Wall Street firms have collectively invested billions in their trading systems infrastructure, hoping to reduce latency and get the best execution for their orders. However despite cutting edge servers, optimized code and the fastest connections, bottlenecks can, and do, occur.
When a suspected problem occurs, it's necessary to track it down to see if it is something that needs attention, or it is just the way the market are behaving at that point in time.
With this in mind, Nasdaq OMX Group's QView Latency Optics tool now provides performance measurement details and diagnostic tools in the form of on-demand historical packet capture files (PCAPs). QView Latency Optics is a web-based tool designed to give users a view of their firm’s trading activity. According to Nasdaq OMX, QView Latency Optics users receive an overview of measurements in microseconds for the entire roundtrip of an order as it travels through the Nasdaq network. Measurements are broken down into categories including Order to Ack (acknowledgement), which is the time it takes for the acknowledgement to be received back from the matching engine; Order to Book, which is the time it takes for the order to be displayed on the TotalView ITCH multicast feeds; and Cancel to Out, which is the time it takes for the cancel acknowledgement to be received.
"Some [financial firms] have the ability to do this type of monitoring with their own technology," said Stacie Swanstrom, Head of Access Services at Nasdaq OMX in an interview with Wall Street & Technology. "However, QView is a diagnostic tool that provides benchmarking against everyone on the network."
The benchmarking capability allows the user to compare a firm's metrics with that of the larger marketplace, says Swanstrom, adding that other firms may not have that capability with their own systems. For instance, if a particular customer was receiving slower than normal order acknowledgements, it could compare its latency against the entire marketplace. If the latency was equal to what the entire market experienced, then there is nothing to worry about. But if the latency was higher than the market average, the firm may have a problem with its feeds or technology.
Qview Latency Optic customers can view the minimum, maximum and average latency, displayed in round-trip microseconds, for any connection on the network. Firms may view overall session latency for the current trading day, timetables with interactive graphs for a more granular examination of session flow, and percentile charts for each measurement category for a holistic view of the day’s trading, according to Nasdaq OMX. The tool may be used for diagnostics data as firms have the ability to compare their latency to that of their peers for a given connectivity method. In addition, firms may analyze trends utilizing latency categories by percentile and further specify by time interval.
In addition, as all firms are looking to reduce technology costs, many are turning to technology providers for help with certain functions, added Swanstrom. "We are continuing to see growing interest from our customers for value added services and technology," she said. "Often, we can provide these services at less expense than what they could do themselves."
[For more on how exchanges and firms are utilizing cutting-edge technology to reduce latency, read: Nasdaq, CME Building Superfast HFT Link.]
Nasdaq OMX QView is a web-based tool designed to give subscribers the ability to track participant order flow on The Nasdaq Stock Market. Using QView, subscribers can track all of their trading activity on Nasdaq’s markets through detailed order and execution summaries available real-time or as historical reports. QView also includes ranking and market share statistics, routing and order summaries, port attributes and analytics such as time at the inside, fill rates and price improvement statistics.
"This solution, which provides transparency into the most liquid market in the U.S., is also another way the Access Services business uses economies of scale to provide value to our customers," Swanstrom said in a statement. "The QView Latency Optics tool enhances our ecosystem at the Nasdaq OMX Data Center as it provides a convenient, singular view of order and latency info for our customers." Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio