The time may be arriving for users of computing power at data centers nationwide to being to “sublet” the capacity to other users, said speakers at the opening of a Telx data center in Clifton, N.J. Tuesday.

The move could save the original lessors of the capacity money. Telx chief executive Eric Shepcaro specifically urged exchange operators, traders, market data providers and other users to not build out their portions of data centers for their individual peak capacities. That’s because, on average, the original users only utilize about one-third of the computing power they’ve reserved, he says.

That should lead users to look at subletting capacity, said Daniel Marques, the chief technology officer for Ballista Securities, operators of an alternative trading system.

Ballista’s own machines, he notes, sit idle overnight. That would be ideal capacity to lease out to high-frequency trading firms, to use overnight to prepare and test their algorithmically-driven trading strategies for the next day.

That would in turn mean the high-speed trading firms would not have to build their own infrastructure for peak needs.

“There’s a lot of redundant hardware sitting there,’’ said Marques, that different firms could use for different purposes.

Take disaster recovery facilities, he noted. There’s plenty of hardware sitting idle in such centers, which could be applied to more than one potential user.

“So virtualized disaster recover facilities could be coming,’’ he said.

Shepcaro did not comment on that possibility.

The Telx facility in Clifton that opened formally Tuesday houses disaster recovery facilities for the International Securities Exchange and sister firm Direct Edge, operator of the nation’s newest stock exchange.

Direct Edge has 70 cabinets worth of capacity in its recovery cage in Clifton, waiting to be used in the event of an interruption of primary computing power.

Marques said the right instances where “subletting” makes sense is when you don’t need 24-hour access to a machine and where no revenue is being produced from a machine for “a significant part of the day.”



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