February 22, 2012 – CFN Services said it is rolling out a set of high-performance trading services from the public cloud for global financial markets.

Through a strategic partnership with Tier 3, which provides cloud infrastructure, CFN is extending its existing private cloud, known as its Alpha Platform, to enable financial services companies to self-provision an enterprise-grade, virtual private cloud on the public Internet for getting market data and executing trades.

The Alpha Platform is the Herndon, Va., company’s private cloud for ultra-low-latency market data delivery and trade execution. The extension will allow fast 'virtual' services to be created and kept secure on public Internet infrastructure.

“Previous generations of public cloud services have been too slow to support high performance electronic trading,” said Mark Casey, President and CEO, CFN Services.

Working together, CFN and Tier 3 plan to strengthen CFN’s access to 70 trading venues worldwide, bringing the agility of public and hybrid cloud services to the global electronic trading community.

“We are starting in New York and Chicago,” says Casey. ”Then we’ll begin operating in Seattle, which is key to the Asian markets, and London and Frankfort by the second quarter of this year.”

Casey calculates that the use of Tier 3’s cloud infrastructure will reduce the time lag on the virtualization of data delivery and trading functions to 5 percent of overall performance time, from 25 percent.

“If you benchmark the performance of a dedicated server, then create virtual server on top of it, the virtual server effectively runs 25% slower as a result of the additional software overhead,’’ he said. But, he noted, Tier 3 has improved the software engineering at the virtualization layer reducing the drag to less than 5%, meaning a virtual server runs with almost the same performance as a dedicated server.

“Combining this performance with our ultra-low-latency networks, optimized infrastructure, distributed hosting environment and reach to more than 70 trading venues worldwide, brings the agility of public and hybrid cloud services to the global electronic trading community,” he said.

Casey concedes, however, that the on-demand service isn’t designed for the highest-speed traders. It’s aimed at providing financial markets participants the necessary computing power to run front and back-office software, such as order management, execution management, risk management, testing, clearing and settlement software.

Customers can customize the CFN services, integrating proprietary and best-of-breed trading applications from different providers.

“Cloud services adoption is set to dramatically accelerate in financial services markets this year,” says Adam Wray, president and CEO, Tier 3, based in Bellevue, Wash.

The CFN public cloud “footprint” also marks an “important milestone” for Tier 3’s Federated Cloud, allowing it to move into Europe and beyond, Wray said.

This story originally appeared on Securities Technology Monitor.

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