electronic patching’ as well as packet capture to feed Mana’s capture solution and enhance its network monitoring capabilities.

  • Make better investment decisions and offer its clients higher returns on investment by:

     > Receiving market data in as little as 5 ns
     > Executing trades/placing orders in a fraction of the time of traditional switches*
     > Save up to 300 ns on the fast path from trading server to exchange
  • Reduce exchange connectivity costs, with the ability to share one cross-connect between 46 servers
  • Continuously improve its network through connection monitoring and full packet statistics

  • Reduce time and cost of data centre visits through Metamako’s wire once approach, and the ability of remote patching devices

  • Future-proof its network through Metamako’s easy integration with third-party technologies and growing partner/solutions network

What's Next?

Improvements in FPGA technology are adding significant opportunities for low latency trading and offer creative solutions for pushing trading off the servers and onto the network.

The FPGA team at Mana Partners is now evaluating the FPGA features of other Metamako devices, which will allow Mana Partners to run its own FPGA logic directly on the Metamako platform.

Want to find out more?


5 Ways to optimise latency of an exchange connection in electronic trading


Further reading:

>>  FPGA Platforms: Why Metamako is best of breed
>>  Metamako provides technology to monitor every trade at Deutsche Börse