In this case study, Custom Connect explores the benefits of Blended Connectivity for high frequency trading between our own record-breaking link between LD4 and FR2.
Custom Connect MW runs Europe’s fastest link between the London and Frankfurt trading platforms — with latency between LD4 Equinix Slough and FR2 Equinix Frankfurt is as low as 4.569 ms round trip. With this low latency link, high frequency traders and risk managers benefit from the fastest data service between two of the most important trading hubs in Europe. But, this link isn’t the end of the line. In fact, this unparalleled performance is the next step in an aggressive roadmap for Custom Connect’s ongoing effort to maintain its leading market position.
The Challenge: Device management in inaccessible locations
Custom Connect runs two high frequency trading Microwave connections between Germany (Frankfurt) and UK (Basildon, Slough) to connect the London (NYSE) and the Frankfurt Stock Exchanges. Custom Connect was the first to leverage microwave technology for this connection. The link was established by putting MW transmitters and receivers in a series of towers along the optimal path between the two end locations — spanning across the UK, Belgium, France and Germany. Most of the towers we utilize were built over 50 years ago at remote, hard to reach premises, in woods and on hilltops — and in order to optimize the service in the race to zero, Custom Connect has also built their own towers in even more remote areas. Many of these locations don’t even have an address.
In order to reach the record high frequency trading speed, Custom Connect’s engineers had to trek out to these remote locations and strip the data stream of all the management payload that typically is associated with data communications, such as control information and user data. This method requires an alternative approach for enabling the management and control of the devices and the data stream.
The Solution: 4G access
For the remote management of the MW communication devices, Custom Connect MW leverages the 4G channel by equipping the towers with SIM-cards provided by M2MBlue. For creating redundancy, several carriers are connected to each device allowing 4G to add significant value in the search for improved continuity and flexibility of mission-critical communications. This is the best of Blended Connectivity.
“By introducing 4G, we have created an additional communication layer. We are able to remotely access the devices without interfering with the MW bitstream. The communication of our customers stays untouched and we have full visibility of the performance metrics on each and every site. That is important, as their financial interests are huge,” says Boyard Engels, Technical Architect at Custom Connect MW. Custom Connect has implemented the 4G management network in its comprehensive Global Service Center.
“4G offers us very reliable and fast access to our equipment. We have full visibility of the network metrics of our services without impacting customer latency.” Boyard Engels, Custom Connect MW, Technical Architect.
The Results: High availability, low-latency connection
“4G offers us very reliable and fast remote access to our equipment. We only need to climb the towers for incidental repair or replacement of devices. By partnering with M2MBlue, we don’t have to worry about excessive roaming cost, choosing mobile carriers, SIM management or billing. To date, the uptime of the MW connection is 100% since we deployed 4G management,” says Engels.
+ Easy network management
+ Significant operating cost reduction
+ Highest-availability, lowest-latency link for high frequency trading
+ Redundancy by connecting multiple mobile networks from a single device
+ Remote management integrated within Custom Connect’s managed service through the Global Service Center
This use case is a fine example of Custom Connect’s groundbreaking and air-bending Blended Connectivity solution. Blended Connectivity integrates fixed and mobile connectivity into a network that leverages 4G for connecting mobile or hard to reach devices, or for creating additional backup capabilities.
Custom Connect partnered with M2MBlue, a leading wholesale global 4G services provider, to offer carrier-neutral high-bandwidth connectivity through 4G. By adopting the M2MBlue offerings, Custom Connect provides an additional 4G connectivity service that enhances its broad array of connectivity solutions. Custom Connect’s engineer’s design, create and manage the most demanding networks, fixed and mobile. Doing business with Custom Connect means benefiting of the ease of one-contact, one-contract.