[Beowulf] HFT - was Intels Luxurious Oil Bath

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Sep 12 05:34:10 PDT 2012

It seems that you first wrote:

 >High Frequency Trading is actually a tiny amount of the world wide
 >computer power. Far far less than HPC. This kit tends to be located
 >very close to the exchange anyway. and is generally uninteresting in
t>erms of green IT.

 >I recently met with one of the technical directors of Deutsch Börse
 >which is the major central european stock exchange.. They are just
 >moving their central trading platform from some VMS clustery thing
 >(before my time) to a Intel / Infiniband / RedHat cluster of no more
 >than 200 nodes of which about half were gateway nodes (with interface
 >cards for external connections to the finance houses). Its all small
 >time stuff.

 >So please cease debasing these discussions with 'Iceland will never
 >have datacenters because you cant use it for HFT". Thou speaks from
 >thyne arse :) HFT is far smaller than HPC which is tiny anyway."

And only AFTER i posted that behind each trading machine in the  
datacenter of exchanges and platforms
there is an entire analysis department with huge HPC clusters.

Then 30 minutes later you post Royal Bank of Scotland, which was kind  
of bankrupt
because they did do so bad, that they have got 10k servers doing the  

Had you known this *before* doing the silly post which breathes that  
you see HFT as a business that has nearly
nothing to do with HPC, you would've realized that
not seldom most nations in Europe have just 1 HPC center that  
government operates,
and hundreds of HPC centers operated by traders.

They are an ever growing force in the HPC.

The larger HFT in terms of infrastructure has got  a larger HPC  
infrastructure than goverment has in terms of crunching power.
Each single one of them.

That makes them a rather large market for HPC to take a look at and  
take them serious. With each exchange slowly moving
from slowish gigabit ethernet with round trip processing time in the  
many milliseconds, the amount of datapoints a second will
dramatically increase during surges. That will have a dramatic impact  
on the crunching power they need and with those
bandwidths it's 100% HPC what they do back in their analysis department.

Now how they do their calculations, there is a as many solutions to  
that as there are traders, so there is not a sensible
word to say about it, except that they use lots of hardware and we  
definitely can see this as HPC type calculations,
whether you like it or not.

On Sep 10, 2012, at 2:13 PM, Andrew Holway wrote:

>> That's very interesting! Where do you find out information on the  
>> banks' setups?
>> The few times I have interviewed in the City they wouldn't let me  
>> see into the server rooms.
> I just know a bit about RBS setup as I was interested in working for
> them a little while back. I've recently learnt that commerzbank has
> some kind of similar setup in Frankfurt.

Why do i keep getting the impression you don't know the difference  
between a trader and a bank?

> I dont know about the others however. Although they are really not
> *that* secretive about it.

Can you find for me of one of the larger High Frequency trading  
hedgefund in the USA, which is called Renaissance Technologies,
their OFFICIAL homepage and then explain to me what infrastructure  
they got?

If they're totally open i bet they like to tell on their homepage  
what hardware they got?

That's just 1 out of the thousands.

Actually nowadays they have a homepage. www.rentec.com :)


>> I live next to Canary Wharf. There are some pretty tasty air  
>> conditioning setups there,
>> if you look up on the roofs, and I should imagine some pretty big  
>> server rooms.
> Who knows what they are cooling under there.
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