EuNetworks has introduced an overlay network that it says is dedicated to the needs of the financial community and claims to deliver industry leading latencies for direct exchange to exchange connectivity. The first phases of the so-called euTrade network cover an ultra low latency route from Slough to five exchanges and data centres in the City of London and a new route from London to Frankfurt.
EuNetworks claims it has reduced latency on the Slough to City route by over 20% to deliver sub-500 microsecond round trips. The London to Frankfurt route comes in at below 9 milliseconds for the round trip – slower than the 4.22 milliseconds claimed by Colt last week, as it rolled out new routes between London and Frankfurt and Paris and Brussels, but with an end point at the Equinix data centre in Frankfurt that hosts the Deutsche Börse market feed rather than at a vendor data centre in the city (see coverage here).
Brady Rafuse, CEO of euNetworks, says: “Our customers need latencies that are measured as a round trip between two points they wish to directly connect. Our network programme focuses on this and our ability to optimise our metro paths is a valuable differentiator.”
Describing the development of euTrade network services, David Selby, euNetworks’ vice president of product and strategy, explains: “We decided to invest in a network for the finance community late last year and have been working on it all this year. We started from the ground up, looking at customers’ locations and required end points and drawing straight lines between exchanges and key data centres. We then looked at where we had fibre and where we had to dig to put in new fibre.”
The London-based company with a focus on Western Europe owns all the dedicated fibre on the new routes and works with a number of technology vendors that it prefers not to name, but which include Colt supplier Infinera, to deliver ultra low latency networks that optimise fibre routes, avoid unnecessary carrier points of presence and deploy latest generation optical transmission equipment.
Selby suggests that no single equipment provider has winning technology, with three or four competing in optical technology and all chasing the holy grail of connectivity that is as near as possible to the speed of light.
“Where we are unique is in our combination of dedicated fibre and equipment,” he says. “We have ignored the way classic carrier networks are built with central nodes. Instead, we have built a network that eliminates or avoids any point on a route that could add delay. We are very specific about the finance application, placing equipment only where it needs to be, taking short cuts with fibre and constructing fibre lines or pulling fibre end to end.”
As well as using dedicated fibre, euTrade services can include wavelength and ethernet-based services, with pre-installed capacity to deliver speedy bespoke customer solutions.
EuNetworks’ first dedicated route from the City to Slough went live a month ago, with London to Frankfurt following a couple of weeks later. Both were ahead of schedule and were nearly full on day one, but more capacity can be added in a matter of weeks. Initial users are high frequency and algo traders, with Selby saying that both old and new customers have signed up to use the euTrade services and that customer response has exceeded expectations.
“A round trip between Slough and the City in 500 microseconds is very good and I haven’t seen anyone offering anything faster than that,” he says. “Our London to Frankfurt route is exchange to exchange. Any distance in the metro area is important and every kilometre adds latency. We have a network of many locations and go where customers need to go at very low latency.”
EuNetworks offers service level agreements (SLAs) close to its lowest latencies, but points out that SLAs need to be defined for individual customers, depending on elements such as end points, data package types and applications. “We look at expected latency and test results to make sure we can deliver what customers want,” explains Selby.
With the first two phases of euTrade complete, euNetworks will continue down its 16 month connectivity roadmap of new network routes, markets and buildings, and the optimisation of existing routes. At least three active projects are expected to come to fruition by the end of this year, with another two or three due in the first quarter of 2011. “We will focus on everywhere our customers want to go,” concludes Selby.