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What time do you call that?

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 18 Q3 2010

Sub-microsecond latency is only impressive if you’re sure all your server clocks are showing the right time. Victor Yodaiken, CEO of FSMLabs, brings us up to date with the latest developments in network-wide clock-watching.

Sub-microsecond latency may sound impressive, but what if your server clocks are wrong? It is complex enough to synchronise time data through networks to application servers and eventually to trading applications, but any incidence of intra-network latency can complicate and compound the impact of 'incoming'latency. Within a trading infrastructure, pervasive latency is potentially both a moving and a hidden target.

Wrong estimates of latency can cause missed profit opportunities or, potentially much worse, inability to cancel standing orders quickly enough when the market changes or those orders are filled elsewhere. Tight synchronisation of time-data delivery is the crucial end-point of latency control. In this feature, Victor Yodaiken, CEO of FSMLabs, brings us up to date with the latest developments in network-wide clock-watching.

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