Breakthrough Technology Moves the Financial Services Industry into a New Era

Compute functions arrive on data center switches to speed applications

Financial services firms need a fresh approach to fuel their competitive advantage. The industry is moving toward a disruptive new market trend: hyper-contextual trading. A trading style that places intense demands on the data center infrastructure, hyper-contextual trading requires new levels of distributed computing combined with performance so high, it cannot be achieved through today’s low latency technology platforms.

Hyper-contextual trades are based on real-time processing and analysis of classic news feeds mixed with social media, enabling companies to exploit market news for a competitive trading advantage. The entire process, from tweet to transaction, takes place in a matter of seconds. This new style of trading represents a major turning point in the way financial services firms will do business in the coming years. It also signals a critical need for an equally new approach from technology vendors.

At Juniper, we solved this technology challenge with engineering innovation and a new technology direction, moving past the race to zero latency. Our solution integrates compute functions into the network, and it works in this way:

  • Application code can be embedded and run directly on the Juniper QFX5100 data center switch.

  • The virtualization of Junos® OS and the addition of a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) allow network functions and business applications to run directly on the switch, increasing application performance.

  • Financial firms can customize the FPGA for their own applications.

Compute-integrated networking gives financial businesses the ability to build a high level of predictability into their transactions. Firms can lower the network latency for their business applications, such as market data feeds and order execution routing.

With applications being processed on the switch itself, fewer servers and network switches are required in the data center. As a result, the size and complexity of the trading infrastructure can be reduced substantially, and firms gain not only a robust competitive advantage, but also improvements in efficiency.

In today’s business climate, financial firms’ ability to compete pivots on an advanced IT strategy, and specifically, the ability to improve application performance and determinism. Compute-integrated networking will help these companies launch into the new era of high-speed financial transactions based on real-time news and social media.

With our announcement of the QFX5100 Application Acceleration switch and support for compute-integrated networking, we complement our line of powerful, scalable, and open solutions for the data center and cloud.