When time is money: The importance of accurate monitoring tools for financial organizations

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the importance of latency in networks, especially in the financial industry, but what does it mean and why is it important? The term latency can have different meanings depending on the area of application, but in network performance, latency indicates how fast a user can get a response after they have sent out a request. Financial organizations operate in an environment where the demand for the fastest speed is critical. Time is of the essence when a single millisecond of delay in fast trading could result in millions of dollars in lost profits. As more and more firms execute their banking operations online, these firms are now investing in high performing network monitoring solutions to reduce latency and bursts in order to give them a competitive edge.

What causes latency and bursts in a network?

There are various reasons why network latency occurs, but tracking down the root cause is easier said than done. Network operators are often tasked with troubleshooting latency issues and oftentimes can’t identify and/or resolve the problem. Traditionally, financial organizations were able to achieve low latency by investing in high performance computers to provide them with greater processing capabilities. However, today’s IT environments face new challenges. One such challenge is the exponential growth and processing of large volumes of data. As data size continues to grow rapidly, many financial organizations are faced with the reality that to be profitable, high performance monitoring tools that can deliver accuracy and reliability becomes a top priority.

Computer networks which facilitate the transfer of data daily, often experience bursts and microbursts. The result is packet loss and degraded application and network performance. So why is this important? Because microbursts only last for a fraction of a second, they often go undetected in monitoring tools that can’t perform real-time analysis. In an industry like finance, any bursts or microbursts that occur in the network can result in huge financial losses. Therefore, monitoring tools that can provide speed, accuracy, and low latency become the weapons of choice.

Why your network needs cPacket’s cBurst:

cPacket’s cBurst is a feature available on the cVu/cX traffic monitoring devices that can process data at rates from 1G to 100G. This allows for network operators to proactively monitor market data feed for microbursts in the network. Most measuring methods rely on proxies, such as buffer utilization. cBurst, on the other hand, will measure network behavior for each profile at millisecond resolution and in real time for up to one thousand feeds per link.

So, how is cBurst different than traditional technologies? One key differentiator is cBurst’s ability to provide the profile or combination of profiles that make up bursts in a network. Essentially, if network operators can detect bursts through early identification, network traffic can be reallocated to links with more capacity. Network engineers are often left guessing how these bursts occurred and how to optimize link allocation. Imagine having a tool that allows network engineers to rebalance traffic in anticipation of network congestion and increased traffic. cPacket’s cBurst can be used as a predictive behavior tool to anticipate any increase in network traffic. With cBurst’s programmatic API, network engineers can have easy access to the data in order to incorporate other forecasting, visualization, and analytics tools seen in Figure 1 below. The advantage of having the data consolidated in a simple dashboard provides network engineers a clear view of accurate information for better decision making.

Figure 1: Simplified dashboard showing cBurst metrics

Technology has changed the way financial markets operate. When the quest for speed is high and milliseconds can make or break profits, financial organizations value the importance of accurate monitoring tools that can provide the lowest latency possible. cPacket’s monitoring tools are intelligently designed to solve these challenges so organizations can focus on their core business needs and maximizing ROI.